Guest post by Alberto Di Gennaro – SANDS
After visiting all three pyramids of the Giza plateau, I was absolutely struck by the majesty of the Pyramid of Cheops and by the perfection and, if you can so define it, the refined interior architecture of the Pyramid of Menkaure.
For millennia, the Pyramids of the Giza Plateau have observed the historical events flowing around them from the top of their eternal might and, I am sure, will continue to do so for many more millennia.
The names of the Pyramids of Khufu or Cheops, Kefren, and Menkaure are well known all over the world, but not many people know the three smaller pyramids called the “Pyramids of the Queens”. The three minor pyramids, the largest with smooth faces and the other two with steps, are located on the southern side of the Pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the three major pyramids at the Giza Necropolis and they date back to the third millennium BC.
Designated G 3a-c, archaeologists attribute them to Menkaure’s royal consorts.
Of these, only G 3a was a true pyramid, the other two having a four-step core, and some Egyptologists believe that it functioned as a cult pyramid, though it was also clearly used for a burial.
The three pyramids were first recorded by Karl Richard Lepsius, a great German Egyptologist.
These small pyramids have always fascinated me and during each of my visits to the Giza Plateau, I would climb the central pyramid and, sitting there for a long time on a step, I lose my gaze towards the desert, trying to glimpse the necropolis of Saqqara, which is less than 30 km.
The biggest and nearly complete of these pyramids belonged to Menkaure’s important wife Khamerenebti II.
Khamerernebti II was an Egyptian Queen of the 4th dynasty. She was a daughter of the Pharaoh Kefren and of the Queen Khamerernebti I; she married her brother, King Menkaure, to whom she fathered Prince Khuenra.
After a long day of touring the Giza Plateau, I left the site as the sunset over the enigmatic Sphinx.