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Giza's Mortuary Temples

Mortuary Temples - The Buildings - Builders & Buildings

The Giza Necropolis’ Mansions of Millions of Years

Each of the Giza Necropolis’ Pyramids had their own Mortuary Complex attached to them. These usually included:

  • Valley Temple;
  • Causeway;
  • Mortuary Chapel or Temple;
  • Main Pyramid
  • Boat Pit/s
  • Subsidiary Pyramids
  • Cult Pyramid

At the time of building, each Mortuary Temple was attached to a Canal of the River Nile, called the “Channel of Memphis” via the Valley Temple and Causeway.

“Khufu’s Horizon”, Mortuary Temple of Pharaoh Khufu

His Pyramid was the tallest Monument in the World from 2560BC to 1311AD and remains the oldest of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. The Mortuary Complex was built in the 4th Dynasty, during the Old Kingdom Period, and took approx. 15-20 years to complete. 

Little remains of his Mortuary Temple apart from its Basalt Pavement. It measured 52.2m long from North to South and 40m wide from East to West.

“Great is Khafre”,
Mortuary Temple of Pharaoh Khafre

 

Pharaoh intended his Pyramid and Mortuary Complex to be larger than that of his father’s complex, Pharaoh Khufu’s, but the limit of suitable bedrock on the Plateau reduced its size to its present dimensions. He built this during the 4th Dynasty, Old Kingdom period and completed it in 2570BC.

His Mortuary Temple was located to the East of the main Pyramid although little is left today. It was the forerunner for every Mortuary Temple that followed it, as it formulated the Planned Layout of an Entrance Hall, a Columned Court, 5 Statue Niche’s, 5 Storage Chambers and the Inner Sanctum, Pharaoh Khafre’s Mortuary Temple was made from an estimated 400 tons of Megalithic Blocks.

 

“Menkaure is Divine”,

Mortuary Temple of Pharaoh Menkaure

 

His Mortuary Complex was also built during the 4th Dynasty,
Old Kingdom period and completed in 2510BC. Pharaoh Menkaure, son of Pharaoh Khafre and Grandson of Pharaoh Khufu.

The Mortuary Temple was made from Aswan Quarried Granite Floors and some Walls were clad with Aswan Quarried Pink Granite facing; the foundations and inner core were constructed from Limestone.

Pharaoh Shepseskaf finished the Temple on his father’s behalf with rough bricks.

Internally, Statues of Pharaoh Menkaure were located, some with him alone and some with him in a group of deities. Within the Temple, Pharaoh Shepseskaf has inscribed that he has, “made it as his monument for his father, the Pharaoh of Upper and Lower Egypt”.

Mortuary Temple of Queen Khentkaus I

Queen Khentkaus I was the daughter of Pharaoh Menkaure and Queen Khamerernebty II, she was born in the 4th Dynasty as a high-born Princess. Her brother and later husband was Pharaoh Shepseskaf. When he died ending the 4th Dynasty, she married Pharaoh Userkaf, the founder of the 5th Dynasty. Her son became Pharaoh Sahure. At some point in her life she took the Title of Pharaoh, probably as a Regent for her son rather than as Pharaoh in her own right.

At the end of the Causeway was found a large Pink Granite entrance to the Queen’s Mortuary Temple which was engraved with her Names and Titles. This led into a White Tura Limestone paved main Hall and the Inner Sanctum of the Temple. The Inner Sanctum held 3 Niches for her Cult Worship and was lined with Limestone and decorated with Reliefs which are now badly damaged. The entrance to the main Hall was via a Black Granite doorway. Once inside the Hall had 2 False Doors in its West Wall made out of Pink Granite.  Behind one of these doors is the beginning of the Corridor into the Tomb of Queen Khentkaus I.