Photographer's Note

One of the 3 pyramids at Giza, framed by horses and camels. This is the pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the 3. A very hot day of 45c with a weak sandstorm combined with pollution from nearby Cairo, have given some haze to the sky. I thought of titling this "Chariots on fire", lol. Be careful when hiring these chariots and camels. There is a sign up near the ticket office and before the entry into the compound stating an official price of 100 Egyptian pounds for 30 minutes or so, but as soon as you leave the ticket office on arrival, groups of horse and camel drivers will lead you away from the official rates sign, and try to charge 500 Egyptian pounds. I bargained them down to 110 so I don't feel too ripped off.

There are 3 queen's pyramids beside the Great Pyramid, which are all less than 1/4 the height of the 3 pharaoh's pyramids: Queen Hetepheres, Queen Meritites & Queen Henutsen.

More info here:

And a nice shot I found on the net showing all 6 pyramids and the 3 mastaba divisions in the Queen's pyramids.

Incredibly, there was an attempt by Saladin's son to destroy all the pyramids in the twelfth century:

"At the end of the twelfth century al-Malek al-Aziz Othman ben Yusuf, Saladin's son and heir, attempted to demolish the pyramids, starting with Menkaure's. The workmen whom Al-Aziz had recruited to demolish the pyramid found it almost as expensive to destroy as to build. They stayed at their job for eight months. They were not able to remove more than one or two stones each day at a cost of tiring themselves out utterly. Some used wedges and levers to move the stones, while others used ropes to pull them down. When a stone fell, it would bury itself in the sand, requiring extraordinary efforts to free it. Wedges were used to split the stones into several pieces, and a cart was used to carry it to the foot of the escarpment, where it was left. Far from accomplishing what they intended to do, they merely spoiled the pyramid by leaving a large vertical gash in its north face."

Additionally all 3 pyramids were originally encased in white limestone capping, much of which was removed and carried off to construct mosques in Cairo that still stand today. Bahri Sultan An-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din al-Hasan (an-Nasir Hasan) eg. Sultan Hasan Mosque and Madrasa, was commissioned by an-Nasir Hasan in 1357 AD and completed in 1363 AD. Most of the limestone in this mosque was removed / stolen from the pyramids. Only the great pyramid retains its limestone cap on the apex.

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Additional Photos by Chris Jules (ChrisJ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 16717 W: 1065 N: 36204] (165950)
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