Sunday, November 25, 2007

Khaefre's pyramid and Sphinx

Khaefre, Khufu's son, built beside his father's pyramid. His is the smaller pyramid, but as it is built on higher ground, and has a slightly steeper angle, it appears the larger. Today Khaefre's complex is the most complete of the Giza three, while his is the only pyramid to retain some of its upper casing stones.

The Great Sphinx crouches beside Khaefre's Valley Temple. This fabulous beast consists of the king's head, 22 times life-sized, perched on a massive lion's body. It is 236ft (72m) long and 65ft (19.8m) tall, making it Egypt's largest statue. As it is carved from a naturally occurring rocky outcrop, covered in places with a stone block veneer, the Sphinx shows differential weathering due to the three limestone strata included in its body.