Menkaure is the 5th ruler of the 4th dynasty after his father Khafra, his name in the Greek language is Mykerinos.
The 3rd major pyramid at Giza Plateau is attributed to king Menkaure, it is the smallest pyramid of the three pyramids but it very fine construction and quality, the pyramid was cased with granite blocks. The name of this pyramid in the ancient times is ntr (neter), which means the sacred, this pyramid has 3 small pyramids on the east side, Egyptologists mistakenly call them the pyramids of the queens.
Menkaure ruled Egypt around 2521 BC after his Khafra and he ruled for 18 or 28 years, we are not very sure about this because of the lack of information about him, there some opinion suggests that he wasn’t the direct successor of Khafra and a king called Ba-KA (son of Djedefre) ruled Egypt after Khafra.
His name is quite unique because it contains the word Ka in his name and he continued following the cult of Ra, by adding Ra (Re) in his name like his father Khafra, the name Menkaure means the stable Kas of Ra (the stable spirits of Ra).
When the pyramid was excavated at 1837 by Howard Vyse (English officer) and John Perring (engineer), they discovered a basalt box inside the so called burial chamber, this box has no writings but it has a kind of design is called the palace façade, in a side room they found fragments of wooden coffin and the name Menkaure was carved on the coffin, unfortunately the ship which was transferring the coffin to London was lost and we know nothing about it, but the box made it to the British museum and it is there now with some pieces of the coffin.
According to Herodotus the Greek travel to Egypt around 454 BC, king Khufu & king Khafra were cruel kings and they stopped so many of the ancient traditions like forbidding making statues except for the king, but Menkaure changed these laws which the ancient Egyptians hated it.
There are few details about the family of king Menkaure, we strongly believe that he is the son of Khafra from his mother Khamerernebty I, who could one of the daughters of Khufu.
King Menkaure wives and daughters :
We also believe that he had 2 wives:
– Queen Khamerernebty II (his sister !?)
– Queen Rekhetre (daughter of Khafra)
Menakaure didn’t have many children, he hade 3 sons or more, and one daughter or more.
– Khuenre, he is the son of queen Khamerernebty II, although he is the eldest son, he didn’t inherit the throne.
– Shepseskaf the younger son of Menkaure and his successor
– Sekhemre, we know about him from a statue belong to him
– Khentkaus I, it is high possibility the Khentkaus I is the daughter of Menkaure
In the valley temple of the 3rd pyramid at Giza Plateau, 8 statues for king Menkaure were found, or we can call them group statues (it is more like triad statues), 4 of the them in the Egyptian Museum, 3 in Boston museum and 1 in Brussels museum.