"The pyramid complex of Chefren is the best preserved, with its extraordinary valley temple intact, and, next to it, the noble form of the Sphinx, a recumbent leonine body welded to the portrait-head of the king wearing the royal headdress, perhaps the best-known monument in the world. Directly in front of the Sphinx, to the east, was a temple dedicated to Harmakhis." - Kostof, Spiro. (1995). A History of Architecture. 2nd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press. p.76
Khafre (Chephren) sited his pyramid at Giza, a short distance to the south-west of the monument of his father Khufu. Returning to Giza, Khafre's monuments have survived better than most and his pyramid makes an impressive backdrop to the Great Sphinx which lies next to his causeway and was probably part of the pyramid complex.
Appearing to be bigger than Khufu's pyramid because of the rising ground on which it was built and it's steeper angle of slope, Khafre's pyramid actually had a base measurement of 215m and a height of 143.5m, making it slightly smaller than his father's. It is the only pyramid to be preserved almost to its full height by the casing stones remaining at its apex. Belzoni, in 1816, was the first to enter the pyramid in modern times. He discovered the upper entrance and underground chambers and is commemorated in an inscription by the English Colonel Fitzclarence on the upper entrance. In 1860 Auguste Mariette found seven statues of Khafre while excavating the valley temple, including a wonderfully preserved diorite statue of the king protected by a Horus falcon, one of the great masterpieces of Egyptian sculpture now in the Cairo Museum. More recent investigations of Khafre's pyramid complex, using modern archaeological techniques, have been undertaken by the Giza Plateau Mapping Project under the directorships of Mark Lehner and Zahi Hawass.
Keywords: Egypt, Egyptian, Matruh, ceremonial and/or religious structures, funerary architecture, Khafra, Chephren, Khafr