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Pyramid of Menkaure

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A magnetic presence in the Egyptian desert, the Pyramid of Menkaure dates back to 2490 B.C. and stands as one of the three famous triangular monoliths comprising the Giza Plateau. At 213 feet in height, this is the smallest of the triad, but its history is no less fascinating.

Made primarily of granite rather than limestone like its sister pyramids, Menkaure houses the tomb of the fourth dynasty's Pharaoh Menkaure, a benevolent and prosperous leader so focused on justice that Egyptians praised him more highly than any of their other monarchs. It is said that this praise unfortunately angered the gods, who had previously decreed that Egypt would suffer 150 years of hardship. When they saw that the people were flourishing under Menkaure, they allegedly allowed him to rule for only 26 (or possibly 63) years, depending on which version of history you choose to believe.