2532 - 2504 BC
Menkaure with, in both statues, Hathor on his right, and nome figures on his left
Manetho ascribes to Menkaure a reign of 63 years. In fact we now believe he ruled for 28 years - which should have been long enough to build a monument much larger than his small pyramid at the south end of the Giza plateau. With an original height of 228 ft (70 m) - and now a mere 204 ft (62 m) - the so-called Third Pyramid is less than half the height of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. The stunted size has intrigued many commentators, and various explanations have been proposed, the most likely being that its small scale resulted from internal political problems - perhaps the strain on human and other resources caused by the huge building projects of his father and grandfather.