- - - - -

Dahshur


- - - - -

Dahshur, first opened to the public in October 1996, is about 10 km south of Saqqara, although in reality the northernmost monuments of the Dahshur area are no more than 2 km south of Saqqara. Dahshur contains several pyramid complexes, the most prominent of which are the two pyramids of the first 4th-Dynasty pharaoh, Sneferu (2613 - 2589 BCE). Sneferu's construction of two pyramids at Dahshur (as well as completing his father's pyramid at Medium) would have necessitated an amount of materials and labor outstripping even the efforts involved in the construction of the Great Pyramid.

- - - - -

Sneferu's PyramidsThe two pyramids of Sneferu at Dahshur.  In the middle is the oddly shaped Bent Pyramid.  On the south side of the Bent Pyramid, is a small satellite pyramid, originally 26 meters high but now reduced to no more than 20.   In the distance, about 2 km to the north is the Red Pyramid (so-called due to the color of its limestone blocks). These two pyramids were possibly the first such tombs to be designed from the outset as true pyramids rather than step pyramids.

The Red PyramidThe Northern or Red Pyramid at Dahshur was built from the onset with an angle of 43 degrees. It stands about two kilometers north of the earlier Bent Pyramid. Its base area is only second to the Great Pyramid of his son, Khufu, at Giza.  The pyramid was originally covered with slabs of white Tura limestone to which it owes its ancient name of 'Sneferu is Shining'.  In the distance, some of the pyramids of Saqqara are visible.

The Bent PyramidThe south side of the Bent Pyramid at Dahshur, so called because of its marked change of angle from 54 degrees in the lower part to 43 degrees in the upper part.  If the pyramid had been completed according to plan, it would have been the largest pyramid in Egypt.  Nevertheless, it is still the fourth largest pyramid, after that of Khufu, the nearby Red Pyramid, and the pyramid of Khafre. The reason for the change of plans was probably structural, although the pyramid has other unusual features, notably a western entrance in addition to the usual northern one.  In ancient times, this pyramid was called 'Sneferu is Shining in the South'.

Sanctuary at the Bent PyramidA small sanctuary for the royal cult is located on the east side of the Bent Pyramid.  It consists of a small table for offerings flanked by two large stelae.  Again, visible to the north, is the Red Pyramid.

- - - - -

All pictures are Copyright 1998 - 2001 Grisel Gonzalez

- - - - -


North to Saqqara        Back to Egypt Main Page         South to the Faiyum Oasis 

Return to top