sneferu

The burial chamber of King Sneferu’s Meidum Pyramid. c 2600 BC.

This was the first time a corbelled ceiling was used inside a pyramid – designed to spread the immense weight of the stone above it and ensure that the immense bulk of the pyramid would not flatten the king.

The stone was left undressed and the burial chamber never used. Sneferu had his sights set on a new location and a new pyramid: Dahshur.

The Bent Pyramid at Dahshur 1, Cairo, Egypt (Copyright Dave Halley 2010) by Dave Halley on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
The Bent Pyramid (also known as the Southern Shining Pyramid) of the Pharaoh Sneferu at the royal necropolis of Dahshur in desert near Cairo, Egypt.
Dahshur is part of the ancient city of Memphis and it’s Necropolis (The pyramid fields from Giza to Dahshur) and is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Taken on Canon EOS 400D.
(Copyright Dave Halley 2010).

2

The pyramid at Meidum is thought to originally have been built for Huni, the last pharaoh of the Third Dynasty, and was continued by Sneferu.

The architect was a successor to the famous Imhotep, the inventor of the stone built pyramid.

The collapse of the pyramid is likely due to the modifications made to Imhotep’s pyramid design as well as the decisions taken twice during construction to extend the pyramid. 

Some believe the pyramid not to have collapsed until the New Kingdom, but there are a number of facts contradicting this theory. The Meidum Pyramid seems never to have been completed.

Steps up to the Entrance into The Red Pyramid at Dahshur, Cairo, Egypt (Copyright Dave Halley 2010) by Dave Halley on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Steps up to the Entrance into The Red Pyramid (also known as the North Pyramid) of the Pharaoh Sneferu at the royal necropolis of Dahshur in desert near Cairo, Egypt.
Dahshur is part of the ancient city of Memphis and it’s Necropolis (The pyramid fields from Giza to Dahshur) and is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Taken on Canon EOS 400D.
(Copyright Dave Halley 2010).

Ancient Egyptian names for the pyramids...

So I was reading The Cult of Ra by Stephen Quirke and he lists the names the Ancient Egyptian pharaohs of the Old Kingdom gave their pyramid complexes. And it is the best shit ever.

Sneferu's complex at Meydum was called Sneferu Is Firm and the two complexes at Dahshur were known Sneferu Rises. Which, you know, could be construed as being references to his penis since I can be incredibly childish.

And then you have the three pyramids at Giza. Khufu’s, the Great Pyramid, is called Horizon of Khufu, which might seem a bit egoistical but is nothing next to Khafra naming his pyramid Khafra Is Great and Menkaura naming his complex Menkarura Is Divine. The egos on these guys, wow.

The Fifth and Sixth Dynasty tends to follow a trend of “the places/power of [pharaoh] are divine/pure/enduring/rising/perfect/firm”. But, in case you were worrying wondering if they suddenly had an ego check of some sort,  we have the fine tradition of “raging egomaniacs” continued with: 

  • Djedkara and his Djedkara Is Perfect complex
  • Pepi I and the Pepi is Enduring and Perfect pyramid
  • Merenra and the little place he likes to call Arisen And Perfect Is Merenra

Finally we have Pepi II who names his complex Enduring And Alive Is Neferkara [throne name, = Pepi II]. Which is actually pretty accurate since he came to the throne as a child and lived into his 90s.

I mean, the egos on these guys. God bless them. Or Gods. Ra. Whatever.

Dedi

According to the Westcar Papyrus, prince Djedefhor brings up the story of Dedi. He stands before his father, king Khufu, and says: “There is only speaking of miracles which happened a long time ago, something known by past generations only. Truth and falsehood cannot be distinguished here. But there is someone under thy majesty´s own lifetime who is not known, someone who is able to make a ignoramus become wise.”[3] Khufu asks: “What’s the meaning of this, Djedefhor, my son?”[3] Djedefhor answers: “There’s a commoner named Dedi, living in Djed-Sneferu. He’s a simple citizen, but 110 years old, eats 500 loaves of bread, a shoulder of beef and drinks 100 jars of beer every day. He is capable of resurrecting decapitated beings. He is also said to be able to make wild lions so obedient that the animal would follow him with a cord dragging on the ground. Furthermore, this Dedi has knowledge of the number of Iput[7] in the wenet-sanctuary of Thoth.”[3] The pharaoh spent a good deal of time to seek for these chambers, for he planned to build something similar to his horizon.[8] And Khufu orders: “You thyself, Djedefhor, my son, may bring him to me!”[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dedi