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).


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.

Dahshur Egypt – Showcases Egyptian Architecture to Perfection

The marvel of Egyptian architecture  was still lingering in my thoughts. We were quite tired and wanted to refresh and found a snack bar, which was quite clean. We had shavirma and bread stuffed with vegetables and beans. The food was delicious. After having food, we proceeded to Dahshur Egypt, which took us almost an hour to reach there.

Dahshur Red pyramids | Image Resource :

Dahshur comes under Giza Governate and is situated on the banks of the Nile. Rightly called the royal necropolis, this place is a tourist attraction for the presence of several pyramids. This historic site open to public has two largest pyramids. I had to check their names with the guide, who promptly explained they were the Bent and Red pyramids.

Bent Pyramids | Image Resource :

Pharaoh Sneferu built these pyramids and it was in 2613 – 2589 BC. Suffice it to admit that they were spectacular, we walked the necropolis , which is open from 8 am to 5 pm every day. There was an admission fee and I paid forty Greek pounds to get tickets.

My friend reminded me that we watched this place in movies and admittedly, they were beautiful in real. Of course, there is more to these pyramids other than the beauty. They look extensively spread by 3.5 km from north to south.

Our guide explained to us that the Bent pyramid aptly got its name for it changed in angle midway up the structure. Furthermore, it failed to give the smoothness, though it has its presence since the Sneferu period or is the first and the oldest that led to the building of other pyramids.

The Red pyramid showcasing the best of Egyptian architecture is also the oldest but built perfectly to show the best. This historic site is a UNESCO World Heritage site and known for its smooth finish without any steps. It looks red because of the red hues of the weathered limestone. I was told that this structure is one that is built learning from the faults caused in the bent structure.

We entered the pyramid after climbing the steps. Once inside we headed through a long slanting corridor to gain an entry to the chambers. They were three of them and two ante chambers, which apparently had corbelled and burial chambers. It is believed that the remains of Sneferu were found in the place.

Orion and Sirius Positions to the Pyramids

65 The core masonry is of huge blocks
of local limestone, which were
originally, lined with granite on the
66 The western side of the court,
originally, had red granite pillars.
67 On this end was the sanctuary, or
offering shrine, built against the face of
the pyramid.
68 It was paved with red granite.
69 One of the corridors in the
Northern end of the Temple has walls
of black granite.
70 The parent pyramid stood at a
height of 66.5 meters; the base being
108.5 meters square at a slope of 51%
71 Shepseskaf, the last of the Pharaohs
after Menkure, completed his father’s
72 Once again the trend for building
tombs changed.
73 Choosing a site between Zoser’s
Step Pyramid and the Pyramids of
Sneferu, the father of Khufu.
74 Shepseskaf’s tomb differed
completely from any monument
preceding it.
75 It is neither a mastaba nor a
76 It stands 100 x 72 meters, and stands
18 meters high.
77 It is merely called a sarcophagus.
78 All these pyramids align perfectly
with the three stars of the Orion
constellation, which was directly above
79 The shaft in the queen’s chamber
pointed to Sirius.
80 The position of the three pyramids
and their relation to the Nile, is the
same as the three stars of Orion’s belt, in
relation to the Milky Way. by conscioussouldier_j

Ancient Egyptian Pyramidolgraphia

Khufu (Cheops), the second king of the IVth Dynasty, was the son and successor of Sneferu by Queen Hetepheres I, daughter and heiress of King Huni (Hu), the last King of the IIIrd Dynasty. This Greek name Cheops is the one by which Khufu is popularly know today. According to the ancient records he reigned for 23 years. Concerning his character, the eminent Egyptian Egyptologist, Professor Ahmed…

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