The southernmost area of Memphis necropolis or burial ground of Ancient Egypt today called Dahsur is an amalgam of many pyramid complexes, tombs, mastabas and monuments. The journey to makings of real pyramids is witnessed in Dahsur. The oldest and largest 2 real pyramids grace the necropolis here.
King Sneferu of Old Kingdom in 2613 to 2589 BC was first king of 4th dynasty who built the first of real pyramids. However, his first attempt Bent Pyramid was unsuccessful. He built Red Pyramid, the first real pyramid thereafter. His son Khufu took that to next level with Pyramids Of Giza.
The next huge pyramids are of 12th dynasty and 13th dynasty. These Pyramids and some other pyramids, mastabas and structures found here make the wonder of makings of real Pyramids all the more alluring. The myths and facts connected to all these pyramids are irresistible temptation that tourist find hard to resist.
Out of 11 well known Pyramids Of Dahsur, 5 pyramids are elaborated below in few words. Those are:
The southern shining pyramid otherwise called Sneferu shining in south which is built with limestone has 2 entrances with a wooden stairway to follow. On east a pyramid temple is built. And a Satellite pyramid is built to the south of Bent Pyramid has its own altar and 2 stone slab structures like main pyramid.
Third largest pyramid of Egypt and largest pyramid of Dahsur is also referred as El-heram El-watwaat or Bat pyramid. Cased with Tura limestone used to be white before. Underneath the casing, it is built with red limestone. Encased with a pyramid capstone or pyramidion the pyramid has 3 chambers. The 2 chambers below has passageway from the north entrance and connected through underground tunnels. However south passageway leads to 3rd chamber with corbelled ceilings and is believed to be Sneferu’s eternal resting place.
The limestone rubble remaining of the White Pyramid is excavated for stone and detail investigation. However, pyramid is surrounded by a large rectangular enclosure wall. Almost ruined mortuary temple stands to the east of main pyramid. The causeway that enters the enclosure wall is still not investigated properly. The burial chamber with false flat ceilings, pylon structures at east of temple and some intact tombs inside the enclosure wall belonging to the relatives of Amenemhat II like Prince Amenemhatankh and Princesses Ita, Khnumet, Itiueret and Sithathormeret are the interesting features of White Pyramid. A wide variety of funerary furniture, wooden coffins, alabaster perfume jars, and canopic chests with large quantity of beautiful jewellery in the princess tombs makes White Pyramid an enriching tour.
The first of pyramids that housed the Pharaoh with his queens is originally called Imenemhat Qanefer which means ‘Amenemhat is mighty’. Encased in limestone, the pyramid was built in mud and clay rather than stone. The ground level comprises of an entrance opening into courtyard and mortuary temple surrounded with 2 sets of walls. A pyramidion or capstone covered with inscription is believed to be destroyed. Below ground level, complicated passageway leads to a king and queen section. Apart from that 4 burial chambers are found. The houses on the north of open and wide causeways are believed to be of priests. Due to use of muc and clay, the pyramid has sunk mostly and the whole complex was looted.
This pyramid also encased in Tura limestone is built of mudbricks that include main pyramid with a chapel and a small mortuary temple surrounded by an enclosure wall. Outside this enclosure were seven tombs belonging to Senusret’s queens and princesses where shaft tombs were discovered on the northern and southern sides of the main pyramid and were topped by mastabas in the intricated rock-cut underground chamber with small pyramids. The whole complex was again surrounded by an outer wall which was enlarged to accommodate a large temple and a causeway.
Not every pyramid is excavated and it is believed there is a lot still waiting to be found and seen. But whatever pyramids are there, they refused to be silenced and act like sirens of the past calling, luring, hypnotising tourist and Egypt dreamers longingly and relentlessly. Let NILE HOLIDAY show you these wonders of Egypt…