12 Most Fascinating Pyramids in Egypt


Unquestionably probably the most iconic image of Egypt all through historical past is the pyramid. The masonry constructions with a pyramid design are symbolic and important in Egyptian tradition, and at this time they’re among the many prime sights in your entire nation. Currently, historians have recognized over 100 pyramids all through Egypt, most of which date to the Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom intervals of Egyptian historical past.

The largest and greatest recognized of the Egyptian pyramids are discovered in Giza, which is situated simply outdoors of Egypt’s capital metropolis, Cairo. However, the Giza Plateau isn’t the one place the place you possibly can spot historic pyramids. These historical constructions will be discovered throughout Egypt, and plenty of guests intention to see as a lot of them as potential throughout their keep.

Along with the extensively recognized Great Sphinx and the Pyramid of Khufu, which most vacationers will {photograph} throughout their go to to Egypt, take a more in-depth have a look at a number of the lesser recognized, however no much less unimaginable, pyramids in the nation.

12. Pyramid of Lahun

Pyramid of Lahun

The Pyramid of Lahun, also called el-Lahun, was constructed below the rule of Senusret II of the twelfth Dynasty round 1180 BC. El-Lahun means Mouth of the Canal, and it was certainly located subsequent to the water. This pyramid is now in spoil, and the causeways and passages inside are largely destroyed and inaccessible. Even in the 1840s, when explorers have been keen to find and doc as many Egyptian pyramids as potential, the British archeologist Sir Flinders Petrie took months to easily discover the doorway to the pyramid itself.

The entrance to the Pyramid of Lahun was hidden in the courtyard on the south aspect of the construction, regardless of the north aspect being the everyday entrance for spiritual causes. The Pyramid of Lahun is among the first pyramids in Egypt the place defending the contents, and offering safety to the tomb, was considered much more necessary than following historic protocol.

Although there are not any remnants, the outside of the Pyramid of Lahun is believed to have been lined in adorned granite. Natural limestone already in place was used as an environment friendly base for the pyramid, making building simpler than regular. A smaller black granite pyramid was probably positioned on the prime of the construction to kind its apex.

11. Pyramid of Userkaf

Pyramid of Userkaf

One of the pyramids discovered in Saqqara is the Pyramid of Userkaf, constructed between 2494–2487 BC below the rule of Userkaf, a pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty. Far from poetic, the native identify of the pyramid, El-Haram el-Maharbish, interprets instantly as Heap of Stone. Userkaf does even have a core of rubble, and the remaining supplies have been dressed stone. Today, the Pyramid of Userkaf is in spoil, and it seems extra like a conical hill made from sand than a real pyramid.

The Pyramid of Userkaf was a construction that differed from the Fourth Dynasty pyramids, and in some ways it impressed the later Fifth Dynasty pyramids. Userkaf did retain the normal excessive wall across the advanced and the causeway linking one tomb to the principle pyramid. However, it additionally launched new concepts like a north-south axis orientation and the inclusion of a small chapel outdoors, relatively than inside, the pyramid.

More than 1,5000 years after building, the Pyramid of Userkaf was restored and utilized by Rameses II as a cemetery. In extra trendy historical past, the doorway to the pyramid was found in 1831, however nobody truly entered the pyramid till 1839, when a tunnel was found that was probably dug by tomb robbers and afforded quick access to the inside.

10. Pyramid of Hawara

Pyramid of Hawara

A 3-hour drive south of Cairo is the Pyramid of Hawara, which was constructed by the sixth Pharaoh of the twelfth Dynasty, Amenmehat III. Historians put the development of the Pyramid of Hawara round 1850 BC, making it roughly 3,865 years previous at this time. The Pyramid of Hawara is usually referred to as the Black Pyramid as a result of it seems a lot darker than different Egyptian pyramids from the identical time interval. The pyramid was constructed from brick stones after which lined in limestone, giving it a darkish look.

When first constructed, the Pyramid of Hawara was practically 60 meters (200 ft) tall, though erosion and desert sands have barely diminished the peak over time. Hawara was not the primary pyramid commissioned by Pharaoh Amenmehat III. His first, referred to as Dashur, was not profitable and collapsed shortly after building. As a end result, the Pyramid of Hawara is constructed with a decrease angle to stop a collapse. But at this time even this second pyramid is little greater than an eroded, vaguely pyramidal mountain of mud brick.

An fascinating notice to make in regards to the Pyramid of Hawara, which nonetheless stands however doesn’t have a pointy apex anymore, is the way it started to acknowledge and attempt to deceive tomb thieves. The Pyramid of Hawara featured passageways in a labyrinth sample to attempt to confuse and frustrate potential robbers in historical Egypt.

9. Pyramid of Teti

Pyramid of Teti

The Pyramid of Teti is one other of the necessary constructions situated in the pyramid fields of Saqqara. Built between 2345 and 2333 BC in the Sixth Dynasty, Teti was simply the second of the Egyptian pyramids to include Pyramid Texts, or magic spells written or carved into the partitions of the tombs. Upon excavation and exploration in the late nineteenth century, it was revealed that the Pyramid of Teti is made up of 1 predominant pyramid for the burial of the king, a funerary temple and two smaller pyramids probably supposed for the queens of the Pharaoh Teti.

From above floor, the Pyramid of Teti seems like it’s fully ruined, and it might even be mistaken for a small hill relatively than a pyramid construction. Thankfully, the corridors and chambers situated underground are in significantly better situation and have been amazingly preserved over time. Although the valley temple is misplaced, you possibly can nonetheless see the Teti’s Room of the Greats, the inside chapel containing 5 completely different statues of the Pharaoh Teti, the lengthy descending hallway that results in the burial chamber, the funerary flats for the pharaoh and the Pyramid Texts inscribed on the partitions.

8. Pyramid of Unas

Pyramid of Unas

Found in the area of Saqqara is the Pyramid of Unas. Erected in the twenty fourth century BC, the Pyramid of Unas was constructed for the Pharaoh Unas, who served as the ultimate ruler in the Fifth Dynasty. Although the Pyramid of Unas was initially 43 meters (141 ft) tall, the pyramid is essentially ruined at this time.

The Pyramid of Unas is critical in massive half as a result of it was the primary of its variety to incorporate what’s now referred to as Pyramid Texts. The pharaoh had magical texts carved proper into the partitions that have been designed to guard him in the afterlife. Several pharaohs after Unas did the identical factor, beginning a standard pattern amongst Egyptian kings. In reality, it’s believed that the Pyramid Texts have been the inspiration for the later Coffin Texts and the Book of the Dead.

Made of limestone, the Pyramid of Unas was rediscovered by Western explorers in the nineteenth century, and a mummy was discovered in the tomb at the moment. However, historians can’t make certain that the stays have been in reality Unas, as they may have been from a later noble.

7. Pyramid of Meidum

Pyramid of Meidum

Approximately 100 km (60 miles) south of Cairo is Meidum, a pyramid that stands nearly as excessive because the Pyramid of Menkaurein in Giza. Meidum was constructed throughout Egypt’s Third Dynasty, which signifies that it’s older than the Pyramids of Giza. Meidum was designed for Huni, the final of the Third Dynasty pharaohs. You can clearly see that at this stage, building of pyramids was not but a science. Instead of {smooth} sides, Meidum was initially constructed as a step pyramid, the place there have been terraces to make building simpler for every degree. The outer layer additionally used sand, relatively than stone, which can have led to the pyramid’s collapse over time.

Today, Meidum has three steps, or ranges, which are clearly seen. It doesn’t have a steep apex on the prime, which is why many Egyptians name it a el-heram el-kaddaab, or pseudo pyramid. However, the Pyramid of Meidum continues to be completely value a go to. As you enter, you’ll stroll down a passageway which has been structurally supported by wood beams, and you’ll enter the unfinished burial chamber. Surrounding the pyramid itself is a set of mastabas, or tombs, which are produced from mud bricks. These smaller tombs resemble the very base of a pyramid, and plenty of of them have tunnels that robbers in centuries previous used to steal from the tombs.

6. Pyramid of Menkaure

Pyramid of Menkaure

When individuals communicate of the Pyramids of Giza, they’re referring primarily to a few distinct constructions: the Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure. Of the three, the Pyramid of Menkaure is by far the smallest. However, it has a particular place in the structure of Giza, and it’s completely value a go to whenever you’re in the realm.

Built in 2510 BC for the Fourth Dynasty Pharaoh Menkaure, this pyramid stands at a complete peak of 65 meters (213 ft). This places the Pyramid of Menkaure at roughly half the peak of its neighboring pyramids. The supplies used in the development of the Pyramid of Menkaure have been purple granite, used in the underside portion of the pyramid, and limestone, used towards the highest. Parts of the granite in the pyramid have been left tough, which leads archeologists and historians to consider that the pyramid was unfinished.

If you have a look at the Pyramid of Menkaure at this time, you would possibly discover a vertical strip of stones is lacking from one aspect of the construction. Shockingly, that’s a results of severe efforts to tear down the pyramid in the twelfth century by Saladin’s son. Thankfully, the method was time consuming and costly, and ultimately the method was deserted. The lacking stones are a reminder of each the sturdiness of the pyramids and the way necessary it’s to protect these sorts of landmarks.

As you enter the Pyramid of Menkaure, you’ll descend stairs to enter a passageway. Then comes the primary antechamber, adopted by carved reliefs in the partitions and a gap into one other chamber. As you enter the principle sequence of chambers, you’ll get a singular view of the vaulted apex of the pyramid itself, a shocking sight that you just’ll have to see to consider.

5. Step Pyramid of Djoser

Step Pyramid of Djoser

Just 25 km (15 miles) south of Cairo is an space referred to as Saqqara, which comprises a pyramid subject filled with a number of the earliest pyramids in Egyptian historical past. One of probably the most important is the Step Pyramid of Djoser, which is extensively believed to be the oldest cut-stone construction in the world, making it an necessary landmark for Egyptologists, archeologists, and designers alike. The Step Pyramid of Djoser was constructed in the Third Dynasty by Imhotep, the vizier of Pharaoh Djoser, and it was accomplished in roughly the twenty seventh century BC.

The Pyramid of Djoser positively seems completely different when in comparison with the everyday picture of an Egyptian pyramid. That’s as a result of as an alternative of {smooth} sides, Djoser is a step pyramid. Each degree, or terrace, was constructed on prime of the following. Technically, the design is one among six mastabas stacked on prime of one another, every mastaba smaller than the final.

The complete Djoser advanced was surrounded by a limestone wall, and there have been 14 doorways constructed into the partitions. However, there was only one entrance, and the remaining doorways might have been aesthetic or only a trick to passersby to stop undesirable entry. Other necessary options of Djoser embody an excellent trench surrounding the advanced and the ornate stone pillars in the roofed colonnade hall, which have been carved to resemble bundles of reeds.

The South Court of the Djoser advanced is a big space that was designed to separate the pyramid itself from the South Tomb. To at the present time, the South Court options curved stones related to the Heb-sed competition, they usually have been positioned there to assist the pharaoh proceed his reign over Egypt even after dying. Although there are numerous theories about what would have been saved in the South Tomb, there isn’t any affirmation about what was positioned in its three chambers, that are skillfully adorned and arguably probably the most stunning a part of your entire advanced.

4. Bent Pyramid

Bent Pyramid

After Giza and Saqqara, probably the most traditionally important pyramid subject in all of Egypt is Dahshur. In the center of Dahshur is the Bent Pyramid, constructed in roughly 2600 BC below the reign of Pharaoh Sneferu of the Old Kingdom. The Bent Pyramid is given its identify due to its building. The base of the construction rises up from the desert ground at a 54-degree angle, however the angle of the highest part is nearer to 43 levels. As a end result, the pyramid seems nearly bent, or titled over to 1 aspect. The formal identify of the pyramid is the Pyramid of Sneferu, or the Southern Shining Pyramid.

There are a number of theories in play concerning the bent nature of the pyramid, however few historians consider that it was truly a mistake. Instead, the change in angle could also be attributed to the pharaoh’s failing well being, which necessitated completion of the pyramid in much less time, or it is perhaps a safety measure to cease an imminent collapse caused by the steep angle of the unique building. It might have additionally been a results of the collapse of the close by Meidum Pyramid, which fell in massive half due to its unprecedented steep angle.

The Bent Pyramid is considered the primary actual smooth-sided pyramid in Egypt. Although the Meidum Pyramid was constructed earlier and had {smooth} sides, it was constructed first as a step pyramid after which the sleek sides have been added on after the preliminary constructing part. The Bent Pyramid can be distinctive as a result of its exterior has been preserved so nicely. The exterior of polished limestone is essentially intact, a rarity when contemplating the age of the construction. If you choose to go to the Bent Pyramid, you’ll be happy to find few crowds, however you will have to schedule a go to in advance in order to glimpse into the inside of the pyramid itself.

3. Red Pyramid


The Red Pyramid, also called the North Pyramid, is discovered in Dahshur. Its identify comes from the purple limestone used for its building. After the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza, the Red Pyramid has the most important base of any pyramid in Egypt. However, with its sides sloping at 43 levels it’s considerably shorter at 104 meters (341 ft).Today it’s the third largest and the fourth highest pyramid in Egypt. Although now not the most important, it was the primary profitable true, smooth-sided pyramid constructed in Egypt and it initiated the Giza type pyramids with which many are acquainted.

The Red Pyramid was the second (or potential third) pyramid constructed by Pharaoh Snefru (2575-2551 B.C.) and most definitely was begun between the twenty-second and the twenty-ninth 12 months of his reign. According to varied inscriptions discovered on a number of the blocks of stone, it took about 17 years to construct. It is 105 meters (345 ft) excessive and comprises three chambers.

Like a lot of the Egyptian pyramids, the doorway is on the north-facing aspect. This offers entry to a 60 meter (200-foot) passageway. At the underside of this passage lies a brief hall that results in the primary chamber. This chamber is about 12 meters (40 ft) excessive.

At the southern finish of the primary chamber is one other brief hall resulting in a second chamber, which is roughly the identical measurement as the primary. Unlike most chambers in pyramids, this compartment lies instantly below the apex of the Red pyramid. These first two chambers lie at floor degree.

At the southern finish of this second chamber a gap is reduce into the wall. A wood staircase, a contemporary building, results in the ultimate chamber. This chamber is increased than the primary two and is constructed into the masonry itself. It is about 15 meters (50 ft) excessive and is believed to be the burial chamber. It is assumed that the son of Pharaoh Snefru, Pharaoh Khufu, buried his father right here. However, no stays have been discovered.

A uncommon pyramidion or capstone, for the pyramid has been uncovered and reconstructed, and is now on show. However, whether or not it was truly ever used is unclear, as its angle of inclination differs from that of the Red pyramid. In addition, the stays of a mortuary temple additionally lie east of the pyramid. This is critical as a result of Snefru was the primary to make use of the east-west alignment of the Egyptian temples to match the trail of the solar.

Until just lately, it was not potential to journey safely to the Dashur space of Egypt. Because of this, the Red Pyramid lacks the crowds that go to the pyramids on the Giza Plateau. This makes a go to right here way more pleasurable. In addition, this pyramid will be entered with out limitation, in contrast to most different websites. Therefore, with out the crowds and with the open entry, a go to to The Red Pyramid is a singular likelihood to get an up-close have a look at one of many well-known pyramids of Egypt.

2. Pyramid of Khafre

Pyramid of Khafre

Adjacent to the Pyramid of Khafu is the Pyramid of Khafre. Although the Pyramid of Khafre is considerably smaller, it’s typically thought of to be the sister construction of Khafu. Constructed in 2570 BC, only a decade after Khafu, the Pyramid of Khafre additionally belongs to the Fourth Egyptian Dynasty. The Pyramid of Khafre, nonetheless, was designed as the ultimate resting place of the Pharaoh Khafre, who can be referred to in historical past books as Chefren.

Although the Pyramid of Khafre is technically smaller than Khafu, it seems larger at first look. That’s as a result of Khafre is located on a bedrock, giving it a significant peak benefit, and since it boasts steeper sides, giving it extra of a pointed prime. Construction of the Pyramid of Khafre demonstrates the unimaginable engineering and design capabilities of the traditional Egyptians, significantly with regards to selecting blocks of limestone that assure structural integrity. At the bottom of the Pyramid of Khafre, the stones are bigger, however they lower in measurement because the pyramid reaches its level. However, one noticeable drawback with the development of Khafre ‘ pyramid is that the four corners aren’t positioned completely, which means that the apex has a slight twist relatively than pointing up straight to the sky.

Unlike in most pyramids, the Pyramid of Khafre has two separate entrances. Inside the pyramid, there are a number of chambers which are open to the general public so that you can discover. You’ll wish to take a look at the burial chamber, which boasts massive limestone beams throughout the ceiling. There are additionally sunken parts in the ground of some chambers, which is the place a sarcophagus would probably have been positioned.

Some of the very best recognized constructions in all of Giza are literally a part of the Pyramid of Khafre’s larger advanced. Just a number of the extra monuments to admire in the realm embody the Great Sphinx, the Mortuary Temple, the ruins of a satellite tv for pc pyramid and the Valley Temple.

1. Pyramid of Khufu

#1 of Pyramids In Egypt

Of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, the Pyramid of Khufu is the one one that continues to be. The Pyramid of Khufu additionally occurs to be the most important pyramid in Egypt, and it’s centrally situated in Giza. The construction goes by many names, together with the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Pyramid of Cheops. Historians consider that the Pyramid of Khufu was constructed in 2560 BC, and that building took anyplace from 10 to twenty years.

The pyramid is called as it’s as a result of it’s believed to be the tomb for Khufu, the Egyptian Pharaoh from the Fourth Dynasty. It was Khufu’s vizier Hemiunu who is alleged to be the architect of the unimaginable pyramid construction. Construction concerned greater than two million blocks which needed to be transported from native quarries, and the first supplies used included limestone, granite and mortar. Today, the Pyramid of Khufu stands at 139 meters (455 ft) tall, however erosion signifies that it could be shorter at this time than it was on the time of building.

If you go to the Pyramid of Khufu, you possibly can enter the construction, though there are solely 300 tickets bought every day to guests. If you’re fortunate sufficient to snag a ticket, you’ll enter about 15 meters (50 ft) above floor, by way of the north face. A tunnel heading upward will lead you thru a number of the inside chambers that make up the pyramid. You gained’t wish to miss the possibility to tour the Queen’s Chamber, the King’s Chamber and the Grand Gallery. There are additionally 5 Relieving Chambers, which have been by no means supposed to be seen and solely exist to guard the King’s Chamber from collapse or shifting over time. As you tour the Pyramid of Khufu, maintain in thoughts that a lot of the historic artifacts that have been positioned throughout the construction on the time of Khufu’s dying have been stolen centuries in the past, and what remained in latest historical past has been transported to museums world wide.

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