is the site of Senusret III's Pyramid, the fifth tallest in
Egypt. The ancient
Egyptian Pyramid was built by Senusret III (Lepsius XLVII) of the 12th Dynasty (19th century BCE).
The pyramid is the northernmost among those of Dahshur, and stands around 1.5 km northeast of Sneferu's Red Pyramid. It was erected on leveled ground and composed of a mudbricks core covered with a casing of white Tura limestone blocks resting on foundations. It was first excavated in 1894 by the French Egyptologist Jacques de Morgan, who managed to reach the burial chamber after discovering a tunnel dug by ancient tomb robbers. A more recent campaign was led by Dieter Arnold during the 1990s.
The original project included the main pyramid along with a northern chapel and a small eastern mortuary temple, all surrounded by an enclosure wall. Outside this enclosure were seven tombs belonging to Senusret's queens and princesses, and the whole complex was again surrounded by an outer wall; this wall was enlarged during the works in order to accommodate a large temple on the southern side and a causeway. The remains of six sacred barques were excavated outside the outer enclosure on the southern side.
The now-demolished eastern temple was very small in size, perhaps a sign of the decline of the traditional funerary cult, as Arnold suggested. On the remaining reliefs were depicted conventional scenes of offerings to the enthroned Senusret III. The southern temple was likely demolished during the New Kingdom and according to its foundations it consisted in a colonnaded courtyard and an inner shrine. The valley temple has not been discovered.
Many shaft tombs belonged to the royal women were discovered on the northern and southern sides of the main pyramid; it was believed that these shafts were topped by mastabas until Arnold in 1997 demonstrated that these consisted in the intricated rock-cut hypogea of seven small pyramids. Explorations of the northern tombs led to the discovery of the treasures of princesses Sithathor and Mereret (among these objects, the famous pectorals with the names of Senusret II, Senusret III and Amenemhat III now exhibited at the Cairo Museum), as well as the sarcophagi of princesses Menet and Senetsenebtysy and of queen Neferthenut. Among the southern tombs, the easternmost was discovered in 1994 and its hypogeum led to a burial chamber located under the main pyramid. Here, a granite sarcophagus was found, along with some objects bearing the name of Khenemetneferhedjet I Weret, Senusret III's royal mother.
from ruling their country, the
had time to contemplate how they would cope in the afterlife
during the flooding of the Nile, when farm laborers could be
used to build, giving them a positive agenda. Each
successive ruler of the sandy kingdom, wished for more
comforts, and to outdo their forebears, in terms of how they
would be remembered.
Egypt was one of the richest and most powerful civilizations in the world
at that time. So could afford to convert their national
output, into something tangible, for their citizens to
marvel at. At the time they had few threats to national
the bigger the pyramid, the more important the Pharaoh. It's
a Freudian thing. This compendium is in order of height.
There are many very interesting pyramid designs that will be
covered in the general indexing, if they have unusual or
developmental features. Since, the art of pyramid
construction and development appears to have been an ongoing
thing, until it fizzled out as a result of resource scarcities, adventures of thieves, and land grants
to priests, as the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
Pyramids ceased to be economically viable, and a huge drain
on what we'd call the Gross National Product (GNP) today.
And as for climate
change, they are hardly a sustainable practice, in UN
the basis that the
taller the pyramid, the higher the status of the
king or queen,
it might be argued that Khufu takes first prize, with Khafre
a close second. After that, nobody came close to 140 meters,
as the national goal to achieve a taller building than the
last ruler fell by the wayside.
note, this is not a definitive table, but our own guide,
based on freely available information. Students of
archaeology and Egyptologists will draw their own
conclusions. Observations are most welcome, if we have
misquoted anything. We'd be pleased to make corrections as
WITHOUT A PYRAMID - Tragically, queen Cleopatra poisoned herself
with an Egyptian cobra. Later her
mausoleum was washed into the sea by an earthquake and
tsunami in 365AD. Leaving little to visibly remind us of
the great Pharaoh.
The oldest known pyramid in Egypt was built around 2630 B.C. at Saqqara, for the third dynasty’s King Djoser. Known as the Step Pyramid, it began as a traditional mastaba but grew into something much more ambitious. The pyramid’s architect was Imhotep, a priest and healer who some 1,400 years later would be deified as the patron saint of scribes and physicians. Over the course of Djoser’s nearly 20-year reign, pyramid builders assembled six stepped layers of stone (as opposed to mud-brick, like most earlier tombs) that eventually reached a height of 204 feet (62 meters); it was the tallest building of its time. The Step Pyramid was surrounded by a complex of courtyards, temples and shrines where Djoser could enjoy his afterlife.
After Djoser, the stepped pyramid became the norm for royal burials, although none of those planned by his dynastic successors were completed (probably due to their relatively short reigns). The earliest tomb constructed as a “true” (smooth-sided, not stepped) pyramid was the Red Pyramid at Dahshur, one of three burial structures built for the first king of the fourth dynasty, Sneferu (2613-2589 B.C.) It was named for the color of the limestone blocks used to construct the pyramid’s core.