Showing posts with label Dahshur Pyramids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dahshur Pyramids. Show all posts

Thursday, April 6, 2017

News, Dahshur: Studies on Newly Discovered Pyramid Point to 13th Dynasty King Kamaw

Minister of Antiquities Mohamed El-Nany 
inspects site of new discovery   
Preliminary studies on hieroglyphs found in newly discovered pyramid ruins in the Dahshur necropolis have revealed a cartouche of the 13th Dynasty King Emny Kamaw, Adel Okasha, director-general of the Dahshur necropolis. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Okasha said that offering texts are engraved on the ruins, as well as a female name of the king's family.  

Okasha said that excavation work is ongoing to reveal more of the pyramid's secrets.

Earlier this week, an Egyptian mission from the Ministry of Antiquities uncovered remains of the pyramid. 

Okasha says that the structure is composed of a corridor leading to the inside of the pyramid, a hall leading to a southern ramp, and a room at the western end.

An alabaster block measuring 15cm by 17cm has been found in the corridor, engraved with 10 vertical hieroglyphic lines that are still being studied. 

A granite lintel and a collection of stony blocks showing the interior design of the pyramid have also been uncovered.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New Discovery, Dahshur: Remains of 13th Dynasty Pyramid Discovered in Dahshur Necropolis

The newly discovered corridor in Dahshour.
(Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities) 
Archaeologists have revealed a portion of the pyramid's internal structure, described as being in very good condition. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The remains of a 13th Dynasty pyramid have been discovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission working in an area to the north of King Snefru's Bent Pyramid in the Dahshur Necropolis.

Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities sector at the antiquities ministry, announced the find, adding that the remains are in a very good condition and further excavation will take place to reveal more of the structure.

Adel Okasha, director general of the Dahshur Necropolis, explained that the portion of the pyramid uncovered so far shows a part of its inner structure. 

This structure is composed of a corridor leading to the inside of the pyramid and a hall that leads to a southern ramp, as well as a room at the western end, he said.

An alabaster block measuring 15 cm by 17 cm was also found in the corridor, engraved with 10 vertical hieroglyphic lines that are still being studied. 

A granite lintel and a collection of stoney blocks showing the interior design of the pyramid have also been uncovered.

Further studies will be conducted to identify the owner of the pyramid and the kingdom to which it belongs.

Friday, February 10, 2017

News, Giza: Encroachments Removed From Dahshur Necropolis Site - Ministry

Bulldozers from a neighbouring quarry had entered the Dahshur necropolis site. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

After two days of violations, the Dahshour necropolis, where the both pyramids of King Senefru are located, has been restored to its former state.

Alaa El-Shahat, head of the Administrative Centre for Antiquities in Cairo and Giza, told Ahram Online that in collaboration with the Tourism and Antiquities Police, Cairo Governorate, the army forces and General Security, the Ministry of Antiquities has succeeded in removing all recent encroachments made on the archaeological site and its safe zone.

Three days ago, El-Shahat said, bulldozers from a neighbouring quarry entered the Dahshur necropolis site, which is located around 40km south of Cairo.

The ministry has removed the encroachments and the police have caught the criminals who violated the archaeological sites.

The ministry, he continued, will also build a long wall to separate the archaeological site from the neighbouring quarry as well as establishing a small security unit of the Tourism and Antiquities Police in the area adjacent to the quarry in order to prohibit any future encroachment onto the site.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

News, Giza: Scan Pyramids Project Requests Year Extension

The Scan Pyramids project is using new technology to explore the internal architecture of Egypt's pyramids. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The archaeological committee formed by Egypt's antiquities minister to follow up on the work of the Scan Pyramids project met on Thursday to hear a report on the results of the project's work over the past year inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Dahshur Bent Pyramid and to request an extension.

The Scan Pyramids project started last year; it uses new technologies in an attempt to explore the internal architecture of Egypt's pyramids.

The committee following up on the project is led by former minister of antiquities Zahi Hawass and includes Mark Lehner, the director of Ancient Egypt Research Associates; Merslav Barta, director of the Czech archaeological mission in Saqqara; and Riner Schtudlmen, former director of the German archaeological institute.

At the meeting Hani Helal, the Scan Pyramids coordinator, said that more research is required for the Bent Pyramid but inside the Great Pyramid the mission located two anomalies: one at the upper part of the entrance gate and the second at its north-eastern side. Helal said that during the coming period more research and studies are to be carried out in order to identify the nature and size of these anomalies.

Hawass said that the members of the committee approved in principal the results of the research carried out by the project. He said that the committee is to prepare a detailed final scientific and archaeological report on the project's progress from its inception to the current time.

The report will be sent to Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany for discussion. Hawass also said that members of the committee approved in principal Scan Pyramids' request to extend the project for another year, on condition that it is approved by the ministry's permanent committee and follows all legal procedures.

Monday, January 18, 2016

News, Dahshur: Work Underway to Uncover Secrets of Egypt's Dahshur & Khufu Pyramids

Although no discoveries have yet been made, scans have revealed several anomalies which indicate that a discovery could be on the horizon, said Egypt's minister of antiquities. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

King Senefru's Bent Pyramid at Dahshur

The initiative to scan Egypt's pyramids to uncover their secrets using infrared examination and Muon detection is progressing, with work underway on King Senefru's pyramids at the Dahshur necropolis and Khufu's pyramid on the Giza Plateau, Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty said on Sunday.

"Although no discoveries have yet been made, scans have revealed several anomalies which indicate that a discovery could be made in the pyramids by the end of 2016," Eldamaty told a news conference held at the Grand Egyptian Museum.

The #Scanpyramids project, which aims to scan over a one-year period some of Egypt's pyramids, combines several non-invasive scanning techniques to search for the presence of any unknown internal structures and cavities in ancient monuments, which may lead to a better understanding of their structure and their construction processes and techniques.

The technologies used are a mix of infrared thermography, Muon radiography and 3D reconstruction.

Eldamaty explains that the Muon detection scans on Senefru's bent and red pyramids in Dahshur have been completed and are undergoing analysis in a specialised lab at the Grand Egyptian Museum by Japanese scientist Kunihiro Morishima from Nagoya University.

Hani Helal, the coordinator of the #Scanpyramids project, told Ahram online that the short-term infrared survey reveals different temperatures on the eastern and northern facades of the Khufu pyramid, which implies a discovery may be on the horizon. "The difference in temperatures cannot be the result of the difference in the kinds limestone blocks used, because the difference in temperature reaches six degrees," Helal asserted.

The #ScanPyramids project was launched in October under the authority of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University, and the Heritage, Innovation and Preservation Institute (HIP).

Sunday, December 20, 2015

News, Giza: Second Phase of #ScanPyramid Project Begins

Muons Emusion plate setup in Bent Pyramid Lower Chamber
Scanners are being used to search for possible hidden chambers within Egyptian pyramids without compromising their infrastructure. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Muon radiography survey begins on King Snefru’s Bent Pyramid at Dahshour necropolis. A team of experts is beginning a scanning survey of the Bent Pyramid of ancient Egyptian King Snefru in Giza using scanning technology which uses non-invasive Muon particles. The scanners are being used to search for possible hidden chambers within the pyramid without compromising its infrastructure.

Following test sessions in November that allowed the #ScanPyramids team to calibrate the sensitivity of Muon emulsion films to the local environment (temperature and humidity) inside King Snefru’s Bent Pyramid, Kunihiro Morishima and his team from Nagoya University have just completed the installation of the Muon detector plates in the pyramid’s lower chamber.

Eldamaty and the ScanPyramids Team
Morishima explains that the films are composed of 40 “regular” plates representing a surface of 3m2 containing two emulsion films that are sensitive to Muons. 

These emulsion films will allow the detection of various types of Muons naturally penetrating the pyramid.

Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that the #ScanPyramids team has also installed a “regular” plate sample in the Queen Chamber of Khufu’s Pyramid in order to find out the best chemical formula of the emulsion films suitable for the local environment inside the Pyramid, as has been done inside the Bent Pyramid.

“The complete installation of the Muon detector films inside Khufu Pyramid is expected to be done at a later stage in 2016,” he pointed out.

Muon Emulsion Test in Khufu's Pyramid Queen Chamber
The analysis of the Bent Pyramid Muon emulsion films will be taking place in Cairo and in Japan during the first weeks of 2016. 

Muon radiography is non-invasive as Muon particles come naturally from the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, and are created from collisions of cosmic rays with the nuclei of atoms in the atmosphere.

Morishima said that the particles fall to the ground at nearly the speed of light with a constant rate of about 10,000 per m2 per minute. 

As with x-rays used to visualise human skeletons, these elementary particles, like heavy electrons, can very easily pass through any structure, even large, thick rocks and mountains. 

Muons Sensitivty Calibration in Khufus
Pyramid Queen Chamber
Detectors placed at appropriate places (e.g. inside the pyramid, under a possibly undetected chamber) allow with the accumulation of Muons over time to discern the void areas from denser areas as some of the particles are absorbed or deflected.

Muon radiography is now frequently used for the observation of volcanoes, which also involves research teams from the University of Nagoya. 

More recently, KEK, the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, developed a detection approach based on electronic scintillators which are resistant to nuclear radiation, unlike chemical emulsions, in order to scan inside the Fukushima nuclear plant reactors.

The #ScanPyramids project was launched on October under the authority of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, and the Heritage, Innovation and Preservation Institute (HIP).

The project aims to scan over a one year period some of the Egyptian Pyramids, including the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Khafre Pyramid at the Giza Plateau, as well as King Snefru’s Bent and Red Pyramids at Dahshur necropolis. 

The Bent Pyramid
The #ScanPyramids combines several non-invasive and non-destructive scanning techniques in order to try to detect the presence of any unknown internal structures and cavities in ancient monuments, which may lead to a better understanding of their structure and their construction processes and techniques.

The used technologies are a mix of infrared thermography, Muon radiography and 3D reconstruction. 

It worth mentioning that the first phase of a project using a short infrared thermography survey has been completed, while its results and technical analysis of its findings will be announced in January 2016.
Related Posts: 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

News, Giza: Thermal Scans of Egypt's Great Pyramid Reveal Anomalies

The scans revealed anomalies including empty areas in the pyramids, which could be internal air currents or different building materials. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Eldamaty During the Press Conference Before the Pyramid
After two weeks of infrared thermal scanning, Egyptian and foreign scientific teams have identified major anomalies at the eastern side of King Khufu’s Great Pyramid in Giza.

The thermal scanning was made at sunrise as the sun heats the structures from the outside, and then at sunset when the pyramids are cooling down. The speed of the heating and cooling phases was used to uncover "anomalies" such as empty areas in the pyramids, which could be internal air currents or different building materials.

The thermal scanning was carried out in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University, the French Heritage Innovation and Preservation (HIP) Institute, the Université Laval in Quebec and the Nagoya University in Japan.

Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told reporters at a press conference, which was held Monday night at the step of the Great Pyramid plateau, that the result of the infrared thermography scan on the first row of the pyramid’s limestone blocks shows that all the blocks have the same temperature, with the exception of three which are hotter.

Eldamaty said that these three blocks were “different in formation,” and that a similar situation was also noted in the middle of the eastern side of the pyramid. He also said that while inspecting the ground in front the eastern side of the pyramid, scientists found "that there is something like a small passage leading up to the pyramid ground, reaching an area with a different temperature.

Thermal Detection Showing Red Spots which are the Anomalies at the First Raw
of The pyramid
“What could it be behind it?" Eldamaty wondered, calling on fellow Egyptologists, especially those interested in ancient Egyptian architecture, to brainstorm and join in the research to help in explaining the phenomenon. “I don’t know yet what could lay behind such blocks or what these anomalies could be, but it will surely lead to major discoveries,” Eldamaty told Ahram Online.

“I have several hypotheses in mind, though I cannot reveal them before conducting further research and study,” he said, adding that Muon detection will soon be used on the Khufu Pyramid in order to determine what these blocks conceal and the nature of the anomalies.“It could be void spaces, fissures or passages. So far, I do not know,” he said, adding that more should be revealed after two weeks.

An Egyptian Egyptologist, who spoke to Ahram Online on condition of anonymity, said that nothing would be found behind the blocks except for fractures, as this is the “mother rock” of the plateau.He said that when the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids, they inserted the blocks and the casing of the two first rows of the pyramids on the area's mother rock.
Related Posts: 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

News, Dahshur: Egypt Launches ‘Scan Pyramids’ Project

King Senefru's Bent Pyramid at Dahshur

CAIRO: The international project to scan Egypt’s pyramids to better understand their architecture and interior design, using non-invasive radar, is scheduled to launch Sunday, announced Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty.

The Bent Pyramid, built by the founder of the 4th Dynasty Pharaoh Sneferu (2,613 B.C.- 2,589 B.C.) was selected to be the first pyramid that will be subjected to “non-invasive and non-destructive surveying techniques,” Damaty stated.

“The pyramid was selected because it is the first known attempt to build a true pyramid and also due to its unique architectural design,” he added.

The Scan Pyramids project, scheduled to be launched in a press conference at a five starts hotel overlooking Giza Pyramids Sunday, will begin at the end of October.  “It is a joint venture between Japan and Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, with additional support from the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute (HIP), France,” according to the statement.

The project has already been approved by the permanent committee of the Ministry of Antiquities and has obtained all necessary permissions from concerned authorities.
Source: Cairo Post – By/ Rany Mostafa

Monday, October 19, 2015

News, Dahshur: Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Reveals to Ahram Online Details of 'Scan Pyramids' Project

The secrets of the pyramids are to be finally uncovered at the end of October. Written By / Nevine El-Aref.

King Senefru's Bent Pyramid at Dahshur
Entitled Scan Pyramids, an international project to uncover the secrets of the pyramids, is to be implemented at the end of October, Egypt's antiquities minister revealed to Ahram Online in an exclusive interview.

Mamdouh Eldamaty said that the project aims to solve the enigma of the Old Kingdom pyramids at Dahshur and Giza and to provide a better understanding of their architecture and interior designs. The project, Eldamaty continued, will also provide 3D photos and a detailed study of pyramidal architecture in Egypt.

"The survey will be implemented through invasive -- though non-destructive -- scanning techniques using cosmic rays in cooperation with scientists and experts from Japan, France and Canada," Eldamaty said. The minister added that the cosmic rays are immensely high-energy radiation, mainly originating outside the solar system, that are also used by the Japanese for early detection of volcanoes and earthquakes.

The Scan Pyramids survey, Eldamaty pointed out, will be the first time that a cosmic rays laboratory has been established outside Japan and will be only the second one ever.

"King Senefru's Bent Pyramid in Dahshur was selected to be the first pyramid that will be subjected to such a survey due to its distinguished and unique architectural design and because it is the first attempt at pyramid construction that has not been carefully studied," Eldamaty told Ahram Online.

Eldamaty said that the survey is a joint venture between Japan and Egypt in collaboration with a consortium from the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University, as well as the Heritage Innovation and Preservation Institute in France, all of which are under the supervision of the Ministry of Antiquities.

The Scan Pyramids project was approved by the permanent committee at the antiquities ministry and has obtained all the necessary permission from security agencies and other concerned authorities. A press conference is to be held on Sunday at the Mena House Hotel in Giza to announce the launching of the Scan Pyramids project.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Short story: All change at the Valley Temple at Dahshour Necropolis

A garden and a brick structure uncovered at the Dahshour Necropolis have changed views of the functions of a pyramid complex, writes Nevine El-Aref. 
The Northern face of the Bent Pyramid.

In the parched desert of the Dahshour Royal Necropolis, the southernmost area of the Memphis Necropolis, a number of pyramids are revealing the changes in ancient Egyptian architecture that occurred during the Third and Fourth Dynasties, with step pyramids giving way to the first true pyramids.

There is the Bent Pyramid, the first attempt at building a complete pyramid carried out by the Fourth Dynasty king Senefru, who took pyramid construction to a new level. There is also the Red Pyramid, the first truly smooth-sided pyramid.  Several kings of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Dynasties also built pyramids at Dahshour, among them Amenemhat II, Sesostris III, and Amenemhat III, who built a pyramid encased in black stone.

A military zone until 1996, the site remained untouched for many years, except for excavations carried out by Egyptologist Ahmed Fakhri in the 1950s, and later by German Egyptologist Reiner Stadelmann. Although several tombs and funerary structures were unearthed, Dahshour still retains many of the secrets of the ancient Egyptians.

The site recently attracted the attention of a mission from the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, which started comprehensive excavation work in 2010. The work was concentrated in the area north of the Valley Temple of the Bent Pyramid, previously explored by Fakhri, who stumbled upon a brick building that he dated to the Middle Kingdom. Stadelmann later thought it could be a magazine or vestry of the Valley Temple. The brick structure was then reburied in sand.

A small sanctuary on the Eastern side of the Bent Pyramid.
In 2012, a re-examination of the site using a magnetometric survey showed that the building was actually older than the Bent Pyramid Valley Temple and its remains more extensive than previously thought.

“The major aim of the project was to investigate this earlier building in its entirety and gain as much archaeological evidence as possible on its original layout, date and function as well as having a better understanding of the whole landscape of this area especially after a recent magnetic survey detected a settlement with orthogonal streets,” project field director Felix Arnold told the Weekly.

 After removing 15 cm of sand, excavators not only rediscovered Fakhri’s brick structure but also found the remains of an extensive garden which once featured more than 350 plants arranged in long parallel rows enclosed within a five-metre thick wall.

The garden site is spread along the area inside the enclosure wall, and its west side includes four rows of 26 tree pits, which range from between 2.2 to 2.4 m in size with diameters ranging from between 50 to 100 cm. An irrigation channel that once watered the roots of the plants was also discovered around the pits.

 In most cases, Arnold said, the space between the pits was covered by a thin layer of earth, allowing smaller plants to grow. Only in one segment was the earth limited to narrow strips, possibly serving as flower pits. Additional rows of tree pits were arranged along the east side of the enclosure, though apparently more densely spaced, while another two rows were found on the northern side. An area of 150 m in the core of the enclosure wall was left free of plants.

“A few remains of plant roots are clearly visible,” Arnold said, adding that the remains revealed that the whole garden was once planted with palm trees, sycamores and cypress trees.

Ruins of the garden with plant pits
“This is the first time we have found a cypress tree in Egypt,” Arnold said, adding that it could have been imported from Syria. He said that studies have suggested that all the trees were planted as adult plants, meaning that they were planted somewhere else and later transported to Dahshour at one or two years old. “It seems at first that the trees used to grow in the garden, as we can see the roots going into the sand. But regretfully this did not last long,” he said, saying that the growing process had lasted for just a few years.

The ancient Egyptians must have brought water in pots to irrigate the plants in pits every day or every week as the water of the Nile was not extended to Dahshour. “There could have been more rain at that time, but never enough to irrigate a whole garden,” Arnold said. The site would have been filled with workers busy building the Bent Pyramid, so it would have been very possible to bring extra water, he added.

Arnold explained that the field excavations revealed that the ground level of the garden was not entirely horizontal as its southern part was more than one metre higher than the northern side. On this elevated ground, Arnold said, a brick building was constructed, part of which was discovered by Fakhri.

 Very little of the building is preserved, only the traces of the foundations. It was constructed directly on the natural surface of the desert, in the north on stone and in the south on a compact layer of sand. The building turns out to have been surrounded by a massive, rectangular five-metre-thick enclosure wall running 80.5 m from north to south and 55.8 m from east to west.

“Walls of these dimensions were only made for a king, and they are known from the so-called funerary enclosures of the Early Dynastic Period at Abydos, as well as from the city temples of the Old Kingdom, such as at Bubastis,” Arnold said.

root remains
He said that the mission has not yet unearthed any entrance for the building, but that early studies suggest the existence of at least two gates, one near the south end of the east side and the second in the centre of the south side. The southern part of the building consists of three entrance rooms, and its northern part has a courtyard. The main entrance lies at the southern end of the east side and was set into the back of a shallow niche. Behind the door, the direction of the entrance was bent twice, leading through a passage into a columned hall. Along the foot of the walls of the rooms deep pits were found.

“They possibly served as emplacements for offering vessels,” Arnold suggested, adding that a third squared room with a depression in its middle was located to the west side of the hall and it could have served as a space for washing or ritual purification.

“During its period of use the building was refurbished and reformed,” Arnold said, adding that a wing of rooms was added to the west, giving the building a square ground plan. The extension occupied an area formerly occupied by part of the garden, the plants now being covered by the floor of the building. In a third stage, the new wing was subdivided into at least two spaces and an entrance added at the south end of the west side.

Additions were also made in the area surrounding the building, he said. A building was constructed adjacent to the enclosure wall, and another smaller structure was built into the southwest corner of the enclosure, but the northern half of the enclosure remained free of buildings.

Arnold during work
Traces of a gypsum floor were found, indicating that it was used as a courtyard. “The purpose of the enclosure and the structures in its interior remains unclear,” Arnold said, adding that it was not a chapel or a palace or a regular temple. There are three theories about its original use, as it was built during the life of the king and used during his lifetime and not after his death, like the Valley Temple of his Pyramid Complex.

Due to the age of the root remains of the trees, Arnold said that the building could have been used for just five years. “It was a temporary structure,” he concluded. The first theory, the best one, says that the structure could have been a temple where special festivals or ceremonies for a living king were held and not for eternity like in the Valley Temple. “It could have been a place to celebrate the renewal of the king, for example,” Arnold said.

The second theory says that the complex is a direct predecessor of the limestone Valley Temple built later in its vicinity, though its ground plan does not share any features with the temple, such as the wing of entrance rooms in the south and the courtyard in the north. The third theory is that the building was a temple for the cult of the king with a garden, but missing the features of a regular temple as it was constructed entirely out of brick. No chapel has been found or any kinds of stelae, statues or false doors.

It cannot be ruled out that the king was present in the building as a living person, rather than as a statue. In this sense the structure could have been related in purpose and meaning to the funerary enclosures of the First and Second Dynasty at Abydos or the sacred enclosures familiar from depictions of burial rituals.

“The brick building can be dated to the middle of the reign of king Senefru,” Arnold told the Weekly, adding that it could have been erected at the time that work started on the Bent Pyramid in the eighth year of Senefru’s reign. The building could thus have been used until the Valley Temple was erected in the 15th year of Senefru’s reign.

visual photo illustrating the garden with palm trees
The construction of the Valley Temple respected the location of the brick building, and the earlier structures do not seem to have been used after the temple was completed. Most of the brick walls are covered with the building debris of the temple. The thick enclosure wall was later entirely removed and replaced by a new, much thinner wall. The new enclosure wall did encompass most of the space formally occupied by the brick enclosure, however.

The garden was also extended to the north along the slope of a low hill. Two additional rows of plants were added. In several cases the roots of bushes have been preserved in this part of the garden. How much of the original garden remained in use is unclear. In some areas, plants were added later, sometimes replacing earlier ones. “It is a very important discovery that could change ideas of the function of the Pyramid Complex, especially the Valley Temple,” Arnold told the Weekly.

While the specific function and meaning of the structure remains unclear, he said the building adds a new facet to our knowledge and understanding of the origins of pyramid temples at the beginning of the Old Kingdom and the purposes behind their construction.

“Though possibly related to other building types of the period, the structure in its design, and especially in its extensive integration of plants, is something new and so far unique,” Arnold said. “Buildings of a similar kind may indeed have existed in the vicinity of the valley temples of other pyramid complexes, but no one has yet unearthed one.”

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Red Pyramid: Egypt’s forgotten architectural marvel

Red Pyramid at Dahshour
CAIRO: Most tourists visiting Egypt think that Giza Pyramids are the oldest, best preserved and largest of Egypt’s some seventy Pyramids. They, however, have not experienced a trip to the 4,600 year-old Red Pyramid at Dahshour.

The Red Pyramid was built during the reign of Pharaoh Snefru (2613 B.C.–2589 B.C.), who was the father of Pharaoh Cheops of the Great Pyramid at Giza, said Head of Giza archaeological site, Kamal Wahid. “The area of Dahshour, located some 40 kilometers south of the Giza Pyramids, is known mainly for several pyramids, one of which is the oldest and is among the largest and the best preserved in Egypt,” said Wahid.

Dahshour Pyramid is Egypt’s the most ancient “true” pyramid that was built around 60 years before the Great Pyramid at Giza. When it was completed, it became the “blueprint” example for all the Pyramids, which appeared during the 4th, 5th, and 6th dynasties, including the three pyramids at Giza, according to Wahid.

“It is the outcome of accumulated architectural experiences carried out by ancient Egyptians who have tried so hard to reach a perfect pyramid shape. The Red Pyramid also represents the conclusion of more than 600 years of attempts to build a stable edifice to house the mummy of the Pharoah,” archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Saturday.

The Bent Pyramid, located 2 kilometers to the south of the Red Pyramid was also built for Snefru but it is unfinished because its angle was too wide [54 degrees];  a mistake, which was not realized until the height reached about 48m, was going to result in a very high Pyramid, which would have been very unstable, according to Sabban.

“The Bent pyramid was not used for the burial of Snefru and it seems the architect decided to build another pyramid to please the Pharaoh. He learnt from his and others’ mistakes and has built the Red Pyramid with its current architectural features including 43 degree sides. By doing so, he had created the first, perfect, complete Pyramid in history,” said Sabban, adding that the Red Pyramid became the standard of all Egypt’s Pyramids that have been built later.

The Red Pyramid is so-called because the builders used a reddish limestone to build it. It is 100 meters high and each side of the base is of 224 meters long, Cairo tour guide Hamed Mostafa told The Cairo Post Saturday.

“Dahshour area is not popular simply because it is far from Giza; the road to the pyramids is uneven and bumpy and the Red Pyramid itself has not been completely excavated. The pyramid is unique with its northern entrance some 40 meters above ground level and with its descending corridor leading to the burial chamber which was found empty when the pyramid was first excavated in the early 20th Century,” said Mostafa.

Kevin Philips, an American tourist who visited Egypt and Dahshour Pyramids in 2009, told The Cairo Post through email that he enjoyed his visit to the site and admired “such architectural marvels which answer questions about the evolution of royal tombs and pyramids in ancient Egypt.” “Dahshour is a must-see monument. It evoked a great part of the Egyptian history though it is not a major site. I had wonderful time taking pictures with people,” said Philips.
Source: Cairo Post– By/Rany Mostafa

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Story of Step Pyramid (2): Restoration work planned for Saqqara, Dahshur pyramids

Step Pyramid of Djoser (Zoser) in Saqqara
Red Pyramid, the largest of the pyramids of Dahshur 
During an inspection tour on Thursday, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Al-Damati stressed the importance of completing maintenance work on the pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara as quickly as possible.

The Pyramid of Djoser, commonly known as the Step pyramid, sustained structural damage in the main burial chamber, as a few blocks in the chamber show signs of fracture. Additionally, he inspected the restoration work to the pyramid’s exterior, in addition to detailed reconstructive work to the internal tunnels leading to the burial chamber.

An aerial view of the Bent Pyramid
Al-Damati later visited the city of Dahshur, 40 kilometres south of Cairo, where he met with archaeological experts and supervisors of the sites of Sneferu’s northern and southern pyramids.

He examined the detailed reconstructive work of Sneferu’s northern Red pyramid, and southern Bent pyramid, which include the internal ventilation system of the northern pyramid. He also ordered the prompt installation of the lighting system for the northern pyramid, scheduled for opening in March 2015.

More Images for Sakkara Site Click Here                &               More Images for Dahshur Pyramids Click Here