On Tuesday we started talking about the Pyramids at Giza, and Ethan mentioned that there were more than one hundred pyramids in Egypt total. This made me curious as to what other types of pyramids were out there. I found one in particular rather interesting, the Bent pyramid of Sneferu. This pyramid has the most intact casing of any pyramid in Egypt, and was designed by Pharaoh Sneferu. However, it didn’t turn out very well, and changed angles right in the middle. The pyramid starts at a fifty-two degree angle at the base, and about half way up the pyramid abruptly changes to a flatter 43 degree angle. This change gives it a very peculiar look. It is generally thought that the change was made because with such a steep angle, the pyramid would have been too tall, and would have put too much weight on its base. Another unusual aspect of the Bent pyramid is that it has two entrances. It has an entrance on the north side, as most pyramids have, and also an entrance on the west side. However, the pyramid was seen as a failure, and Sneferu abandoned it to start over. This new pyramid would be called the Red pyramid.
The Red pyramid is named for the red limestone used to build its core. The interesting thing about this pyramid, is that every twentieth casing stone that has been discovered has an inscription on the back side of it. Some had the cartouche of Sneferu drawn on the back, while others had writing in red paint naming the various work groups. The ones with Sneferu’s cartouche were very important because they were the only thing linking the pyramid to him. There were no identifying inscriptions on the inside of the pyramid. Also, many of the stones were dated, allowing archaeologists to create a timeline for when it was built. From the dates on the stones, it is assumed the pyramid took seventeen years to finish. The Red pyramid an unusual layout when it comes to its second chamber. The chamber lies directly under the center point of the pyramid, which is rare for Egyptian pyramids.
For being two lesser known pyramids, I found them more interesting than the famous ones at Giza. Both of these pyramids were built by Sneferu, who happens to be the father of Khufu. Khufu, if you remember from class, was the pharaoh responsible for the Great Pyramid of Giza. Unusual pyramids seem to run in the family.