8 Amazing Egyptian Pyramids You Have to See to Believe
Egyptian pyramids are masonry buildings, dating back to ancient Egypt. At least 118 of them have been identified. Although Egypt’s most famous monument throughout time, it is undeniably the pyramids. Pyramidal masonry construction in Egypt is symbolic and significant in the country’s culture, which is why pyramids are now among the top tourist attractions. Roughly 100 pyramids have been found in Egypt from the Old and Middle Kingdom era of Egyptian history.
1) The Red Pyramid
Its name derives from the reddish rusty color of its stones, which weren’t always this color; south of modern Cairo, Tura limestone held the casings of all pyramids, which were reused in the middle ages. The North Pyramid is the third-largest Egyptian pyramid after Khufu and Khafra at Giza.
The Red Pyramid was the first real pyramid with the second-largest base of any Egyptian pyramid and it was built for Pharaoh Snefru, the father of Khufu, for whom the Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed.
2) The Black Pyramid
This pyramid was built by Amenemhat III (of the Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt), but the pharaoh did not heed history’s warnings, and now it stands in ruins. There are only five of the 11 pyramids left standing at Dahshur today. The word derives from the word Nasara, Arabic for brick. The missing bricks, as opposed to blocks, reveals the natural reddish-orange mudbrick color.
Dahshur is located on a plateau about 19 kilometres south of Cairo, in Dahshur Province. The area is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical significance and for being home to more than 45 pyramids, including some of Egypt’s best known.
3) The Meidum Pyramid
Meidum, around 100 kilometers from Cairo, has a pyramid that is the same height as Giza’s Pyramid of Menkaure. Unlike the Pyramid of Giza, it was built during the Third Dynasty. The Ancient Egyptian Meidum Pyramid was made for pharaoh Huni of the Third Dynasty, the final ruler of that time period. You can tell it wasn’t quite an engineering feat yet. It was originally designed as a step pyramid with steps to help people build its successively taller levels rather than using smooth-sided techniques. The outer layer also consists of sandstone, which could have contributed to the pyramid’s collapse.
4) The Userkaf Pyramid
The Userkaf Pyramid is one of the earliest pyramids in Egypt, and it’s also one of the most beautiful. Unlike other pyramids, this one does not have any inscriptions or drawings on its outer surfaces, but it is still an amazing sight. It was originally built as a tomb for Pharaoh Userkaf who was pharaoh from 2487-2475 BC. The pyramid has a square base with each side being 230 meters long and with a height of 58 meters. Its purpose was to house the Pharaoh’s body for eternity.
Another beautiful pyramid is The Bent Pyramid which was also built by Pharaoh Sneferu as a royal tomb. It is also known as The Rhomboidal Pyramid. It is located in Dahshur, Egypt on an ancient hill known as el-Rub’al Khali.
5) The Bent Pyramid
Sneferu, the father of Khufu, built the Bent Pyramid in Dahshur at the end of the 27th century BC. The simplicity of this construction demonstrates the improvement in pyramid architecture since the beginning. Sneferu was the first Pharaoh to construct a pyramids at Dashur, the first being the Bent Pyramid, named for the way it was built. From below, the structure rises at an angle of 54 degrees, while the upper part is 43 degrees. Hence, the pyramid looks lopsided or tilted to one side. Formally, the pyramid is known as the Pyramid of Sneferu or the Southern Shining Pyramid.
6) The Hawara Pyramid
The Pyramid of Hawara, located in Egypt, was built by Pharaoh Amenmehat III and was constructed around 1850 BC. Since it was built 3,865 years ago, it is estimated to be around 3,865 years old. Hawara’s Pyramid has become known as the Black Pyramid due to its significantly darker appearance than other Egyptian pyramids from the same era. It was constructed of brick stones and then coated with limestone.
7) The Unas Pyramid
Located in Saqqara, the Pyramid of Unas was constructed for Pharaoh Unas, the last ruler of the Fifth Dynasty, during the 24th century BC. Though the Pyramid of Unas was originally 43 meters high (141 feet), now it is mostly destroyed.
Notable for being the first Pyramid to include what we now know as the Pyramid Texts, the Pyramid of Unas boasts writing meant to provide the pharaoh with protection in the afterlife. Multiple pharaohs, including Unas, followed suit, making the use of cartouches a common tradition among the kings of Egypt.
8) The Teti Pyramid
Yet another significant construction in Saqqara’s pyramid fields is the Pyramid of Teti. Like all other Sixth Dynasty pyramids in Saqqara, this one includes Pyramid Texts, or magical spells etched or carved into the walls of the tomb. Excavation and exploration in the late nineteenth century uncovered that the Pyramid of Teti was made up of a single grand pyramid to serve as Teti’s burial chamber, a funerary temple, and two smaller pyramids which might have served as burial chambers for Teti’s queens.
It’s impossible to mention all these pyramids and forget the Giza Pyramids of Egypt, which are among the most popular tourist attractions in the world and were even in Roman times. They were each built for rulers belonging to the 4th Dynasty (c.2613-2494 BC).