The Bent Pyramid

Bent Pyramid Exterior - North face - Copyright (c) 2001 - Andrew Bayuk, All Rights ReservedOutside the Bent Pyramid

Inside the Bent Pyramid

The Bent pyramid is a fascinating structure which raises as many questions as it answers about the evolution of the pyramid. Mysteriously, this pyramid started at one angle (approx. 52 degrees) and then suddenly changes to a more gradual angle of 43 degrees. This odd arrangement provides this pyramid with a distinctive and unique appearance. There are several possible reasons for this change in angle. Currently, the most widely accepted theory is that King Sneferu realized that if he were to continue the pyramid at its initial angle, it would rise to a height which would require a tremendous amount of material and labor. Another theory holds that the original angle resulted in displacement of many blocks and cracking of the blocks that lined the chambers and passageways. This theory continues that the gentler angle was employed to reduce the amount of weight to be added above these chambers and passageways.

This pyramid boasts of the most intact casing of any pyramid in Egypt. Although parts of the casing are crumbling away, this pyramid gives the best idea of the sparkling brilliance that the pyramids of Egypt had before their casings were stripped away. Mostly these casings were removed and the limestone from the casings were used to build many other structures in Egypt.
Although the body of Sneferu has not been found and may have been disposed long ago by thieves, few experts believe that Sneferu was buried in this pyramid. Most believe that he was buried in the next pyramid to be built to the north, now called the Red Pyramid.

The Bent pyramid is unusual in that it sports two entrances. One entrance was on the north side, as is typical of all other pyramids. In this picture you can see the north entrance which has recently been fitted with a metal door.

On the west side you can see the other entrance which, due to its distance from the ground and intact casing around the opening, does not yet require a door.


bent98e.jpg - Copyright (c) 1998 Andrew Bayuk, All Rights Reserved


The south side contains the smaller subsidiary pyramid which was possibly intended for the kings wife, Queen Heterpheres. Other experts say that the subsidiary pyramids served other purposes and so far their true purpose remains elusive.

bent98b.jpg - Copyright (c) 1998 Andrew Bayuk, All Rights Reserved

bent98c.jpg - Copyright (c) 1998 Andrew Bayuk, All Rights Reserved

This smaller auxiliary pyramid still retains some of its original limestone casing at the base. The entrance is still approachable though one glance into this passageway reveals only sand and debris. Inside of this pyramid is a prototypical Grand Gallery, that is, a corbelled sloping chamber that leads to the main chamber. This design innovation demonstrates the evolution of pyramids in the Old Kingdom as this concept would later appear in grander form in the Great Pyramid.

bent98d.jpg (8547 bytes)

bent98a.jpg - Copyright (c) 1998 Andrew Bayuk, All Rights Reserved

In front of the pyramid at the center of its east side lies the remains of the Mortuary temple of Sneferu. This temple is flanked by the remains of two large stelae which no longer bear any inscription.

Enter the Bent Pyramid


RETURN TO Guardian's Dahshur - Main Gate

 Guardian's EgyptRETURN TO Guardian's Egypt - Main Gate

Guardian's CyberJourney To Egypt 
The Bent Pyramid of Dahshur - Pictures and Text
Copyright 1997-2005 Andrew Bayuk
All Rights Reserved

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