After the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza, the Red Pyramid at Dashur has the largest base of any pyramid in Egypt. It is the fourth highest pyramid ever built in Egypt, with almost 160 layers of stone. Significantly, the Red Pyramid was the first successful, true, cased Pyramid built in Egypt, ushering in the era of the Giza style pyramids.
Built by Khufu’s father, Snefru, what really makes this pyramid special today is the lack of crowds and circus atmosphere that plagues the Giza Plateau, along with the fact that it can currently be entered without limitation. Not long ago, the area of Dashur could not be visited, which probably explains why such an important monument receives so few visitors. However, it is only a short drive from Saqqara, and only a brief drive from Cairo.
The pyramid gets its common name from the reddish limestone used to build most of its core, but it is also sometimes referred to as the Shining or Northern Pyramid. Learning from prior mistakes, several layers of fine white limestone were used to lay the pyramid’s foundation thus eliminating structural problems of earlier pyramids. Tura limestone was used as casing stone to cover the pyramid. Though some casing still remains, most has been removed. However, about every twentieth casing stone discovered had inscriptions on the back sides. Some were inscribed with the cartouche of Snefru while others had inscriptions in red paint naming the various work crews, such as the “Green Gang” or the “Western Gang”. Snefru’s cartouche was an important discovery, particularly since there are no identifying inscriptions within the pyramid.
Perhaps greater importance is the fact that some of the casing was dated. This not only gives us clues to how long the pyramid took to build, but also the sequence of work that took place. From these, we know that the pyramid was probably begun between the twenty-second and twenty ninth year of Snefru’s reign. Other dates tell us that two years later, six layers of stone had been laid. However, within four years, 30 percent of the pyramid had been completed, and the entire pyramid was finished in about seventeen years.
This pyramid is also called the Bent Pyramid!
Thanks for sharing!