Bent Pyramid


Bent Pyramid

Infobox Egyptian pyramid


Name=Bent Pyramid
Owner=Sneferu
Type=Bent Pyramid
Height=101.1 metres (332 ft)
Base=188.6 metres (619 ft)
Slope=54°27'(lower)
43°22'(upper)
CoordsTitle =coord|29|47|25|N|31|12|33|E|scale:2500|display=title
The Bent Pyramid, located at the royal necropolis of Dahshur, approximately 40 kilometres south of Cairo, of Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu, is a unique example of early pyramid development in Egypt, about 2596 BCE. This was the second pyramid built by Sneferu.

The lower part of the pyramid rises from the desert at a 55-degree inclination, but the top section is built at the shallower angle of 43 degrees, lending the pyramid its very obvious "bent" appearance. [Verner, Miroslav, The Pyramids - Their Archaeology and History, Atlantic Books, 2001, ISBN]

Archaeologists now believe that the Bent Pyramid represents a transitional form between step-sided and smooth-sided pyramids (see Step pyramid). It has been suggested that due to the steepness of the original angle of inclination the structure may have begun to show signs of instability during construction, forcing the builders to adopt a shallower angle to avert the structure's collapse. [History Channel, Ancient Egypt - Part 3: Greatest Pharaohs 3150 to 1351 BC, History Channel, 1996, ISBN ] This theory appears to be borne out by the fact that the adjacent Red Pyramid, built immediately afterwards by the same Pharaoh, was constructed at an angle of 43 degrees from its base. Another theory suggests that at the initial angle the construction would take too long because Sneferu's death was nearing. Thus they changed the angle to complete the construction in time.

The Bent Pyramid has a small satellite pyramid of unknown purpose immediately to its south, and an early form of offering temple on its eastern side. It is also unique amongst the approximately ninety pyramids to be found in Egypt, in that its original polished limestone outer casing remains largely intact.

The ancient formal name of the Bent Pyramid is generally translated as, "(The)-Southern-Shining-Pyramid," or "Sneferu-(is)-Shining-in-the-South".

External links

* [http://photouploads.net/PhotoAlbum.php?photoalbumid=6&StartPhotoID=83 Some rare pictures from inside the Bent Pyramid of Dahshur]
* [http://guardians.net/egypt/cyberjourney/dahshur/bentpyramid/bent_pyramid_interior.htm Inside the Bent Pyramid]

References


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