Located in South Saqqara stand the pyramids of Dhashur
(Dahshur). The Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid are about
2 km south of the Mastaba Faraoun. The constructor of
these pyramids is thought to have been Snofru (2575 - 2551 BC), who was
the first ruler of the 4th Dynasty. Snofru built these
two pyramids and is thought to have built the pyramid at
Maidoun. His son was Cheops who
continued his constructive tendencies.
The Red Pyramid is thought to be older, but is
inaccessible. The Bent Pyramid was built out of limestone
which was quarried locally. The casing was of polished
Turah limestone. This pyramid is also known as the
Southern Shining Pyramid. The casing blocks are very
stable and very difficult to remove because they slope
inwards. The base of the pyramid is 188.6m and is 105m
high. Because of the bend in construction, the original
angle would have made it 128.5m high.
The Bent Pyramid is unique for two reasons. The first
is the angle change. There are two theories for this
change. The first is that the builders may have gotten
tired and wanted to reduce the volume and to finish
faster. Another is that when the pyramid at Maidoun
collapsed, the architect lost his nerve and changed the
angle. The angle at Maidoun was 52 degrees as is the base
of the Bent Pyramid. At the bend, the angle is changed to
43.5 degrees up to the peak.
The second reason is that it has two entrances. The
first is in the middle of the northern side and is about
12m above the ground. It leads to the upper chamber. The
second entrance is on the western side and is just above
the ground. It leads to the lower chamber. The floors of
both chambers were built 4m deep with small stone blocks.