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Meidum: Site of the Broken Pyramid & Remnants of the First True Pyramid


The mysterious pyramid at Meidum suffered a terrible collapse. Today it little resembles a pyramid at all, All that remains of the first "true" pyramid is part of its core and some of its casing at the base. This pyramid is believed to have been started by King Huni of the third Dynasty and completed by his successor, King Sneferu of the 4th Dynasty. This pyramid represents the first known attempt at building a "true" pyramid. It started out as a step pyramid until someone decided to attempt to fill in the steps with a smooth straight casing of limestone. Another prominent structure at this site is the unmarked Mastaba #17. This mastaba does date from the time of the pyramid here, and it can still be entered today.


The Meidum Pyramid - When you approach the pyramid at Meidum you see the remnants of the pyramid core rising from a mound of rubble. This mound is composed of the pulverized casing of the pyramid as well as sand ramps used to quarry the limestone from the original casing. As with the casing of most pyramids, this site was used extensively as a quarry and the limestone was carted away to be used for the building of more modern structures. As we approach the site from the northwest corner, here is the pyramid as it appears today.


Mastaba #17 - An elaborate Mastaba type tomb exists at Meidum. Remember that the mastaba was the precursor to the pyramid and this is a nice example of a large mastaba from the late 3rd - early 4th dynasty. Even after the king began to build pyramids for his burial, members of his nobility continued to build and be buried in mastabas. Strangely, this particular tomb is uninscribed, and therefore its owner remains uncertain to this day. Here is it's exterior, once a magnificent mound, now a huge pile with some of its base still intact. We will enter this mastaba through an intrusive entrance and not the original entrance which was later found from the inside once the tomb was entered.


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