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Bent Pyramid

  • 05 16, 2023

The Bent Pyramid of Snefru

The Bent Pyramid is one of the famous pyramids of Egypt and one of the three pyramids built by king Snefru. It is called the bent pyramid, as the ancient Egyptians started building the pyramid to ascend at an angle of 58 degrees, and when the construction of the pyramid reached almost half its height, it was decided to build the upper part at an angle of 43 degrees. This technique has benefited Snefru and his engineers by building a whole pyramid with a new method in Dahshur called the Red Pyramid. You can visit the 2 pyramids in Dahshur as one of the best unusual things to do in Cairo.

Dahshur Archaeological Site | Pyramid of Amenemhet III

Dahshur Archaeological Site | Pyramid of Amenemhet III


It took 14 years to build the bent pyramid, and it seemed that Senefru did not like the shape, so he decided to build the red pyramid according to the experience that his engineers had learned when building the bent pyramid. He chose the place for his pyramid, to be buried, about 2 km north of the bent pyramid in the town of Dahshur.

The pyramid was constructed of stones with inclined angles to the ground estimated at 59 degrees. It is likely that with the construction of the building in this way that the construction began to sink due to the stone loads. Besides, the large nook causes a sharp rise in the pyramid, making it difficult to complete it and build the upper part of it. To remedy this problem, the engineers built reinforcement walls, which made the incline 55 degrees for the unfinished construction. Then they completed the construction with a curved angle of 43 degrees, which made it called the Bent Pyramid. With this, he discovered the technique of building full pyramids by laying horizontal floors of stones. Each square layer of stone is topped with a lower layer in the area provided that the angle of inclination is 52 degrees, instead of building at an angle of 55 or 43 degrees as it was in the case of this curved-shaped pyramid. This form became the full form of the pyramid as we know it today.

Snefru took advantage of the new technique to build his giant pyramid and called it the “North Pyramid” and we call it the Red Pyramid today. The Red Pyramid is located about 1.8 km north of the Bent Pyramid of Dahshur. Based on the technique of building the Red Pyramid of Snefru, the pyramids were built in Giza. Khufu, the son of Snefru built the Great Pyramid on the Giza Plateau and reached a height of 157 meters, then his son Khafra followed him and built his pyramid next to the pyramid of his father and it was less high than his father's, then his son came and built the third (small) pyramid, and the three pyramids are located in Giza. And those pyramids were tombs for them.


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Egypt Tours FAQ

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It is called the "Bent Pyramid" due to its unusual shape. The pyramid starts with a steep angle but then changes to a shallower angle about halfway up, giving it a bent appearance. This change in angle was likely made to prevent structural instability.


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