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Dahshur - Red Pyramid - Tourist policemen on camel.JPG
Sneferu's Red Pyramid
Dahshur is located in Egypt Dahshur
Shown within Egypt
Location Giza Governorate, Egypt
Region Lower Egypt
Coordinates 2948'23?N 3112'29?ECoordinates 2948'23?N 3112'29?E
Type Necropolis
Builder Sneferu
Founded 26132589 BC
Periods Old Kingdom to Middle Kingdom
Site notes
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official name Memphis and its Necropolis the Pyramid Fields from Giza to
Criteria Cultural (i), (iii), (vi) Edit this on Wikidata
Reference 86-002
Inscription 1979 (3rd Session)
[edit on Wikidata]
Dahshur[transliteration 1] (in English often called Dashur; Egyptian Arabic ???????
Dahur pronounced [d?h'?u??]) is a royal necropolis located in the desert on the
west bank of the Nile approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) south of Cairo. It is
known chiefly for several pyramids, two of which are among the oldest, largest and
best preserved in Egypt, built from 26132589 BC.

Contents [hide]
1 Pyramids
2 Contemporary history
3 Climate
4 See also
5 Notes
6 External links

Sneferu's Bent Pyramid

Building the Dahshur pyramids was an extremely important learning experience for
the Egyptians (who were transitioning from step-sided to smooth-sided pyramids)
before they could build the Great Pyramid of Giza. Two of the Dahshur Pyramids, The
Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid, were constructed during the reign of Pharaoh
Sneferu (2613-2589 BC). The Bent Pyramid was the first attempt at a smooth-sided
pyramid but ultimately wasn't successful. One design flaw was that there was a very
unstable base for it made of desert gravel and clay that has the tendency to
subside when a large amount of weight is put on top of it. Another design flaw in
this pyramid is that the engineering of it consisted of the blocks being cut in
such a way that the weight angles down, causing all of the weight of the pyramid to
push down towards the center. This in turn is thought to be the reason the pyramid
is bent and changes angles about halfway up the sides. Sneferu was not pleased with
this pyramid, so he built another called the Red Pyramid. Getting its name from the
red hue the pyramid gives off after a nice rain, the Red pyramid was the first true
smooth-sided pyramid. Standing more than 30 stories tall, it is thought to be
Sneferu's pride and glory and the place where he is believed to be buried. The Red
pyramid was the largest smooth-sided pyramid standing until Sneferu's son, Khufu,
outdid his father by building the Great Pyramid of Giza, which stands 490 feet
tall. Though Khufu's pyramid is larger, he would not have been able to build it
without the knowledge that his father discovered before him.

The pyramid of the 12th Dynasty king Amenemhat II (1929-1895 BC) is now badly
damaged. Next to it were found several undisturbed tombs of royal women still
containing a large amount of jewellery. The pyramid of Sesostris III was part of a
huge complex, with several smaller pyramids of royal women, along with another
pyramid to the south. In a gallery tomb next to this pyramid were found two
treasures of the king's daughters (Sithathor).

The Black Pyramid dates from the later reign of Amenemhat III and, although badly
eroded, it remains the most imposing monument at the site after the two Sneferu
pyramids. The polished granite pyramidion or capstone of the Black Pyramid is on
display in the main hall of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Next to the pyramid was
found the partly disturbed tomb of 13th Dynasty king Hor and the undisturbed burial
place of Nubhetepti-khered, possibly his daughter.

Several other pyramids of the 13th Dynasty were built at Dahshur. Only the one of
the reign of Ameny Qemau has been excavated so far. Ahmad Fakhri was an
archaeologist who worked at this site.

Extensive cemeteries of officials of the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom have been
found around Dahshur's pyramids. Dahshur was Egypt's royal necropolis during the
reign of the 12th Dynasty king Amenemhat II.

Contemporary history[edit]
In July 2012, Dahshur's entire Christian community, which some estimate to be as
many as 100 families, fled to nearby towns due to sectarian violence. The violence
began in a dispute over a badly ironed shirt, which in turn escalated into a fight
in which a Christian burned a Muslim to death. This, in turn, sparked a rampage by
angry Muslims, while the police failed to act. At least 16 homes and properties of
Christians were pillaged, some were torched, and a church was damaged during the
violence. This incident was reported internationally.[1]

As of January 2013, and due to the security vacuum that still prevails in Egypt
following the 2011 uprising, the site is under threat of desecration and damage due
to encroachment by locals of surrounding urban settlements.