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development of the royal mortuary complex by dr. zahi hawass. contents: introduction the pyramid shape and its function the pyramidion building a pyramid

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Egyptologists and historians have long debated the question of who built the Pyramids, and how
The kings of Dynasties V through VIII built outstanding pyramid complexes at Saqqaraand Abusir. Yet despite their monuments these kings do not share the fame and renownaccorded to their colleagues of Dynasty IV, so we might call them the forgotten kings.

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Archaeologists Announce that New Discoveries Solve Mystery of How the Great Pyramid Was Built (Read the article on one page)
Snofru then built a true large pyramid just 2km. North of the Bent Pyramid. Known asthe Red or North Pyramid, its angles also measure 43 degrees. The pyramid's entrance is onthe north side about 30m high. Stadelmann found a pyramidion here and remains of the uppertemple. South of the Bent Pyramid is the satellite pyramid and the lower temple found byFakhry.


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In Snofru's last 15 years, he sent a crew to finish the Meidum pyramid as a truepyramid. The Meidum. pyramid stands as the only example in Egypt showing the. transitionfrom the step pyramid to the true pyramid. Presently, the Meidum pyramid consists of amound of debris and above it three step towers. Even in its ruinous state this structuredominates the plateau. I believe that Snofru built the Meidum pyramid as a lastingcenotaph to his reign.

Mildelson believes that the Bent Pyramid and the Meidum Pyramid were constructedsimultaneously. His theory supposes that the Dahshur architect had learned that the Meidumpyramid was collapsing and so decided to, change the angle at Dahshur. This theoryhas many factors against it: the Meidum pyramid was considered by Egyptians of the NewKingdom as a glory, and it seems that the collapse happened in the last century whenfarmers took stones to build modem constructions nearby.

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Although Huni was prolific in pyramid construction, we now consider Snofru, the firstruler of Dynasty TV, as the great builder of the Old Kingdom because he built four greatpyramids: one at Sila, one at Meidum, and the Bent and the North pyramids at Dahshur. TheMeidum pyramid presents an interesting study. There is doubt that Snofru is its builderbased on an inscription inside the mastaba near the pyramid. New Kingdom texts written onthe complex indicate this ownership also. Furthermore, Meidum was known as Djed-Snofru,meaning "Snofru Endures." Stadelmann developed a scenario, now adopted byLehner, that Snofru started the Meidurn pyramid. as a step pyramid and later returned atthe end of his reign to transform it into a true pyramid. Thus, the Meidum pyramidrepresents the start and end of Snofru's reign.

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Imhotep gains fame as the architect of the first stone pyramid, known as the StepPyramid. He is also one of the few common people who became a legend. His achievement ofthe pyramid construction and as inventor of the stone building instead ofmud-brick earned him renown among Egyptians for centuries.


Khufu, called Cheops by the Greeks, built his pyramid at the northern end of the Gizaplateau. This limestone plateau is part of the Mokatam Formation which dates back 50million years to the Eocene period when waters engulfed northeast Africa and depositedlayer after layer of marine sediments.

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Despite their conventional appearance, these pyramids perplex Egyptologists. None sitwithin a cemetery and two of them, the Elephantine and Zawiet el Amwat pyramids, are noteven built in the western desert. Moreover, these pyramids do not have burial chambers,passages or attached structures. Kaiser and Dreyer believe that they are symbols ortowering monuments of the king's power in the province. They also attribute all thepyramids except Sila to Huni, the last king of Dynasty III because they found his name ona granite block at Elephantine. Other scholars believe that the pyramids represent themounds of Horus, and Seth, which the Pyramid Texts mention as helping the king climbskyward. Other scholars believe that they represent the or the primevalmound. Yet examining the structures themselves we see that the pyramids represent theking's palace or his resthouse which he used for the supervision of tax collection andprovincial business.