Dahshur forms the southernmost area of the Memphis Necropolis
and contains a number of pyramid complexes and monuments. It is
most noteworthy for being the site that best demonstrates the
change from the "step" pyramid to the "true" pyramid that
occurred during the Third and Fourth Dynasties.
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 and is the only one that
can be entered at this time.. 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.
About a mile from the Bent Pyramid, but not approachable is the
Pyramid of Amenemhet III. Originally, it was 341 feet square by
266 feet high, but as a mudbrick pyramid lined with limestone,
it has deteriorated badly.