Tour : Cairo - Full Day tracking Pyramid Builders

Having witnessed the step pyramid erected by king Zoser circa BC 2700 , the fist pyramid- shaped tomb , and the pyramids of Cheops , Khephren and Mykrinos on the Giza Plateau , it is time to pursue tracking the phases of Pyramid building in Ancient Egypt by visiting the Dahshour Pyramids as well as the Pyramid of Hawara. 


Dahshour is 20 KM south of Giza pyramids and 10 KM south of the step Pyramid of Zoser in Sakkara. During the Old Kingdom the site was chosen by Senefru, the first king of the 4th dynasty and the father of famous King Khufu.  Senefru was the second greatest builder among the pharaohs after Ramses the Great because he built 4 pyramids: two in Dahshour and another two in Fayoum at Sila and Meidum.

While Khufu's pyramid is the largest of all the 97 pyramids in Egypt, his father's pyramid ranks the second largest and earliest. Senefru was the first pharaoh to build a true pyramid which is the Dahshour Red Pyramid. The pyramid at Meidum marks the transition from the Early Dynastic Period to the Old Kingdom.

Following the tradition that was started by the funerary monument of the Horus Netjerikhet at Saqqara, this pyramid was started as a Step Pyramid. With the pyramid of Sekhemkhet at Saqqara and the pyramid at Zawyet el-Aryan credited to Khaba being left unfinished, the one at Meidum was the second large scale Step Pyramid to have been completed.
Hawara is located near the Fayoum oasis, to the South, even, of Meidum, next to one of the channels connecting the Nile to the lake of the oasis. After having abandoned the plan to be buried at Dashur, the southern edge of the Memphite necropolis, Amenemhat III would chose this location, perhaps to be near to his palace for his final interment.


The so-called "Labyrinth" The pyramid lay to the north of an elaborate complex enclosed by a wall measuring 385 by 158 meters. This makes the Hawara complex the largest Middle Kingdom funerary complex. The entrance to the complex was located at the southern corner of the east wall. A causeway appears to have led up to it.Unfortunately, almost nothing remains of this vast complex which Greek and Roman visitors, many centuries after it was built, described as a vast labyrinth of open courts, chambers, chapels and hidden crypts. The Greek traveler Herodotus said it had 12 main courts and that the visitor was guided from courtyards into rooms into galleries into more rooms and from there into more courtyards.

An interesting comparison can be made between the layout of the Hawara complex and the complex of Netjerikhet at Saqqara. Both complexes are long rectangular structures oriented north-south. Both have their pyramid located in the north of the complex, be it that with Netjerikhet, there was also a court to the north of the pyramid.