When talking about Egyptian pyramids, one quickly thinks of the famous ‘triad’: Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus (IV dynasty), located in the necropolis of Giza, very close to Cairo. But they are not the only ones. Nor the first to be erected. For this reason, we dedicate this post to the other pyramids in Egyptare not so famous, but they are worth a visit for different reasons. And they are part of many of our circuits.
Saqqara and the Pyramid of Zoser
We said that the pyramids of Giza were not the first pyramids of Egypt. Instead, that honor is held by the Step Pyramid of Zoser. And their shape allows us to understand the process of appearance of the pyramids: at the beginning, in the first dynasties of Egypt, during the Ancient Empire, the burial system for rulers and members of high society were the mastabas (truncated pyramid-shaped). But in that of Zoser (pharaoh of Dynasty III), they went a step further and superimposed several of these truncated pyramidal structures, until they reached the pyramid that can be seen today. The measurements of its base are 121 x 109 meters, and 62.5 meters high.
Its architect was not just any architect: it was Imhotep who, in fact, was idolized and practically deified centuries later. It is located in the necropolis of Saqqara, about 8 km south of Giza, and was one of the most important of Ancient Egypt as it was very close to the city of Memphis, the first great capital of the Pharaonic civilization. In addition, there are other interesting places to visit in the enclosure, such as the hypostyle room of a temple, the museum of Imhotep or the Serapeum.
Other pyramids in Egyptin Dahshur
In addition to Giza and Saqqara, there are other pyramids in Egypt that are considered monumental and imposing. This is the case of two located in the necropolis of Dahshur, about 12 km south of Saqqara and, therefore, about 20 km from Giza. They are the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid, both promoted by the same pharaoh: Seneferu, of the IV dynasty, father of Cheops.
The first to be mentioned is the Angled Pyramid, which in other cases receives the name of Rhomboidal Pyramid, because of its strange shape. In reality, it is a transitional pyramid between the Saqqara and Giza pyramids, which denotes the search for perfection of its builder, whose name has not transcended. In some points it has suffered collapses. Its measurements are 189 x 123 m of base approx., while its height is 104 m.
And the last of these other pyramids of Egypt is the Red Pyramid. In reality, this was not its original color: what we see today is its core, while its true outer face is only appreciable in some points of the base, i.e. limestone blocks, later used to build other buildings in Cairo. But there, at the base, you can see that this is, in fact, the first pyramid with smooth faces, that is, a pyramid that really sought a perfect finish. The measurements are 200 m of its base (square format) and 105 m high.
Undoubtedly, although the term ‘other pyramids’ of Egypt may place these three constructions in the background, the truth is that their importance in the History of Ancient Egypt is fundamental, and every fan of Egyptology should visit them, no doubt.