Egyptian Pyramids - who built the pyramids? Why were the pyramids built? Where are the pyramids? How many pyramids are there in Egypt? What were the pyramids used for? The Bent pyramid. The Step Pyramid. The Red Pyramid. The Great Pyramid. The Pyramids at Giza. This site aims to answer those questions and many more, giving an insight into the truely magnificent structures know as the pyramids of Egypt!

The Bent Pyramid

The Bent Pyramid - Pyramid of King Sneferu Located in Dahshur (which forms the southernmost area of the Memphis Necropolis and contains a number of pyramid complexes and monuments), is the Bent Pyramid. The Bent Pyramid was probably the ancient Egyptians first attempt at a 'true' pyramid, with smooth sides.

The Bent Pyramid was built by command of the pharoah Sneferu, the first ruler of the 4th Dynasty, who ruled from 2613 - 2589 BC and probably did more than any other person to advance the science and custom of pyramid building. Sneferu was the father of Khufu, also known as Cheops, who built the Great Pyramid at Giza.

The Bent Pyramid is also sometimes called the Rhomboidal, False, or Blunt Pyramid. The ancient Egyptians called it "Snefru Shines - South (pyramid)".

The Bent Pyramid was probably either the first or second of Snefru's pyramids, depending on who built the Medium Pyramid. It was almost certainly built prior to his other project at Dahshur, the Red Pyramid. Few experts believe that Sneferu was buried in the Bent Pyramid. Most believe that he was buried in the Red Pyramid.

The Bent Pyramid was planned to be larger than the Great Pyramid that was built later at Giza by Sneferu's son, Khufu (Cheops) but for some reason the original plans changed and the pyramids angle was changed.

The probable reason for the change is that the foundation of the pyramid was insufficient for the weight of the stone blocks. The engineers were unable to control and correct the movement of the blocks during construction and so, as a comprimise, they changed the angle of the pyramid to reduce the weight of the upper part of the structure.

The Bent Pyramid actually went through about three different alterations away from the original plans, which called for the structure to have an angle of almost 60 degrees. The was changed to a less steep slope of almost 55 degrees, requiring that the base be enlarged. This first alteration can be clearly seen in the ceiling and the side walls of the north access corridor, about twelve meters from the entrance. These early stages of construction used the traditional method of laying the courses of the core with the stones sloping inward. However, this adjustment in slope proved to be inadequate.

When the pyramid was about 147 feet (45 metres) high, the angle of the slope was reduced to 45 degrees (later pyramids usually had a slope of between 52 and 53 degrees), which had the effect of reducing the mass of the upper part of the pyramid and thus reducing the load on the substructure. At this point in the pyramid's construction, the builders began laying the stone courses horizontally (rather than with the stones sloping inwards). Apparently the builders had learned that the inward sloping layers of the core, rather than adding stability, actually increased the stresses within the structure. The entire structure measures almost 344 feet (105 metres) in height.

Unlike other pyramids, the Bent Pyramid 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 Bent Pyramid has the best preserved limestone outer casing of any pyramid in Egypt.