According to a top antiques official, an excavation team in Egypt has discovered the remains of an old pyramid dating back 3,700 years – thought to be once an ancient burial site.
The remains were discovered just north of the well-known Bent Pyramid in Dahshur. This incredible find was accompanied by a 15cm by 17cm alabaster block. The block is engraved with vertical hieroglyphic lines, as well as a granite lintel and some stone blocks. Other remains found included blocks that showed the interior design of the pyramid.
The head of the Dahshur necropolis, Adel Okasha, said that the remains of the pyramid belong to the inner structure. They have also unearthed a corridor in the interior of the pyramid that leads to the inside, as well as a hall that extends to a southern ramp and a room to the west.
This site, which is located approximately 40km south of Cairo, was being studied by an archaeological mission when the pyramid was discovered. Finding a new archeological discovery is always exciting, but it is not every day that you find something of the size and quality of this stunning pyramid. The pyramid is thought to have been built around 1,700 BC in the 13th Dynasty. This is even earlier than the famous pyramids of Giza, which were constructed around 2,500 BC.
Local media have reported that the remains found were in “very good condition.” The Head of the Central Administration Department for Cairo & Giza Antiquities, Alaa Al-Shahat, said in a statement that all the parts of the pyramid that have been discovered thus far are well preserved. The remains will be studied so that more can be learned about this important pyramid.
The First Attempt at a Smooth Sided Pyramid?
Archeologists believe that these remains represent the first attempt at building a smooth sided pyramid in Egyptian history. The bent slope of the sides is unlike anything that was built before it.
So what did Egyptians build before they made the first smooth sided pyramid? Prior to this, the pyramids would be built with six stepped layers of stone. These were known as “step pyramids” and they were very common in the centuries beforehand.
The smooth and angled sides of the pyramids represented the rays of the sun. It is believed that they helped the soul of the king to ascend to heaven and join the gods – especially the sun god Ra.
Why Did the Egyptians Build Pyramids?
If there’s one thing you will notice when you are on Egypt tours – there are a lot of pyramids! These pyramids were incredibly important to Egyptian culture – but what do they mean and why did the Egyptians build them?
The pyramids were constructed during a time when Egypt was one of the richest and most powerful civilizations in the world. They built pyramids all throughout the beginning of the Old Kingdom to the end of the Ptolemaic period in the fourth century AD. The massive scale of these structures, some of the most impressive man-made structures in history, reflects the unique role that the pharaoh played in society.
The Pharaoh was considered to be chosen by the gods to serve as a mediator between the world of the humans and the world of the gods. So, because of this the people of Egypt strove to keep the king’s majesty intact all throughout his life – surrounding him with lavish riches.
The majesty was also kept up in death, when the Pharaoh was believed to become Osiris – the god of the dead. The new Pharaoh would become Horus, the falcon god who protected Ra – the sun-god. When the king died, part of his spirit remained with his body. So, in order to properly care for this spirit it is necessary to mummify the corpse.
Also, everything the king would need in the afterlife would be buried with him, such as furniture, food, clothing and much more. This is why pyramids are so filled with riches. The popular saying goes “You can’t take it with you,” but the ancient Egyptians really did believe that you can.
Tips for Visiting an Egyptian Pyramid
Egypt is safe so if you plan on visiting an Egyptian pyramid during your visit, there are a few things that you should know. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure that you bring along plenty of sunscreen – the sun in Egypt is fierce and can cause you to burn.
- Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water. The desert is very dry and you need to be sipping water throughout the day to keep yourself healthy.
- Go with a local tour guide, so that they can give you some insight into the history of the pyramids and the meaning behind them.
- Wear sturdy closed-toed shoes, as the interior of the pyramids might be bumpy and uneven and it is dangerous to walk around it in sandals or high heels.
- Also, before you visit any pyramids in Egypt, do some research of your own beforehand so that you gain an understanding of what you are looking at. Just reading a few descriptions of the pyramid before you visit can help you to understand its significance.
- Be respectful and don’t damage anything. These are priceless ancient tombs that are incredibly important to history, so treat them with care.
Exploring Pyramids on Guided Egypt Tours
If you are fascinated by ancient Egyptian history and you want to learn more about the incredible architecture, mythology and lifestyle of this culture, why not take Egypt guided tours with an experienced guide? There is a lot to learn about each pyramid and a guide will be able to explain each aspect of the artwork and architecture as you explore it.
The best Egypt tours have a guide who knows an incredible amount about ancient Egyptian history and can use that knowledge to enrich your tour. To find out more about our tours and Egypt trips, contact us today!