The Bent Pyramid

As we saw on the previous page, the Bent Pyramid at Dashur is also attributed to the pharaoh Snefru, father of Khufu, and we have noted the problems with this idea. Personally, I found this the most impressive pyramid outside of the Giza complex – it is still in a remarkable state of preservation with a lot of its casing stones still intact. The quality of jointing and smoothness of the casing stones catches the eye, and helps one visualise the effect of the completed sturcture as it must have looked over four thousand years ago.

This unique pyramid’s sides measure just under 602 feet, and it reaches a hight of  344.4 feet. The sides slope upwards at an initial angle of 53 degrees 27′ from the base of the monument to just below half its total height, and then at the shallower angle of 43 degrees 23′ from there to the apex. These two different angles of inclination have been interpreted by Egyptologists, (and indeed appear in standard reference works), as a “change of plan” by the builders halfway into the project. While this is entirely possible, there is not one single piece of evidence to support this theory, and therefore it is worrying to see this supposition articulated as fact in so many books and guides. It does seem unlikely that the architects and builders of a monument of this magnitude (over 3 million tons of stone), could have made such an elementary design error. So it is possible that this was the case, but it is alsoequally possible that this is exactly what the pyramid was originally designed to look like.

A clue to the unusual external design of this structure could lie in its unusual  internal design. The  Bent pyramid is unique amoung Egyptian true pyramids in that it has twoentrances – one in the North face (as was customary), and one in the West face. These entrances lead down to two completely separate sets of internal chambers via descending passages, and seem to suggest a deliberately planned duality in design, which is matched of course, by the external design.

Once again, no trace of a sarcophagus or a burial has ever been found in this pyramid.