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منشأة دهشور
Dahshur - Red Pyramid - Tourist policemen on camel.JPG
Dahshur is located in Egypt
Shown within Egypt
Location Giza Governorate, Egypt
Region Lower Egypt
Coordinates 29°48′23″N 31°12′29″E / 29.80639°N 31.20806°E / 29.80639; 31.20806Coordinates: 29°48′23″N 31°12′29″E / 29.80639°N 31.20806°E / 29.80639; 31.20806
Type Necropolis
Builder Sneferu
Founded 2613–2589 BC
Periods Old Kingdom to Middle Kingdom
Site notes
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Part of "Pyramid fields from Giza to Dahshur" part of Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur
Criteria Cultural: (i), (iii), (vi)
Reference 86-002
Inscription 1979 (3rd Session)
Area 16,203.36 ha (62.5615 sq mi)

Dahshur[transliteration 1] (in English often called Dashur; Egyptian Arabic: دهشورDahšūr  pronounced [dɑhˈʃuːɾ]) is a royal necropolis located in the desert on the west bank of the Nile approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) south of Cairo. It is known chiefly for several pyramids, two of which are among the oldest, largest and best preserved in Egypt, built from 2613–2589 BC.


Sneferu's Bent Pyramid
Building the Dahshur pyramids was an extremely important learning experience for the Egyptians. It provided them with the knowledge and know-how to transition from step-sided pyramids to smooth-sided pyramids. Ultimately their breadth of experience would allow them to build the Great Pyramid of Giza; the last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still standing to this date.
The first of the Dahshur pyramids was the Bent Pyramid (2613 – 2589 BC), built under the rule of King Sneferu, The Bent Pyramid was the first attempt at building a smooth sided pyramid, but proved to be an unsuccessful build due to the miscalculations made on the structural weight that was being placed onto the soft ground (sand, gravel, and clay) which had a tendency to subside. Other calculations that were proven to be erroneous were that the blocks being used were cut in such a manner that when placed onto the pyramid their weight was not distributed appropriately, causing the angle of the pyramid to be off and achieving the name “The Bent Pyramid”[1].
Realizing his shortcomings and learning from his mistakes, King Sneferu ordered the building of the second pyramid of Dahshur, the Red Pyramid. Once completed, the pyramid was considered to be a success, as it was a fully constructed, smooth sided, and a free standing pyramid rising to a height of 341 feet (104 meters), with an angle of 43 degrees [2]. The Red Pyramid’s name reigns from the material that was used to construct the pyramid, red limestone. And this pyramid is believed to be the resting place of King Sneferu.[3]
Shortly after King Sneferu’s death a third pyramid was erected by his son Khufu. Khufu wanting to build a legacy of his own, utilized his father’s research to design and guide the building process of the third pyramid to completion (2589-2566 BCE)[4]. Once completed the pyramid was named The Great Pyramid of Giza, and it stands an astonishing 481 feet (147 meters) tall with an angle of 52 degrees.[5]
Another pyramid located within Dahshur is that of the 12th Dynasty King Amenemhat II (1929 – 1895 BCE). This pyramid has not been preserved as well as the others within the area due to the materials that were used to fill it (sand on the outside and limestone on the inside). Naturally the weather caused the sand to erode from it, but the limestone was taken intentionally for use on other pyramids allowing the pyramid to collapse and ultimately desecrating the tomb of King Amenemhat II.[6]
King Senusret III (1878 – 1839 BCE) had his pyramid built within Dahshur. The difference between his pyramid in comparison to those surrounding it was that King Senusret III had tombs and galleries built underneath it for two princesses; Sit-Hathor and Merit.[7]
The Black Pyramid dates from the later reign of Amenemhat III and, although badly eroded, it remains the most imposing monument at the site after the two Sneferu pyramids. The polished granite pyramidion or capstone of the Black Pyramid is on display in the main hall of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Several other pyramids of the 13th Dynasty were built at Dahshur. Only the pyramid of Ameny Qemau has been excavated so far by Ahmad Fakhri who was the archaeologist whom excavated this site.

Tombs & Cemeteries[edit]

Located closely to the pyramid of the 12th Dynasty several undisturbed tombs of royal women were found, containing a large amount of lapidary and jewelry that have been determined to be of the highest stage of metalworking in Egypt during this time period. The pyramid of Senusret III was part of a huge complex, with several smaller pyramids of royal women, along with another pyramid to the south. In a gallery tomb next to this pyramid were found two treasures of the king's daughters (Sithathor). Extensive cemeteries of officials of the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom have been found around Dahshur's pyramids. Dahshur was Egypt's royal necropolis during the reign of the 12th Dynasty king Amenemhat II.

Contemporary history[edit]

In July 2012, Dahshur's entire Christian community, which some estimate to be as many as 100 families, fled to nearby towns due to sectarian violence. The violence began in a dispute over a badly ironed shirt, which in turn escalated into a fight in which a Christian burned a Muslim to death. This, in turn, sparked a rampage by angry Muslims, while the police failed to act. At least 16 homes and properties of Christians were pillaged, some were torched, and a church was damaged during the violence. This incident was reported internationally.[8]

As of January 2013, and due to the security vacuum that still prevails in Egypt following the 2011 uprising, the site is under threat of desecration and damage due to encroachment by locals of surrounding urban settlements.[9]


Dahshur has a hot desert climate (BWh) according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system.

Climate data for Dahshur
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 19.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 13.6
Average low °C (°F) 7.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 3
Source: Climate-Data.org[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Also transliterated Dahshour
  1. ^ "Great Pyramid of Giza". Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 November 2017. 
  2. ^ "Red Pyramid". Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 November 2017. 
  3. ^ "National Geographic: Egypt--North Pyramid of Snefru, Dahshur". www.nationalgeographic.com. Retrieved 21 November 2017. 
  4. ^ "Giza Timeline - Ancient History Encyclopedia". www.ancient.eu. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 November 2017. 
  5. ^ Parra, Jose (23 January 2017). "Standing Tall: Egypt's Great Pyramids". National Geographic. History Magazine. Retrieved 21 November 2017. 
  6. ^ "12th - and 13th-Dynasty Pyramids". World history. Retrieved 21 November 2017. 
  7. ^ "12th - and 13th-Dynasty Pyramids". World history. Retrieved 21 November 2017. 
  8. ^ El Deeb, Sarah (August 4, 2012). "Riot leaves an Egyptian village without Christians". Associated Press. ABC News. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  9. ^ El-Aref, Nevine (January 16, 2013). "No Longer Sacred". Al-Ahram. Al-Ahram Weekly. Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Climate: Dahshur - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 

External links[edit]