Dahshur is a royal necropolis located in the desert on the west bank of the Nile 40 kilometres south of Cairo. It is known chiefly for several pyramids, two of which are among the oldest and best preserved in Egypt, built from 2613–2589 BC. Buildithe Dahshur pyramids was an 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. Their breadth of experience would allow them to build the Great Pyramid of Giza; the first of the Dahshur pyramids was the Bent Pyramid, 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, being placed onto the soft ground 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”.
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 constructed, smooth sided, a free standing pyramid rising to a height of 341 feet, with an angle of 43 degrees; the Red Pyramid’s name reigns from the material, used to construct the pyramid, red limestone. And this pyramid is believed to be the resting place of King Sneferu. 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. Once completed the pyramid was named The Great Pyramid of Giza, it stands an astonishing 481 feet tall with an angle of 52 degrees. Another pyramid located within Dahshur is that of the 12th Dynasty King Amenemhat II; this pyramid has not been preserved as well as the others within the area due to the materials that were used to fill it.
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 desecrating the tomb of King Amenemhat II. King Senusret III 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. The Black Pyramid dates from the 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, the archaeologist whom excavated this site. Located 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. 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. 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. At least 16 homes and properties of Christians were pillaged, some were torched, a church was damaged during the violence; this incident was reported internationally. As of January 2013, 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.
Dahshur has a hot desert climate according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system. List of Egyptian pyramids List of megalithic sites Acanthus, an old village in Dahsur mentioned in Ancient Greek literature. Information about Dahshur on the website of the German Archaeological Institute Photos from inside the Bent Pyramid of Dahshur Dahshur - Pyramid Breeding Ground Dahshur National Geographic Video on the Dahshur Pyramids
Egypt the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, across the Mediterranean lie Greece and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt saw some of the earliest developments of writing, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and popular interest. Egypt's long and rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which has endured, assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Roman, Ottoman Turkish, Nubian.
Egypt was an early and important centre of Christianity, but was Islamised in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant Christian minority. From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers: The Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained nominal independence from the British Empire as a monarchy. However, British military occupation of Egypt continued, many Egyptians believed that the monarchy was an instrument of British colonialism. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt expelled British soldiers and bureaucrats and ended British occupation, nationalized the British-held Suez Canal, exiled King Farouk and his family, declared itself a republic. In 1958 it merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Egypt endured social and religious strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts with Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, occupying the Gaza Strip intermittently until 1967.
In 1978, Egypt signed the Camp David Accords withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and recognising Israel. The country continues to face challenges, from political unrest, including the recent 2011 revolution and its aftermath, to terrorism and economic underdevelopment. Egypt's current government is a presidential republic headed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, described by a number of watchdogs as authoritarian. Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa, the Middle East, the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, the fifteenth-most populous in the world; the great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
The sovereign state of Egypt is a transcontinental country considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world, a middle power worldwide. Egypt's economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, is projected to become one of the largest in the world in the 21st century. In 2016, Egypt became Africa's second largest economy. Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. "Miṣr" is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern official name of Egypt, while "Maṣr" is the local pronunciation in Egyptian Arabic. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew "מִצְרַיִם"; the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian "mi-iṣ-ru" related to miṣru/miṣirru/miṣaru, meaning "border" or "frontier". There is evidence of rock carvings in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BCE, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture.
Climate changes or overgrazing around 8000 BCE began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralised society. By about 6000 BCE, a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt; the Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade; the earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BCE. A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BCE
Wetjes-Hor was the second nome of Upper Egypt. Its major population center, modern Edfu, was called Djeba in antiquity, its Middle Kingdom cemetery is provides much information on the burial practices of commoners during this period. The Old Kingdom governor, whose mastaba is found in Edfu's necropolis, was worshiped as a minor deity in times. Grajetzki, Wolfram; the Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd. ISBN 0-7156-3435-6. P. 87-88
Saqqara spelled Sakkara or Saccara in English, is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, serving as the necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis. Saqqara features numerous pyramids, including the world-famous Step pyramid of Djoser, sometimes referred to as the Step Tomb due to its rectangular base, as well as a number of mastabas. Located some 30 km south of modern-day Cairo, Saqqara covers an area of around 7 by 1.5 km. At Saqqara, the oldest complete stone building complex known in history was built: Djoser's step pyramid, built during the Third Dynasty. Another 16 Egyptian kings built pyramids at Saqqara, which are now in various states of preservation or dilapidation. High officials added private funeral monuments to this necropolis during the entire pharaonic period, it remained an important complex for non-royal burials and cult ceremonies for more than 3,000 years, well into Ptolemaic and Roman times. North of the area known as Saqqara lies Abusir; the area running from Giza to Dahshur has been used as a necropolis by the inhabitants of Memphis at different times, it was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.
Some scholars believe that the name Saqqara is not derived from the ancient Egyptian funerary deity, but from a local Berber Tribe called Beni Saqqar. The earliest burials of nobles can be traced back to the First Dynasty, at the northern side of the Saqqara plateau. During this time, the royal burial ground was at Abydos; the first royal burials at Saqqara, comprising underground galleries, date to the Second Dynasty. The last Second Dynasty king, was buried in his tomb at Abydos, but built a funerary monument at Saqqara consisting of a large rectangular enclosure, known as Gisr el-Mudir, it inspired the monumental enclosure wall around the Step Pyramid complex. Djoser's funerary complex, built by the royal architect Imhotep, further comprises a large number of dummy buildings and a secondary mastaba. French architect and Egyptologist Jean-Philippe Lauer spent the greater part of his life excavating and restoring Djoser's funerary complex. Tomb of king Hotepsekhemwy tomb of king Nynetjer Buried Pyramid, funerary complex of king Sekhemkhet Gisr el-Mudir, funerary complex of king Khasekhemwy Step Pyramid, funerary complex of king Djoser Nearly all Fourth Dynasty kings chose a different location for their pyramids.
During the second half of the Old Kingdom, under the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties, Saqqara was again the royal burial ground. The Fifth and Sixth Dynasty pyramids are not built wholly of massive stone blocks, but instead with a core consisting of rubble, they are less well preserved than the world-famous pyramids built by the Fourth Dynasty kings at Giza. Unas, the last ruler of the Fifth Dynasty, was the first king to adorn the chambers in his pyramid with Pyramid Texts. During the Old Kingdom, it was customary for courtiers to be buried in mastaba tombs close to the pyramid of their king. Thus, clusters of private tombs were formed in Saqqara around the pyramid complexes of Unas and Teti. Mastabet el-Fara'un, tomb of king Shepseskaf Pyramid complex of king Userkaf Haram el-Shawaf, pyramid complex of king Djedkare Pyramid of king Menkauhor Mastaba of Ti Mastaba of the Two Brothers Pyramid complex of king Unas Mastaba of Ptahhotep Pyramid complex of king Teti Mastaba of Mereruka Mastaba of Kagemni Mastaba of Akhethetep Pyramid complex of king Pepi I Pyramid complex of king Merenre Pyramid complex of king Pepi II Tomb of Perneb Pyramid of king Ibi From the Middle Kingdom onward, Memphis was no longer the capital of the country, kings built their funerary complexes elsewhere.
Few private monuments from this period have been found at Saqqara. Pyramid of king Khendjer Pyramid of an unknown king During the New Kingdom Memphis was an important administrative and military centre, being the capital after the Amaran Period. From the Eighteenth Dynasty onward many high officials built tombs at Saqqara. While still a general, Horemheb built a large tomb here, although he was buried as pharaoh in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes. Other important tombs belong to the vizier Aperel, the vizier Neferrenpet, the artist Thutmose, the wet-nurse of Tutankhamun, Maia. Many monuments from earlier periods were still standing, but dilapidated by this period. Prince Khaemweset, son of Pharaoh Ramesses II, made repairs to buildings at Saqqara. Among other things, he restored the Pyramid of Unas and added an inscription to its south face to commemorate the restoration, he enlarged the Serapeum, the burial site of the mummified Apis bulls, was buried in the catacombs. The Serapeum, containing one undisturbed interment of an Apis bull and the tomb of Khaemweset, were rediscovered by the French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette in 1851.
Several clusters of tombs of high officials, among which the tombs of Horemheb and of Maya and Merit. Reliefs and statues from these two tombs are on display in the National Museum of Antiquities at Leiden, the Netherlands, in the British Museum, London. During the periods after the New Kingdom, when several cities in the Delta served as capital of Egypt, Saqqara remained in use as a burial ground for nobles. Moreover, the area became an important destination for pilgrims to a number of cult centres. Activities sprang up around the Serapeum, extensive underground galleries were cut into the rock as burial sites for large numbers of mummified ibises, cats and falcons. Several shaft tombs of officials o
The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers 240 km of Mediterranean coastline and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is 160 km in length; the Delta begins down-river from Cairo. The Nile Delta is an area of the world that lacks detailed ground truth data and monitoring stations. Despite the economic importance of the Nile Delta, it could be considered as one of the most data-poor regions with respect to sea level rise. From north to south, the delta is 160 km in length. From west to east, it covers some 240 km of coastline; the delta is sometimes divided into sections, with the Nile dividing into two main distributaries, the Damietta and the Rosetta, flowing into the Mediterranean at port cities with the same name. In the past, the delta had several distributaries, but these have been lost due to flood control and changing relief.
One such defunct distributary is Wadi Tumilat. The Suez Canal is east of the delta and enters the coastal Lake Manzala in the north-east of the delta. To the north-west are three other coastal lakes or lagoons: Lake Burullus, Lake Idku and Lake Mariout; the Nile is considered to be an "arcuate" delta, as it resembles a triangle or flower when seen from above. Some scholars such as Aristotle have written that the delta was constructed for agricultural purposes due to the drying of the region of Egypt. Although such an engineering feat would be considered equivalent to a wonder of the ancient world, there is insufficient evidence to determine conclusively whether the delta is man-made or was formed naturally. In modern day, the outer edges of the delta are eroding, some coastal lagoons have seen increasing salinity levels as their connection to the Mediterranean Sea increases. Since the delta no longer receives an annual supply of nutrients and sediments from upstream due to the construction of the Aswan Dam, the soils of the floodplains have become poorer, large amounts of fertilizers are now used.
Topsoil in the delta can be as much as 21 m in depth. People have lived in the Delta region for thousands of years, it has been intensively farmed for at least the last five thousand years; the Delta used to flood annually. Records from ancient times show that the delta had seven distributaries or branches,: the Pelusiac, the Tanitic, the Mendesian, the Phatnitic, the Sebennytic, the Bolbitine, the Canopic There are now only two main branches, due to flood control and changing relief: the Damietta to the east, the Rosetta in the western part of the Delta; the Rosetta Stone was found in the Nile Delta in 1799 in the port city of Rosetta. The delta was a major constituent of Lower Egypt. There are many archaeological sites around the Nile Delta. About 39 million people live in the Delta region. Outside of major cities, population density in the delta averages 1,000/km2 or more. Alexandria is the largest city in the delta with an estimated population of more than 4.5 million. Other large cities in the delta include Shubra El Kheima, Port Said, El Mahalla El Kubra, Mansura and Zagazig.
During autumn, parts of the Nile River are red with lotus flowers. The Lower Nile and the Upper Nile have plants; the Upper Nile plant is the Egyptian lotus, the Lower Nile plant is the Papyrus Sedge, although it is not nearly as plentiful as it once was, is becoming quite rare. Several hundred thousand water birds winter in the delta, including the world’s largest concentrations of little gulls and whiskered terns. Other birds making their homes in the delta include grey herons, Kentish plovers, cormorants and ibises. Other animals found in the delta include frogs, tortoises and the Nile monitor. Nile crocodiles and hippopotamus, two animals which were widespread in the delta during antiquity, are no longer found there. Fish found in the delta soles; the Delta has a hot desert climate as the rest of Egypt, but its northernmost part, as is the case with the rest of the northern coast of Egypt, the wettest region in the country, has moderate temperatures, with highs not surpassing 31 °C in the summer.
Only 100–200 mm of rain falls on the delta area during an average year, most of this falls in the winter months. The delta experiences its hottest temperatures in July and August, with a maximum average of 34 °C. Winter temperatures are in the range of 9 °C at nights to 19 °C in the daytime. With cooler temperatures and some rain, the Nile Delta region becomes quite humid during the winter months. Furthermore, Egypt’s Mediterranean coastline is being swallowed up by the sea because of global warming and the rise of the sea level, the lack of sediments being deposited since the construction of the Aswan Dam, in some places as much as 90 m a year; as the polar ice caps melt, much of the northern delta, including the ancient port city of Alexandria, will disappear under the Mediterranean. A 30 cm rise in sea level will affect about 6.6% of the total land cover area in the Nile Delta region.
The Bent Pyramid is an ancient Egyptian pyramid located at the royal necropolis of Dahshur 40 kilometres south of Cairo, built under the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu. A unique example of early pyramid development in Egypt, this was the second pyramid built by Sneferu; the Bent Pyramid rises from the desert at a 54-degree inclination, but the top section is built at the shallower angle of 43 degrees, lending the pyramid its obvious'bent' appearance. Archaeologists now believe that the Bent Pyramid represents a transitional form between step-sided and smooth-sided pyramids, it has been suggested that due to the steepness of the original angle of inclination the structure may have begun to show signs of instability during construction, forcing the builders to adopt a shallower angle to avert the structure's collapse. This theory appears to be borne out by the fact that the adjacent Red Pyramid, built afterwards by the same Pharaoh, was constructed at an angle of 43 degrees from its base; this fact contradicts the theory that at the initial angle the construction would take too long because Sneferu's death was nearing, so the builders changed the angle to complete the construction in time.
In 1974 Kurt Mendelssohn suggested the change of the angle to have been made as a security precaution in reaction to a catastrophic collapse of the Meidum Pyramid while it was still under construction. It is unique amongst the ninety pyramids to be found in Egypt, in that its original polished limestone outer casing remains intact. British structural engineer Peter James attributes this to larger clearances between the parts of the casing than used in pyramids; the ancient formal name of the Bent Pyramid is translated as -Southern-Shining-Pyramid, or Sneferu--Shining-in-the-South. The Bent Pyramid has two entrances, one low down on the north side, to which a substantial wooden stairway has been built for the convenience of tourists; the second entrance is high on the west face of the pyramid. Each entrance leads to a chamber with a corbelled roof. A hole in the roof of the northern chamber leads via a rough connecting passage to the passage from the western entrance; the western entrance passage is blocked by two stone blocks which were not lowered vertically, as in other pyramids, but slid down 45° ramps to block the passage.
One of these was lowered in antiquity and a hole has been cut through it, the other remains propped up by a piece of ancient cedar wood. The connecting passage referenced above enters the passage between the two portcullises. On the east side of the temple there are the fragmentary remains of the pyramid temple. Like the pyramid temple of the Meidum pyramid, there are two stelae behind the temple, though of these only stumps remain. There is no trace of inscription to be seen; the temple remains are fragmentary but it is presumed to be similar to that of the Meidum temple. A satellite pyramid, built to house the pharaoh's ka, is located 55 metres south of the Bent Pyramid; the satellite pyramid measured 26 metres in height and 52.80 metres in length, with faces inclining 44°30'. The structure is made of limestone blocks thick, arranged in horizontal rows and covered with a layer of fine limestone from Tura; the burial chamber is accessible from a descending corridor with its entrance located 1.10 metres above the ground in the middle of the north face.
The corridor, inclined at 34° measured 11.60 metres in length. A short horizontal passage connects the corridor with an ascending corridor, inclined at 32° 30', leading up to the chamber; the design of the corridors is similar to the one found in the Great Pyramid of Giza, where the Grand Gallery takes up the place of the ascending corridor. The corridor leads up to the burial chamber; the chamber, located in the center of the pyramid, has a corbel vault ceiling and contains a four metres deep shaft dug by treasure hunters, in the southeast part of the chamber. Like the main pyramid, the satellite had its own altar with two stelae located at the eastern side. List of Egyptian pyramids List of megalithic sites Inside the Bent Pyramid
Upper Egypt is the strip of land on both sides of the Nile that extends between Nubia and downriver to Lower Egypt. Upper Egypt is between the Cataracts of the Nile above modern-day Aswan, downriver to the area of El-Ayait, which places modern-day Cairo in Lower Egypt; the northern part of Upper Egypt, between Sohag and El-Ayait, is known as Middle Egypt. In Arabic, inhabitants of Upper Egypt are known as Sa'idis and they speak Sai'idi Egyptian Arabic. In ancient Egypt, Upper Egypt was known as tꜣ šmꜣw "the Land of Reeds" or "the Sedgeland" It was divided into twenty-two districts called nomes; the first nome was where modern-day Aswan is and the twenty-second was at modern Atfih just to the south of Cairo. The main city of prehistoric Upper Egypt was Nekhen, whose patron deity was the vulture goddess Nekhbet. By about 3600 BC, Neolithic Egyptian societies along the Nile had based their culture on the raising of crops and the domestication of animals. Shortly after 3600 BC, Egyptian society began to increase in complexity.
A new and distinctive pottery, related to the Levantine ceramics, appeared during this time. Extensive use of copper became common during this time; the Mesopotamian process of sun-drying adobe and architectural principles—including the use of the arch and recessed walls for decorative effect—became popular during this time. Concurrent with these cultural advances, a process of unification of the societies and towns of the upper Nile River, or Upper Egypt, occurred. At the same time the societies of the Nile Delta, or Lower Egypt underwent a unification process. Warfare between Upper and Lower Egypt occurred often. During his reign in Upper Egypt, King Narmer defeated his enemies on the Delta and merged both the Kingdom of Upper and Lower Egypt under his single rule. For most of pharaonic Egypt's history, Thebes was the administrative center of Upper Egypt. After its devastation by the Assyrians, its importance declined. Under the Ptolemies, Ptolemais Hermiou took over the role of Upper Egypt's capital city.
Upper Egypt was represented by the tall White Crown Hedjet, its symbols were the flowering lotus and the sedge. In the 11th century, large numbers of pastoralists, known as Hilalians, fled Upper Egypt and moved westward into Libya and as far as Tunis, it is believed that degraded grazing conditions in Upper Egypt, associated with the beginning of the Medieval Warm Period, were the root cause of the migration. In the 20th-century Egypt, the title Prince of the Sa'id was used by the heir apparent to the Egyptian throne. Although the Kingdom of Egypt was abolished after the Egyptian revolution of 1952, the title continues to be used by Muhammad Ali, Prince of the Sa'id; the following list may not be complete: Sa'idi people Upper and Lower Egypt Geography of Egypt Edel, Elmar Zu den Inschriften auf den Jahreszeitenreliefs der "Weltkammer" aus dem Sonnenheiligtum des Niuserre Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, OCLC 309958651, in German. Media related to Upper Egypt at Wikimedia Commons