A day trip to three rarely visited pyramids in Egypt Part 2: The Bent Pyramid of Pharaoh Sneferu and its satellite pyramid

The Bent Pyramid

After spending awhile at the Red Pyrmaid, we returned to the taxi and drove short distance away to the Bent Pyramid. There are different theories as to why it is bent from 54 degrees to 43 degrees near the top, such as errors in design, a fear of collapse, a rush to finish or cost issues. Whatever the reason, it is a unique pyramid in Egypt. The lessons learned from the failure of the Bent Pyramid would help Sneferu to design the Red Pyramid where he was eventually buried.

This pyramid was only opened to the public in July 2019 so few tourists have been inside. Before going in we walked around the outside of the pyramid. It took some time.

A corner of the pyramid that has worn away
A shrine or other structure set up at the back of the pyramid
Close up of the pyramid. The entrance is at lower left
The entrance
About to go down

The entrance and way down was tight again, but this time I tried to go feet first. It was just as difficult as going head first at the Red Pyramid. In this case it just made different muscles sore late on.

After reaching the bottom we went up a short set of stairs
A narrow passage to crawl through
Another narrow passage
We decided not to take this way–too tight!

It took some time, but eventually we made our way up to the burial chamber.

Inside the burial chamber

The chamber had a high ceiling with many small dark objects on it. At first it was hard to tell what they were as I pointed my light up.

Seems messy up there
Bats, hundreds of them

On closer inspection we could see all of the bats. Most of them were sleeping and hardly moving at all. From time to time one would scuttle around but none went into the air. We tried to stay very quiet while we were in the room so we wouldn’t disturb them.

A few more in the antechamber
Time to head back out
After getting out, a nice view of the Red Pyramid in the distance
The Black Pyramid in the distance

In the above photo you can see the pyramid of Amenemhat III, otherwise known as the Black pyramid in the distance. This pyramid was in the area but one we didn’t visit. Because it was made of mud brick instead of stone, it collapsed shortly after it was built and tourists cannot go inside.

After visiting the Bent Pyramid, we went into the nearby pyramid built by Sneferu. Although they are not certain about the reason for its construction, archaeologists believe it was built for his wife, Hetepheres I. It was only about 50 metres away from the larger pyramid.

This one was a very short trip down and had only one room accessible.

Going down, one more time
Short, but steep
We’re not going down there!

It was quite a day at Dashur. Unlike Giza, it felt like the Egypt I had read about it books, far from the big city, sitting in the desert, quiet and almost deserted. On our last full day in Egypt we finally got the experience we had been looking for. And for the next week our legs and backs were stiff and painful from going down into each pyramid, just to make sure we hadn’t forgotten the trip.

The Red Pyramid from the shadow of the Bent Pyramid

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