Introduction - Red PyramidAt the time of its completion the Red Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world. It was an incredible achievement for the ancient people of Egypt. This amazing pyramid still stands today where kids and adults from all around the world can marvel at its beauty. The facts listed below will provide interesting information on all aspects of this ancient structure including who built it, why it is red, and where it is located.
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Basic Red Pyramid Facts
- The Red Pyramid is sometimes referred to as the Northern Pyramid or the Shining Pyramid.
- The Red Pyramid is located on the west bank of the Nile River about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Cairo.
- This pyramid stands 341 feet (104 meters) high.
- Each side of the base measures 722 feet (220 meters). This is only slightly less than the Great Pyramid at Giza.
- This pyramid was built by Pharaoh Sneferu (Old Kingdom). He reigned over Egypt from approximately 2613 BC to 2589 BC.
Interesting Red Pyramid Facts
- The red Pyramid is the tallest pyramid on the Dahshur necropolis and the third largest ancient Egyptian pyramid still standing; only the Great Pyramid and Khafra's pyramid both located at Giza are taller.
- Most Egyptologist believe the Red Pyramid was ancient Egypts (and the worlds) first successful construction of a "True Pyramid" (a pyramid with smooth sides). Prior to smooth sided pyramids the ancient Egyptians built step pyramids.
- This pyramid use to have a smooth white limestone exterior. Hundreds of years ago this outer layer was removed and used for construction elsewhere in Egypt revealing the reddish stone below the outer layer for which the pyramid gets its name. Some of the original limestone outer stones can still be seen near the bottom of the structure.
- This pyramid has more than 150 layers of stone.
- Some Egyptians call this pyramid el-heram el-watwaat, which means the Bat Pyramid.
- How long did it take to build the Red Pyramid has been debated for many years. Some Egyptologists believe it took around 11 years where as others estimate it could have taken 17 years or longer.
- Pharaoh Sneferu built two pyramids prior to the Red Pyramid. Egyptologist believe he learned from mistakes he made in his first two pyramids. His first pyramid, the Pyramid at Meidum, collapsed during construction. His second pyramid, the Bent Pyramid, had its slope altered drastically half way through construction; most likely due to fears of its collapse. The Red Pyramid has a broad base and a low slope making it very stable.
- An interesting fact about this pyramid is that the builder, Pharaoh Sneferu, is the father of Pharaoh Khufu; the builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza.
- The Red Pyramid has a single burial chamber with two smaller chambers leading to it. Although his mummy was never been found many historians believe Pharaoh Sneferu was buried in the Red Pyramid and for some unknown reason later removed.
- Although the Red Pyramids base is only slightly smaller than the Great Pyramid the Red Pyramid is a lot shorter due to its sides having less of a slope.
- The remains of a perimeter wall have been unearthed around the pyramid.