May 14, 2012

Meidum Pyramid Facts

The pyramid at Meidum is thought to have been patterned after Zoser’s pyramid and seems to have undergone several transformations during its construction. After carefully perusing some drawings on rocks, and from observations made on the site, the Egyptologists came to the conclusion that the pyramid was first built with two, three and then four steps. After this stage it was enlarged to a seven- stepped structure, which was then enlarged to eight steps. The inclination of the steps were at 75 degrees and the finished pyramid base measures approximately 473 feet square, but the actual height it eventually reached is uncertain.

Meidum Pyramid
Apparently, the seven-stepped design was intended to be the finished pyramid; the eight-step pyramid was also seemingly intended to be the final version. However, for reasons still unknown, the steps were filled in with local stone and the entire structure was then covered with a smooth facing of Tura limestone. The step pyramid was thus transformed into a geometrically true pyramid.

The superstructure now visible shows parts of the Third and Fourth steps of the seven-step stage, and all of the Fifth and Sixth steps of the Eight-step stage. Substantial parts of the lower portion of the ultimate pyramid at Meidum still remain intact.

The northern face of the pyramid contains an entrance to a corridor which leads downward to a depth of 190 feet through substratum of rock, levels off for 31 feet; then a vertical shaft leads upward into the burial chamber. No trace of a sarcophagus was found in 1882 when the chamber was first entered. It is thought that it was stolen in ancient times by robbers who dug a hole in the southern wall of the chamber.

The pyramid at Meidum had subsidiary buildings within an enclosure. These consisted of a smaller pyramid, a mortuary temple and a third building. All these buildings have been reduced to nothing more than a pile of stones and try though Egyptologists will, little if any information can be ascertained from them.

No contemporary inscriptions have been found giving a possible hint as to the builder or the king to whom the pyramid at Meidum belongs. However, an inscription on the walls of the mortuary temple gives a possible clue: in the Eighteenth Dynasty, 1,000 years later, or so, it was considered the work of Seneferu. Egyptologists are plagued by the difficulties of ascertaining with some degree of accuracy, who built the pyramids for whom. Without actual written evidence, all they have to go on is the estimation of the date the pyramid was built. Then they can only ascribe to the Pharaoh reigning at that particular time period. It has been conjectured that one Pharaoh may have been responsible for several pyramids but this has been objected to by Egyptologists who claim that this would be illogical. Nevertheless, records have been found referring to several pyramids of Seneferu. The possibility is very strong that not only was the pyramid at Meidum built for King Seneferu, but also two other pyramids 28 miles north of Meidum at Dahshur, one of them known as the Bent Pyramid.

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