Half Day visit to Dahshour Pyramids: The Red Pyramid (Dahshour) was built by Pharaoh Sneferu (2575-2551 BC), father of Khufu. Ancient graffiti indicates it took ten years and seven months to build. The North Pyramid is the second of Sneferu's two pyramids (the other is the Bent Pyramid) and it marks the first successful attempt at building a true smooth-sided pyramid.
Despite its relative obscurity, the Red Pyramid is actually the third largest pyramid in Egypt after the Great Pyramids of Khufu and Khafre at Giza. It is 105 m high and has an angle of 43°. Significantly, this is the corrected angle used at the earlier Bent Pyramid after the original angle proved too steep.
Inside, the North Pyramid contains three chambers with corbelled ceilings and a lot of 19th-century graffiti. The Red Pyramid is one of the few Egyptian pyramids that allow the general public comparatively unregulated interior access. A rare pyramidion or capstone has been uncovered and reconstructed, and is now on display next to the pyramid. Whether it was actually ever used is unclear, as its angle differs from that of the Red Pyramid.
The first pyramid is the Bent Pyramid that dates from about 2600 BC. It was the first pyramid to have been planned as a true pyramid, as opposed to a step pyramid. The Bent Pyramid gets its nickname from its unusual bent angle. It most likely occurred because the builders realized the initial angle was too steep and adjusted it to avoid collapse. It is believed to be the first attempt at creating a pyramid with smooth sides. It was only partially successful, but it was a significant step in pyramid development. Today it is also the only Egyptian pyramid to retain a majority of its original limestone casing, providing the best feel for the original appearance of all pyramids.
In addition to its odd angles, the Bent Pyramid is also unusual in that it has two entrances: as well as the typical north-face entrance it has a west entrance, visible just above the "bend. " The Bent Pyramid has a small satellite pyramid of unknown purpose immediately to its south, and an early form of offering temple on its eastern side.
Meeting/pick-up point: Pick up at the hotel.
Duration: 6 hours.
Start/opening time: At 8am.