Last week, archaeologists in Egypt discovered an ancient pyramid that is thought to be 3,700 years old. This pyramid dates back to ancient Egypt’s 13th Dynasty. The head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, Mahmoud Afifi, said in a statement last Monday that the pyramid’s remains were located north of King Sneferu's bent pyramid in the Dahshur royal necropolis, about 24 miles south of Cairo.
So, if this pyramid is believed to be an estimated 3,700 years old, then it would have been built somewhere around 1,700 BC. Most famous pyramids of Giza were built around 2,500 BC. This means that this is one old pyramid!
The team of archaeologists are currently trying to determine the size of the pyramid. They discovered ruins that included the inner structures of the pyramid. They found a corridor that leads to a lobby and a ramp on one side that rises to the ground level.
The walls and columns inside of the pyramid are filled with lines of hieroglyphics. They found a 15cm (almost 6 inches) by 17cm (almost 7 inches) alabaster block in the corridor that was engraved with 10 vertical hieroglyphic lines. A granite lintel, which is a horizontal support across the top of a door or window, was also found.
There were multiple stone blocks uncovered that will help determine the interior design of the pyramid. Archaeologists hope to use the hieroglyphics and the blocks to find out more about the history of the pyramid as well. They know very little at this time and all of this will help them unfold more information.
There was also a necropolis that was a burial site for courtiers and high-ranking officials. It was common at this time for pyramids to include a necropolis that was constructed to house the dead. Scientists are still researching why and how they were constructed and their meaning and reasoning to those why built them.
Because of the shape of the structure, the team thinks that this could be the earliest example of a smooth-sided pyramid. There are bent slopes on the side much like Sneferu’s pyramid. Could this be the work of Sneferu as well?
King Sneferu was a pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty. He was famous for building bent pyramids, and helped transition the style of pyramids. All of his pyramids also included funerary complexes just like the one discovered last week.
Snefru was one of Egypt’s most renowned pyramid builders. His volume of work was greater than any other ruler in the Old Kingdom. His work was known for its structure, but also for its incorporation of his religious beliefs into his work. He was a sun worshipper. It is believed that he built the step pyramid at Maidum and the the Red and Bent Pyramids at Dahshur.
The original pyramid shape sloped at a 55-degree angle. Because the ground under the pyramid was unstable, it would cause the structure to buckle at the base. Because of the buckling, the builders would build a strong case around the base. With the rest of the pyramid’s sides at a 43-degree angle, the combination gave it a bent shape.
The Ministry of Antiquities said on their Facebook page that all the parts of the newly discovered pyramid were found in good condition. They will keep digging in order to explore the structure and the text found. They hope that they will be able to reveal more of the ancient structure's secrets.
The researchers work is not done. They are planning to conduct further excavation and the block's writing will also be studied, the Egypt Independent reports. This would include examining the pyramid's possible owner and kingdom, the website said.
If you want to keep track of their findings, check out their Facebook page. You can also go to their website to see what other exhibitions they are currently engaged in. Hopefully we will learn more about the pyramid soon and also find out who is responsible for building it!