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The Northern Pyramid

The Northern Pyramid

Not much is known about the Northern Pyramid structure at Zawyet el-Aryan. It looks to be another incomplete pyramid. In 1903, Barsanti excavated this site and found a large sloping trench which went into a pit area.

Pieces of a square-shaped platform were found which measures 200 meters squared. This proves that if the pyramid were finished, its size would be similar to that of the Pyramid of Khafre at Giza. This means the structure must have been constructed during the Fourth Dynasty, likely when Kahfre and Djedefre ruled Egypt. All the other elements are believed to be similar to the Pyramid of Djedefre at Abu Rawash.

On the trench floor, huge granite blocks and limestone blocks exist. These were probably put there for the burial chamber. Under the trench, a big oval-shaped sarcophagus made of pink granite was there. It is unknown whether it is part of the structure.

Petrie discovered pieces of another sarcophagus with a similar design style during his excavation of the Pyramid of Djedefre at Abu Rawash.

When Barsanti was doing his excavations with a team of archaeologists, they were bewildered when rainwater filled the trench and then drained rapidly up to 1 meter deep. This makes experts think that an undiscovered chamber or passageway exists under the trench. But again, the military zoning of the site makes it inaccessible for investigators to explore any further.

Egyptologists mostly agree that the structure is from the Fourth Dynasty. Supportive evidence of this consists of big stone blocks, an oval-shaped sarcophagus made of granite, and the base size of the structure itself.

Certain blocks have masonry marks on them which bear the name of the king. These were originally challenging to interpret but fortunately, the cartouche had the name clearly inscribed on it. Therefore, this king probably came after King Huni, who was the final ruler of the Third Dynasty. He was also the first king on record to bear his name on tablets in this sort of way.

Experts theorize that the structure was created by some king who came between the reigns of Khafre and Djedefre. He could have been one of their sons too, but probably didn’t have power for very long.

Updated On March 29, 2020