The White Pyramid




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Dahshur Pyramid Of Amenemhet II {The White Pyramid}

Senwosret I was the father of Amenemhet II Nubkaure. Amenemhet II was the 3rd king of the Twelfth Dynasty. When looking to build his pyramid, he picked the Dahshur necropolis for the location. It is just to the northeast of the Bent Pyramid, which was built by Snefru.

The White Pyramid now looks like a bunch of eroded mud-bricks scattered around on the site. It is called “White Pyramid” because of the white-coloured Tura limestone casings which used to exist there. Unfortunately, robbers stole the casings over the years, revealing the true limestone inner framework of the core. However, this core was also excavated and disturbed throughout the centuries as well. Now all that remains are white chip piles surrounding the pyramid’s base. Back in Ancient Egypt, the pyramid was referred to as “Amenemhet Provides.”

Between 1894 and 1895, this area was explored and excavated by Jacques de Morgan. His interests were geared more toward the tombs of the high-ranking public officials and royal women which surrounded the site. More importantly, he was interested in the treasures which remained in the tombs.

No one has ever adequately cleared out the base of the pyramid nor have they determined what the angle and height of the structure are. The length of the base is only about 50 meters. Little excavation work has been done on the valley temple, mortuary temple and causeway too.

In the middle of the northern side, the entrance to the pyramid was found. This is just under the entrance to a chapel. There was a straight passageway which sloped and led to a small horizontal corridor and then to a burial chamber. The entrance was blocked by 2 big granite slabs. Four niches were used to build the subterranean chamber. These were likely going to be used for placing burial items or statues. Under the horizontal corridor, there was a secret lower chamber. Flat ceilings were used for the burial chamber and the passageways. The gabled roof that existed above the flat ceilings helped support the weight of all those heavy stones. Touching the western wall, there was a sarcophagus positioned inside the floor and it was made from quartzite.

On the pyramid’s eastern side, the funerary temple was practically destroyed entirely. Fortunately, de Morgan discovered relief fragments there as he investigated the site. He also found 2 enormous structures near the entrance which looked like pythons.

An enclosure wall shaped like a rectangle surrounded the entire complex. This is just like the walls found around the pyramids of the Third Dynasty.

Behind the western side of the White Pyramid, de Morgan found well-preserved burials on the interior of the enclosure wall. These were the burials of Queen Khnemet, Princess Ita, and Princess Itweret. He also found the tombs of Princess Sithathormeret and Prince Amenemhetankh. The burial sites of Princesses Itweret and Ita contained lots of valuable jewellery and other treasures and goods. The Cairo Museum currently has them on display.