The Info List - Dahshur

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DAHSHUR (in English often called Dashur; Egyptian Arabic : دهشور‎‎ Dahšūr pronounced ) is a royal necropolis located in the desert on the west bank of the Nile
approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) south of Cairo
. It is known chiefly for several pyramids , two of which are among the oldest, largest and best preserved in Egypt , built from 2613–2589 BC.


* 1 Pyramids * 2 Contemporary history * 3 Climate * 4 See also * 5 Notes * 6 External links


Sneferu's Bent Pyramid

Building the Dahshur
pyramids was an extremely important learning experience for the Egyptians (who were transitioning from step-sided to smooth-sided pyramids) before they could build the Great Pyramid of Giza . Two of the Dahshur
Pyramids, The Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid , were constructed during the reign of Pharaoh
Sneferu (2613-2589 BC). The Bent Pyramid was the first attempt at a smooth-sided pyramid but ultimately wasn't successful. One design flaw was that there was a very unstable base for it made of desert gravel and clay that has the tendency to subside when a large amount of weight is put on top of it. Another design flaw in this pyramid is that the engineering of it consisted of the blocks being cut in such a way that the weight angles down, causing all of the weight of the pyramid to push down towards the center. This in turn is thought to be the reason the pyramid is "bent" and changes angles about halfway up the sides. Sneferu was not pleased with this pyramid, so he built another called the Red Pyramid. Getting its name from the red hue the pyramid gives off after a nice rain, the Red pyramid was the first true smooth-sided pyramid. Standing more than 30 stories tall, it is thought to be Sneferu's pride and glory and the place where he is believed to be buried. The Red pyramid was the largest smooth-sided pyramid standing until Sneferu's son, Khufu
, outdid his father by building the Great Pyramid of Giza
Great Pyramid of Giza
, which stands 490 feet tall. Though Khufu's pyramid is larger, he would not have been able to build it without the knowledge that his father discovered before him.

The pyramid of the 12th Dynasty king Amenemhat II (1929-1895 BC) is now badly damaged. Next to it were found several undisturbed tombs of royal women still containing a large amount of jewellery. The pyramid of Sesostris III was part of a huge complex, with several smaller pyramids of royal women, along with another pyramid to the south. In a gallery tomb next to this pyramid were found two treasures of the king's daughters ( Sithathor ).

The Black Pyramid dates from the later reign of Amenemhat III and, although badly eroded, it remains the most imposing monument at the site after the two Sneferu pyramids. The polished granite pyramidion or capstone of the Black Pyramid is on display in the main hall of the Egyptian Museum
Egyptian Museum
in Cairo
. Next to the pyramid was found the partly disturbed tomb of 13th Dynasty king Hor
and the undisturbed burial place of Nubhetepti-khered , possibly his daughter.

Several other pyramids of the 13th Dynasty were built at Dahshur. Only the one of the reign of Ameny Qemau has been excavated so far. Ahmad Fakhri was an archaeologist who worked at this site.

Extensive cemeteries of officials of the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom have been found around Dahshur's pyramids. Dahshur
was Egypt's royal necropolis during the reign of the 12th Dynasty king Amenemhat II .


In July 2012, Dahshur's entire Christian community, which some estimate to be as many as 100 families, fled to nearby towns due to sectarian violence. The violence began in a dispute over a badly ironed shirt, which in turn escalated into a fight in which a Christian burned a Muslim to death. This, in turn, sparked a rampage by angry Muslims, while the police failed to act. At least 16 homes and properties of Christians were pillaged, some were torched, and a church was damaged during the violence. This incident was reported internationally.

As of January 2013, and due to the security vacuum that still prevails in Egypt
following the 2011 uprising , the site is under threat of desecration and damage due to encroachment by locals of surrounding urban settlements.


has a hot desert climate (BWh) according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system .



AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 19.7 (67.5) 21.3 (70.3) 24.7 (76.5) 29.3 (84.7) 33.5 (92.3) 35.6 (96.1) 36 (97) 35.6 (96.1) 33.2 (91.8) 31 (88) 26.2 (79.2) 21.5 (70.7) 28.97 (84.18)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) 13.6 (56.5) 14.6 (58.3) 17.7 (63.9) 21.3 (70.3) 25.3 (77.5) 27.8 (82) 28.7 (83.7) 28.6 (83.5) 26.5 (79.7) 24.3 (75.7) 20 (68) 15.5 (59.9) 21.99 (71.58)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 7.5 (45.5) 8 (46) 10.7 (51.3) 13.4 (56.1) 17.2 (63) 20 (68) 21.4 (70.5) 21.6 (70.9) 19.8 (67.6) 17.7 (63.9) 13.9 (57) 9.5 (49.1) 15.06 (59.08)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 3 (0.12) 2 (0.08) 2 (0.08) 1 (0.04) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (0.08) 4 (0.16) 14 (0.56)

Source: Climate-Data.org


* List of Egyptian pyramids
List of Egyptian pyramids
* List of megalithic sites
List of megalithic sites
* Acanthus (Egypt) , an old village in Dahsur mentioned in Ancient Greek literature.


* ^ Also transliterated Dahshour

* ^ El Deeb, Sarah (August 4, 2012). "Riot leaves an Egyptian village without Christians". Associated Press. ABC News. Retrieved August 5, 2012. * ^ El-Aref, Nevine (January 16, 2013). "No Longer Sacred". Al-Ahram. Al-Ahram Weekly. Retrieved January 18, 2013. * ^ "Climate: Dahshur
- Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 14 August 2013.