Feb
07
2009

Was there ever the catastrophic failure of a pyramid?

Meidum Pyramid at Feyum - courtesy eviljohnius - CC-BY

Meidum Pyramid at Feyum - courtesy eviljohnius - CC-BY

When it comes to catastrophic pyramid failures, the first attempt to build a ‘true’ pyramid in ancient Egypt was just that.  The mysterious Pyramid at Meidum is the one involved. The Meidum Pyramid was probably built during the reign of the 4th Dynasty King, Sneferu.

At some point in its history this pyramid suffered a terrible collapse. Theories vary, but most Egyptologists agree that the pyramid complex was never completed and collapsed during or shortly after its construction.  The peripheral evidence at the site all indicates this.  Some claim the pyramid was built for Huni, the last king of the 3rd dynasty.  But Huni’s name has never been found near the structure.  Plus there is the fact that the ancient name for the pyramid was “Sneferu Endures.”

All that remains of the pyramid is a three-stepped tower rising up from a hill of debris. It seems that while the pyramid was being converted from a step pyramid into a true pyramid the weight of the added outer casing, combined with too steep an angle, was pressing down so hard that the entire structure exploded outward.

Due to the fact that no workers tools were found in the debris, it may be that the pyramid was actually finished before the collapse took place.  However, none of the work on the rest of the complex was completed.

Sneferu built another pyramid and it seems once again the angle was too steep.  However, when signs of failure began to show, they changed to a shallower angle to complete the pyramid, giving it a ‘bent’ look, thus its name, The Bent Pyramid.

It is unfortunate that this is one of the forgotten sites of Egypt. Rarely will you find it included in tourist itineraries. Most tourists follow a very traditional and established path, which includes Pyramid sites such as the Pyramids of Giza, and the Step Pyramid of Sakkara, and the Meidum pyramids are ignored.

Those who think space aliens had something to do with the Great Pyramid forget the fact that pyramid building techniques just didn’t spring up over night.  There is a history of experimentation, and failure, before Kufu erected his pile at Giza.

For more information about ancient Egypt

Related questions:

  Need research? Quezi's researchers can answer your questions at uclue.com

No Comments

Comments are closed.

RSS feed for comments on this post.


Privacy Policy | Acknowledgements