Meidum: The Only Pyramid with Character

Maydum Travel Blog

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Sneferu's Pyramid at Meidum
Dr. Swanson, my Cultural Geography of Ancient Egypt professor at the American University in Cairo, called Sneferu's Pyramid at Meidum "The only pyramid with character." The pyramid looks like a giant, square stone fort on top of a hill.  The hill is actually  the outer casing of the pyramid that slid down.  At Meidum the Ancient Egyptians first built the stone, square interior. Next followed the sides making it looked like a step pyramid.  Finally, they filled in the steps, so it took the traditional smooth faced exterior.  This is one of Sneferu's three identified pyramids, he may have had more.  Archaeologists know he finished it, they are just not sure if he started this pyramid.  This was not his burial site, but rather it is a memorial pyramid.
Entrance to Mastaba.


This site is difficult to get admittance to and the pyramid is usually closed.  Dr. Sabbahy, my hieroglyphics professor, pulled a few strings and took my class on a field trip to Meidum.   Being archaeology students, we made a b-line for the steep shaft that leads into the guts of the pyramid.  Meidum and the pyramids at Dahshur (Red and Bent) and the Great Pyramid are the only pyramids with the burial chamber in the heart of the pyramid, the rest have the burial chamber in the subterranean level.  It must be a father and son thing. 

After climbing around the interior and circling the Meidum mound ouhing and aahhing over it, my friends and I stumbled upon a rather large mastaba with a very obvious entrance hole.
Crawling around inside the Mastaba.
  Whipping out our small flashlights we crawled through the small hole, absent-mindedly humming the Indiana Jones theme song.  The passageway was pitch black and partially filled with debris.  The mastaba had been excavated, though, and a board laid so that one did not fall into the nasty pit traps.  Very quickly, the passageway became so narrow that we had to inch along on our bellies to pass through the undecorated tunnels.  The burial chamber was finished, but it had been cleared of all burial good and remains.

I definitely recommend checking out Meidum if you have the time AND if it happens to be open - it is a very unique site, quite old and really does have a lot of character.

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Sneferus Pyramid at Meidum
Sneferu's Pyramid at Meidum
Entrance to Mastaba.
Entrance to Mastaba.
Crawling around inside the Mastaba.
Crawling around inside the Mastaba.
Burial chamber of the Mastaba.
Burial chamber of the Mastaba.
Mastaba.
Mastaba.
Maydum
photo by: genkeeper