Egyptian Bent Pyramid Now Open for Business
By Katie Teague/Arab America Contributing Writer
As of this month, the Bent Pyramid is now open to visitors around the world; something that hasn’t been available to the public for 54 years. The opening of the site will serve as an important boost in Egypt’s tourism industry, given the exciting opportunity to explore the inside of the pyramid.
The opening of Senefru’s Bent pyramid and the announcement of a new discovery consists of a collection of clay and wooden sarcophagi with mummies and funerary masks#egypt #egyptology #dahshurpyramid #news #newspapers #Media420 pic.twitter.com/2dkUtSC63K
— Ministry of Antiquities-Arab Republic of Egypt (@AntiquitiesOf) July 13, 2019
The structure is located at Dahshur, around 25 miles south of Cairo. Compared to the approximately 90 other pyramids in Egypt, the Bent pyramid is quite unique. Built-in 2600 BC for Pharaoh Senefru, the pyramid stands at 331 feet, with different angles of inclination to give it the “bent” appearance. The original limestone constituting the face of the structure is still intact, an incredible feat for such antiquity. Ultimately, it is a “prime example of early pyramid development”, as articulated by Jack Guy from CNN.
Why the slant? Several theories exist in the archaeological world as to the reason for the pyramid’s distinct shape. According to ThoughtCo., they include “the premature death of the pharaoh, requiring the speedy completion of the pyramid; or that noises coming from the interior clued the builders into the fact that the angle was not sustainable.. The most commonly held theory today is that a comparably sloped pyramid—Meidum, also thought to have been built by Snefru—collapsed while the Bent Pyramid was still under construction, and the architects adjusted their building techniques to make sure the Bent Pyramid would not do the same.”
Regardless of the reason, there is no doubt the Bent Pyramid will bring a new wave of tourists within Egyptian borders. Ever since the site closed in 1965, visitors have spent their time between other iconic Egyptian tourist destinations, such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Temple of Karnak. All restoration projects on the Pyramid have ended, which means that tourists now have the opportunity for exploration and rediscovery.
The pyramid itself has “two entrances, one fairly lower down on the north side, to which a substantial wooden stairway has been built for the convenience of tourists. The second entrance is high on the west face of the pyramid. Each entrance leads to a chamber with a high, corbelled roof; the northern entrance leads to a chamber that is below ground level, the western to a chamber built in the body of the pyramid itself.” Once inside, visitors are sent through a 260-foot passageway taking them to two burial chambers.
Now that the Bent Pyramid is open for business, be sure to add it to your list of must-see the next time you’re in Egypt. After all, it has been 54 years since the last tourists emerged from its entrances. Why not be one of the first to go back in?