DAHSHUR, Egypt (Reuters) – Egypt opened to visitors on Saturday the “Bent” Pyramid built for pharaoh Sneferu, a 101-metre structure just south of Cairo that marks a key step in the evolution of pyramid construction.
Tourists will now be able to clamber down a 79-metre (86 yards) narrow tunnel from a raised entrance on the pyramid’s northern face, to reach two chambers deep inside the 4,600-year-old structure.
They will also be able to enter an adjoining 18-metre high “side pyramid”, possibly for Sneferu’s wife Hetepheres, opened for the first time since its excavation in 1956.
The “Bent” Pyramid is one of two built for Fourth Dynasty founding pharaoh Sneferu in Dahshur, at the southern end of the Memphis necropolis that starts at Giza.
Its appearance is unusual. The first 49 metres, which have largely kept their smooth limestone casing, are built at a steep 54 degree angle, before tapering off in the top section.
The angular shape contrasts with the straight sides of Sneferu’s Red Pyramid just to the north, the first of ancient Egypt’s fully formed pyramids and the next step towards the Great Pyramid of Giza.