Dahshur

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Dahshur
دهشور
Dahshur - Red Pyramid - Tourist policemen on camel.JPG
Dahshur is located in Egypt
Dahshur
Shown within Egypt
Location Giza Governorate, Egypt
Region Lower Egypt
Coordinates 29°48′23″N 31°12′29″E / 29.80639°N 31.20806°E / 29.80639; 31.20806Coordinates: 29°48′23″N 31°12′29″E / 29.80639°N 31.20806°E / 29.80639; 31.20806
Type Necropolis
History
Builder Sneferu
Founded 2613–2589 BC
Periods Old Kingdom to Middle Kingdom
Official name: Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii, vi
Designated 1979 (3rd session)
Reference No. 86
Region Arab States

Dahshur[transliteration 1] (in English often called Dashur; Egyptian Arabic: دهشور Dahšūr  pronounced [dɑhˈʃuːɾ]) 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.

Pyramids[edit]

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, 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 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.

Contemporary history[edit]

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.[1]

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.[2]

Climate[edit]

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

Climate data for Dahshur
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
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)
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[3]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

External links[edit]