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Hawara Pyramid

Pyramid of Hawara – located in Hawara, south of Crocodilopolis (Medinet al-Fayyum). Built during the XII dynasty for the pharaoh Amenemhet III. 

Like the other pyramids of the Middle Kingdom built after Amenemhat II, the pyramid in Hawar was built of unbaked brick, and the internal passages and external walls were faced with limestone. The entrance to the pyramid leads through an inclined passage with steps, passing into a small room, from which it continues in the form of a short, horizontal passage. A 20-ton sliding sunroof was hidden in the ceiling of this passage. If this hatch had been discovered by an ancient burglar, he would have stumbled upon an empty passage located at an angle of 90 ° under the lower passage, a closed wooden door, or a parallel passage to the lower one, filled with clay and stone blocks. He could decide that there was a hidden entrance behind the stone blocks, starting to remove them, he would only waste time and could be detected by the guard.

Pyramid of Hawara fayoum, Hawara pyramid, Amenemhat

Nevertheless, the network of passages ended in front of a large platform lined with clay and stone blocks that concealed the burial chamber. Two niches in the floor, completely covered with gravel, led to a carefully hidden burial chamber. Despite all the protective measures, Petrie discovered that not one of the hatches was in place, and that the wooden doors were open. The burial chamber of the pharaoh was made of polished limestone, inside of which were two sarcophagi. Judging by the inscriptions, Amenemhet himself was buried in one, his daughter Ptahneferu in the other.

The sarcophagus of the pharaoh was 6.71 × 2.4 × 1.83 m in size and was carved from a single block of yellow quartzite weighing over 100 tons. The wall thickness is 60 cm. The cover has a thickness of 1.2 m and a weight of about 45 tons. The ceiling of the chamber was lined with three quartzite blocks weighing 45 tons each. The chamber is covered by a gable roof of limestone blocks weighing 50 tons each. The roof was covered with a large arch 92 cm thick, made of brick. The function of the arch was to support the core of the pyramid.

On the south side of the pyramid was an extensive temple complex . According to scientists, the intricate moves of this complex could form the basis of Herodotus’ stories about the Labyrinth. This place was also reported by Strabo and Diodorus of Sicily. However, these messages have no confirmation, since, according to Diodorus, the labyrinth was not in Egypt, but in Crete and was the habitat of the Minotaur.

Due to the construction of the unfolded Ptolemy II, part of the temple complex was dismantled. Blocks went to the construction of Crocodilopolis, which was renamed for the daughter of Ptolemy Arsinoe and began to be called in her subsequent name.

Currently, the entrance to the pyramid is flooded to a depth of 6 m due to the Bahr Yusuf Canal (Joseph Canal) flowing past the pyramid. The canal bypasses the pyramid from two sides at a distance of 30 m.

It was unusual that Amenemhat built two pyramids for himself . This has not happened since the reign of Snofru in the era of the Old Kingdom. One pyramid (the so-called “Dark Pyramid” ) Amenemhat was built in Dakhshur from unbaked brick. The second in Hawar. The Havar pyramid was the center of the newly founded royal necropolis, to which perhaps the famous Labyrinth also belonged.

pyramid of Hawara Faypoum

The second pyramid (102 X 102 m) was built in Hawar. The Havar pyramid was the center of the newly founded royal necropolis, to which perhaps the famous Labyrinth also belonged. Now all that remains of it is a flattened clay cone with a diameter of about 100 m and a height of 20 m. The entrance to the pyramid is located on the south side. The burial chamber is a miracle of ancient Egyptian technology. The huge tomb (6.71? 2.4? 1.83 m) is carved from a single block of extraordinary hard yellow quartzite and weighs over 100 tons. The wall thickness is 60 cm. The quartzite lid has a thickness of 1.2 m and a weight of about 45 tons. On top of the chamber is covered by a gable roof of two limestone blocks weighing 50 tons each. There are two sarcophagi in the chamber. Flinders Petri, digging a passage under the pyramid and finding the burial chamber, found the sarcophagi empty, judging by the inscriptions,

The reign of Amenemhat III is estimated from 45 to 48 years. The last lifetime source known to us is dated to the 46th year of Amenemkhet III. He, like his father, left behind a series of wonderful sculptural portraits of beautiful work.