Meidum Pyramid Complex

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The Meidum Pyramid Complex, also selled as Maydum or Maidum, is an archaeological site in Lower Egypt, which contains several structures, including a large pyramid, several mudbrick mastabas, smaller pyramid and causeway. It is located around 72 kilometres (45 miles) south of modern Cairo.

See Subject Home > Middle East > Egypt > Meidum > Pyramid Complex

Overview

The pyramid of Meidum is often known as the “collapsed pyramid” because of its ruined state.

Notable Structures

Circa 2600 BCE

Pyramid
The Pyramid of Meidum is thought to be just the second pyramid built after Djoser's pyramid and may have been originally built for Huni, the last pharaoh of the Third Dynasty, and continued by Sneferu. Because of its unusual appearance, the pyramid is called el-heram el-kaddaab (الهرم الكاذب), literally meaning the false pyramid, in Egyptian Arabic. The second extension turned the original step pyramid design into a true pyramid by filling in the steps with limestone encasing. But the Meidum Pyramid seems never to have been completed. Even the burial chamber inside the pyramid itself was left uncompleted.

Circa 2600 BCE

Mortuary Temple
The mortuary temple of Meidum Pyramid, which was found under the rubble at the base of the pyramid, apparently never was finished. Two stelas inside, usually bearing the names of the pharaoh, are missing inscriptions. The mortuary temple was the first example to be built on the east side rather than the north, and although it is a simple building it is fairly well preserved. The whole complex is surrounded by an enclosure wall, traces of which remain.

Circa 2600 BCE

Causeway
There was an unroofed causeway that stretched more than two hundred meters and which almost certainly linked the pyramid's enclosure wall with a valley temple on the edge of the valley, but is missing at Meidum. The causeway was cut into the bedrock and paved with limestone but today it is largely ruined. It would most likely have run around two hundred meters.

Circa 2600 BCE

Mastaba 17
The Mastaba 17 lies just northeast of the Meidum Pyramid. "Mastaba" is an Arabic word for "stone bench". The structures were typically flat-roofed rectangles made of stone or mudbrick, under which burial chambers were dug for kings or nobles. Due it its close proximity to the Meidum Pyramid, it is speculated that it was built for someone of note. At around 100 x 50 meters, Mastaba 17 is massive. In fact, it’s one of the biggest mastabas in all of Egypt. It was built of mudbrick on top of which a huge pile of limestone chips was added – possibly debris from the pyramid construction. While hardly evident today, the chips were originally laid deliberately in even layers.

See Also

References

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