Top Ten African Pyramids

Top Ten African Pyramids

  1. The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions, Sculptures, Top 100 African Sculptures,
  2. Red Pyramid, Dashur, Egypt

    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions,
  3. Bent Pyramid, Egypt
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    The Bent Pyramid is an ancient Egyptian pyramid located at the royal necropolis of Dahshur, approximately 40 km south of Cairo, built under the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu (c. 2600 BC). A unique example of early pyramid development in Egypt, this was the 2nd pyramid built by Sneferu. The lower part of the pyramid rises from the desert at a 54-degree inclination, but the top section is built at the shallower angle of 43 degrees, lending the pyramid its very obvious “bent” appearance. Archaeologists now believe that the Bent Pyramid represents a transitional form between step-sided and smooth-sided pyramids. It has been suggested that due to the steepness of the original angle of inclination the structure may have begun to show signs of instability during construction, forcing the builders to adopt a shallower angle to avert the structure’s collapse. It is also unique amongst the approximately 90 pyramids to be found in Egypt, in that its original polished limestone outer casing remains largely intact.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bent_pyramid,
  4. Saqqara and the Pyramid of Unas, Egypt

           Saqqara is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, serving as the necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis. Saqqara features numerous pyramids, including the world famous Step pyramid of Djoser, sometimes referred to as the Step Tomb due to its rectangular base, as well as a number of mastabas (Arabic word meaning ‘bench’). Located some 30 km (19 mi) south of modern-day Cairo, Saqqara covers an area of around 7 by 1.5 km (4.3 by 0.93 mi). At Saqqara, the oldest complete stone building complex known in history was built: Djoser’s step pyramid, built during the 3rd dynasty. Another 16 Egyptian kings built pyramids at Saqqara, which are now in various states of preservation or dilapidation. High officials added private funeral monuments to this necropolis during the entire pharaonic period. It remained an important complex for non-royal burials and cult ceremonies for more than 3,000 years, well into Ptolemaic and Roman times. Contrary to popular belief, the name Saqqara is not derived from the ancient Egyptian funerary god Sokar, but from the Beni Saqqar who are a local Berber tribe. Their name means “Sons of Saqqar.” Since they are not indigenous to the area it would not follow that they would fashion themselves as being born of an ancient Egyptian god whose identity was unknown until the age of archaeology.
    Links: Pyramids, Top Ten Necropolises,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saqqara,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_of_Unas,
  5. Abusir, Egypt

           Abusir, “the House or Temple of Osiris,” is the name given to an Egyptian archaeological locality, specifically, an extensive necropolis of the Old Kingdom period, together with later additions, in the vicinity of the modern capital Cairo. The name is also that of a neighboring village in the Nile Valley, whence the site takes its name. Abusir is located several km north of Saqqara and, like it, served as one of the main elite cemeteries for the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis. Several other villages in northern and southern Egypt are named Abusir or Busiri. Abusir is one relatively small segment of the extensive “pyramid field” that extends from north of Giza to below Saqqara, the locality of Abusir took its turn as the focus of the prestigious western burial rites operating out of the then-capital of Memphis during the Old Kingdom 5th Dynasty. As an elite cemetery, neighboring Giza had by then “filled up” with the massive pyramids and other monuments of the 4th Dynasty, leading the 5th Dynasty pharaohs to seek sites elsewhere for their own funerary monuments. Abusir was the origin of the largest find of Old Kingdom papyri to date, the Abusir Papyri. In the late 19th century, a number of Western museums acquired collections of fragmentary papyri from the administrative (temple) records of one Abusir funerary cult, that of king Neferirkare Kakai. This discovery was supplemented in the late 20th century when excavations by a Czech expedition to the site revealed papyri from two other cult complexes, that of the pharaoh Neferefre (also read Raneferef) and for the king’s mother Khentkaus II. The Czech Institute of Egyptology of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague has been conducting excavations at Abusir since 1976. They are presently directed by Miroslav Bárta. There are considerable catacombs near the ancient town of Busiris. To the south of Busiris one great cemetery appears to have stretched over the plain. The Heptanomite Busiris was in fact a hamlet standing at one extremity of the necropolis of Memphis.
    Links: Top Ten Sun Temples, Top Ten TombsTop Ten Sarcophagi, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abusir,
  6. Meroë, Sudan

           Meroë is the name of an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile about 6 km north-east of the Kabushiya station near Shendi, Sudan, approximately 200 km north-east of Khartoum. Near the site are a group of villages called Bagrawiyah. This city was the capitol of the Kingdom of Kush for several centuries. The Kushitic Kingdom of Meroë gave its name to the Island of Meroë, which was the modern region of Butana, a region bounded by the Nile (from the Atbarah River to Khartoum), the Atbarah, Ethiopia and the Blue Nile. The city of Meroë was on the edge of Butana and there were two other Meroitic cities in Butana, Musawwarat es-Sufra, and Naqa. The site of the city of Meroë is marked by more than 200 pyramids in three groups, of which many are in ruins. They are identified as Nubian pyramids because of their distinctive size and proportions.
    Links: Top Ten Sudanese Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mero%C3%AB,
  7. Jebel Barkal, Sudan

           Jebel Barkal or Gebel Barkal is a very small mountain located some 400 km north of Khartoum, in Karima town in Northern State in Sudan, on a large bend of the Nile River, in the region called Nubia. In 2003, the mountain, together with the historical city of Napata (which sits at its feet), were named World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Around 1450 BC, the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III extended his empire to that region and considered Gebel Barkal its southern limit. There, he campaigned near the city of Napata that, about 300 years later, became the capital of the independent kingdom of Kush. The 25th Dynasty Nubian king Piye later greatly enlarged the New Kingdom Temple of Amun in this city and erected his Year 20 Victory stela within it. The ruins around Gebel Barkal include at least 13 temples and 3 palaces that were first described by European explorers in the 1820’s. In 1862 five inscriptions from the Third Intermediate Period were recovered by an Egyptian officer and transported to the Cairo Museum, but not until 1916 were scientific archeological excavations performed by a joint expedition of Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston. From the 1970’s, explorations continued by teams from the University of Rome La Sapienza and Boston Museum. The larger temples, such as that of Amun, are even today considered sacred to the local population. The mountain is 98 m tall, has a flat top, and apparently was used as a landmark by the traders in the important route between central Africa, Arabia and Egypt, as the point where it was easier to cross the great river.
    Links: Top Ten Sudanese Attractions,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gebel_Barkal_and_the_Sites_of_the_Napatan_Region,
  8. Pyramid of Meidum, Egypt
    abLooking up passage out of Meidum pyramidc
           Located about 100 km south of modern Cairo, Meidum or Maidum is the location of a large pyramid, and several large mud-brick mastabas.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meidum,
  9. Mauritian Pyramids
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    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Mauritian Attractions,
  10. Links: Pyramids, Top Ten Pyramids,