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Pyramid complex of  Amenemhat III ( XII Dynasty ) in Dahshur

Amenemhat is Mighty

A builder's graffiti from Amenemhat III's pyramid in Dahshur casing dates to year 2, suggestet that he began his pyramid as early as the first year of his reign. Only an unprepossessing dark grey ruin remains, which local people named "Black Pyramid". The core was made of mudebricks and it lacked the stabilizing stone framework.  The apex of the pyramid was crowned by a beautiful dark gray granite pyramidion that was originally about 1.3 m high. The pyramid substructure is articulated in a relatively complicated way and differs significantly from that of early XII Dynasty pyramids. It consists of two parts, of which one belonged to the ruler and the other to his two consorts. The two parts were connected by a corridor. The entrance into the ruler's tomb was an east, at the level of the lowest foundation layer, near the southeast corner of the pyramid. A stairway led to the entrance corridor and then into a whole system of passageways, shafts, barriers and chambers that werew sheated in limestone and were located at varying levels. About twenty meters from the entrance, it turned to the north toward the royal burial chamber. At the turning point, another corridor coming from the queen's burial chamber entered from the west. On the west wall of king's burial chamber, stood a pink granite sarcophagus with a voulted top and niches. The system of chambers and passageways of the ruler's tomb lay under the east half of the pyramid. The two entrances are virtually mirror images of each other. The entrance corridor also had a descending stairway. Coming from the west, one first entered the burial chamber of queen Aat, and then that of a queen who has not been precisely identified (Neferuptah ?). Another branch of the underground labirynth was the so-called south tomb, a system of passageways and chapels. It begins in the entrance corridor to the king's  system and is located under the south part of the the courtyard between the inner and outeride of the pyramid. The mortuary temple in front of east side of the pyramid was small and relatively simple. North of the pyramid, in te courtyard between the inner and outer perimeter walls, is a row of ten shaft tombs that belonged to the members of the royal family. The first tomb from the east was later usurped by one of the rulers of the XIII Dynasty - Hor I. The pyramid in Dahshur was completed in about the 15 year of the ruler's reign and was probably abandoned soon thereafter.

length of sides of base:   105 m
slope of walls:   54o 30'...57o
height:   75 m
burial chamber:   7 x 2.5  (height: 1.83 m)


Pyramid complex of  Amenemhat III ( XII Dynasty ) in Hawara

anx-imn-m-HAt (Amenemhat Live)

The pyramid was built with mudbrick core and a casing of fine white limestone. The entrance into the substructure was placed directly in the casing, on the south side of the pyramid. There are descending corridor with a stairway led north. It was sheated  with limestone and provided with barriers, and underground it turned several times around the pyramid's axis before finally reaching the burial chamber. The burial chamber was dug a rectangular hole in the rock subsoil, lined it with limestone blocks, and thus formed the side walls of the burial chamber. Over the flat ceiling composed of limestone monoliths rose a saddle vault of enormous limestone monoliths weighing more than fifty tons, and over them, another massive brick vault about seven meters high. We are not the certain of the name of Amenemhat III's Hawara pyramid. Rock inscription in the Wadi Hammamat speak of statues quarried for building named Amenemhat-Ankh.
In front of the south side of pyramid Petrie excavated the remains of an extensive and highly structured temple complex, probably the Labyrinth mentioned by ancient travelers.. Herodotus, Diodorus Sicullus, Strabo and Pliny all refer to it. Because of the early destruction of the complex, the original plan of the Labyrinth cannot be precisly reconstructed. Probably the inner part with the sacrifice hall was in the back part of the temple, and thus near the south side of the pyramid. In front of it was the complex of columned halls, columned courtyards, porticos, colonnades, chambers and passageways. To the south lay another extensive open courtyard. the fact that the labyrinth was not just another building is shown by its unusual size: it covered an area of about 28 000 square meters. The whole temple complex as well as the pyramid and a small north chapel were surrounded by a rectangular, north-south oriented perimeter wall.

length of sides of base:   102 m
slope of walls:   48o - 52o
height:   58 m



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