What Is The Black Pyramid?
The Black Pyramid of Dashur was the first pyramid constructed by Amenemhat III( of the Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt) during the early part of his reign. Unfortunately, the pharaoh failed to heed the warnings of history, and so this pyramid is now in a rather poor state. It’s known as the Black Pyramid due to the color of the mudbrick core revealed by the missing covering blocks, but was known to the Ancient Egyptians as “ Amenemhat is mighty and perfect ” – a name which must have seemed gradually ironic as the structure began to crumble briefly after structure.
Why The Black Pyramid Was Vanrable?
Amenemhat III made a series of errors in this structure:
- The base of the pyramid was constructed on unsteady ground.
- He set up close to the edge of the Nile a bare thirty-three feet above sea level resulting in the substructure being overflowed shortly after the pyramid was completed.
- The substructure of the pyramid contained a large complex collection of chambers and corridors which weakened the pyramid core.
- His engineers failed to incorporate sufficient stress-relieving structures in the ceilings of corridors and chambers( particularly the burial chamber) to support the weight of the masonry above them.
By the time the pyramid was being completed the ceilings had sunk by as important as two inches in places, some rather menacing cracks had started to appear in the masonry, and door frames had begun to buckle. The builders corroborated the structure with mudbrick walls and large cedar shafts but while this did help its immediate collapse Amenemhat chose to make another, more secure, pyramid in which to be buried. This alternate pyramid was constructed at Hawara rather than Dashur.
The base of the pyramid was around seventy- five meters on each side and it would have been around one hundred and five meters when completed. Like other Middle Kingdom pyramids, the body of the pyramid was constructed from mudbrick and complexion( rather than durable tombstone) sheathe in limestone. The mudbrick core was constructed in stepped form may be to try, in vain, to give the monument more stability.
Unlike earlier twelfth dynasty pyramids the substructure of the pyramid is a complex network of connected galleries and was easily constructed as a burial point for the wives of the pharaoh, as well as the king himself. It’s suggested that the complexity was an attempt to wisecrack tomb stealers but it may also have had a ritual significance, as the chambers were occasionally described as the home of Osiris.
- King’s burial chamber
- King’s entrance
- Queen’s entrance
- Aat’s burial chamber
- Other queen’s burial chamber
- Southern chapels
- Nubhetepikhered’s shaft tomb
- Hor’s shaft tomb
- Offering hall
The subsurface structures were divided into two corridors; one for the king( in the eastern quadrant of the pyramid) and the other for two of his wives( in the southern quadrant of the pyramid). Each section had its own entrance but they were connected by two corridors.
From the eastern entrance, a stair led down to a figure chamber that contained a niche to hold the canopic jars. Beyond this, a further stair led to a series of corridors, shafts, wells, and chambers to the “ King’s chamber ”. A pink determinedness box was set up in this chamber. It was sculpted to act the serekh motif( echoing the quadrangle wall of the Step Pyramid of Djoser) and two eyes were painted onto one end to allow the caesar to “ look ” to the daylight in the east.
The burial chamber is close to, but not relatively beneath, the central axis of the pyramid. maybe the engineers demanded the necessary skill to place it rightly having constructed such a confusing network of corridors on their way to the chamber. All of the apartments and corridors were encased in fine limestone but it’s generally agreed that Amenemhat III wasn’t buried in this pyramid.
The longer of the two corridors connecting the King’s chambers with the Queen’s is occasionally called the “ South Tomb ”( pertaining to that structure in the Step Pyramid of Djoser). Six sanctuaries and a Ka tabernacle were placed along this corridor, conceivably to act as an internal interpretation of the cult pyramid.
From the western entrance, a stair led to a portal with a niche above the doorway for the canopic casket of Queen Aat( the broken pieces were set up there). Her burial chamber was located further along the corridor leading from this doorway. The corridor also continues to the burial chamber of an alternate queen, conceivably Neferuptah. Each burial chamber held a pink determinedness sarcophagus and the bones of the two queens were set up within.
The chambers were pillaged in age but many pieces of funerary furnishings were left before. In the chamber of Queen Aat archaeologists set up several pieces of jewelry, an alabaster incense jar, two maceheads, and seven alabaster cases in the shape of ducks. Her box was analogous to that in the King’s chamber. The burial chamber of the alternate queen contained more jewelry, three alabaster cases in the shape of ducks, alabaster maceheads, and an obsidian vessel decorated with gold bands. Her box recalled the one set up in the King’s chamber but without the serekh motif. Pieces of her gravestone sanctuary were set up. It featured her Ka statue and was firstly covered in a gold splint.
It seems that the pyramid was sealed during the twentieth year of the reign of Amenemhet III. The entrance stairways were sealed with limestone blocks and numerous of the chambers and foyers were filled in with mudbrick. Some experts propose that this was intended to help the collapse of the aggregate, but as this was also done with chambers in the aggregate of Amenemhat at Hawara this isn’t inescapably the case.
There may have been four fresh burials within the pyramid( although this is still batted ). The name of Amenemhet IV appears on the vale temple, and so it’s proposed by some this caesar and his queen, Sobekneferu, were buried then. There’s some substantiation that Amenemhet IV and Sobekneferu started work on pyramids at Mazghuna, but they weren’t completed and don’t appear to have been used for their burials.
The grey determinedness pyramidion is now on display in the main hall of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. It was covered with eulogies, some of which have been defaced egging experts to conclude either that it was noway used or that it was dislodged and defaced during the rule of Akhenaten.