Just a little south of Cairo is a tourist attraction that most tourists don’t see. That’s a great shame because this ancient necropolis on the west bank of the Nile turned out to be one of my favourites of our whole month in Egypt. Maybe it was partly because we hadn’t been here before ( if you’re new, Chef and I met in Egypt some 17 years ago), but also, there was a sense of being somewhere remote and partly untouched by tourism. We saw very few foreign visitors on our day at Saqqara, Djoser and Ancient Memphis, admittedly, there are very few tourists in Egypt currently, but these ancient pyramids and tombs, some of the oldest in Egypt, were deserted. We also learned a lot, stuff we didn’t know we didn’t know, so lets share some words and images about the step pyramid, red pyramid, the bent or broken pyramid and the giant Ramesses statue unearthed on the site of Memphis.
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We had an incredible time in Egypt although,at times, it was challenging. I’d encourage all of you to go now if you’ve been dreaming of pyramids and papyrus for years, wondering if it will ever be safe. We felt absolutely fine there.
The History of The Saqqara, Step and Red Pyramids, Briefly!
The Step Pyramid of Pharaoh Djoser at Saqqara was the largest building of its time and illustrates the evolution from flat-roofed mastaba, to stacked mastabas, to pyramids. It is 126m high and dates from around 2500-2600BC. The entire step pyramid complex is huge and includes temples, tombs and other structures, many can be entered today.
The Red Pyramid, is the largest of the three Dahshur necropolis pyramids south of Cairo on the site of Ancient Memphis. It is 105m tall. The narrow passageway to the central tomb is over 61m deep. It may never have been used by its creator, the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu . It is thought to be Egypt’s first true pyramid.
The broken or bent pyramid was also constructed by Pharoah Sneferu and was an earlier, failed , prototype.
The Dahshur pyramids were closed to the public fr many years because of nearby army camps and activity,
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