Mystery of Meidum Pyramid

Meidum Pyramid is an archaeological site in Lower Egypt. It contains a large pyramid and several mud-brick mastabas which is located around 62 miles south of modern Cairo. This pyramid is one of three constructed during the reign of Sneferu, and is believed by some to have been started by that pharaoh's father and predecessor, Huni. However, that attribution is uncertain, as no record of Huni's name has been found at the site. Sneferu was never buried in this pyramid, even through a large cemetery with the tombs of members of the ruling family was established around it. 

The Arab historian Al-Maqrizi described the Meidum pyramid during his visit to Egypt in the 15th century AD, as “looking like a five-stepped mountain.” However, in 1788 during Napoleon Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt, French explorers observed only three of its mastabas. 

The unusual appearance of Meidum pyramid led to Beni Suef inhabitants calling it Al-Haram Al-Kadam (Pseudo Pyramid). The Meidum pyramid originally consisted of several mastabas connected to each other to give it the pyramid shape, the ancient Egyptians filled the gaps between every mastaba with limestone casing.

Why it was converted from a step pyramid to a true pyramid is unclear. Archaeologists believe that at least part of the pyramid was built for the pharaoh Snefru, also called Sneferu, (who reigned from about 2575 to 2551 B.C.).

Today there is little to suggest that this monument once indeed was a pyramid. All that remains now is a three-stepped tower rising up from a hill of debris. It has longtime been assumed that, while the pyramid was being converted from a Step Pyramid into a true Pyramid, the weight of the added outer casing was pressing down so hard that the entire structure collapsed. However, recent archaeological research has found no trace of tools or equipment that would have been left behind by the workers, had they actually witnessed the pyramid's collapse.

On February 2019, the skeleton of a girl estimated to be around 13 years old when she died has been discovered beside the 4,600-year-old pyramid, archaeologists with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced.

Her remains had been buried in a cemetery located beside the Meidum pyramid, which is partially collapsed, in Egypt, according to the Arabic language statement released Feb. 10. Her body was in a squatting position inside the tomb, which was empty of any grave goods or any other human remains.

The archaeologists calculated the girl's age of death by examining her bones, they said. It's not clear when she was buried, although the adjacent pyramid dates back about 4,600 years. 


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