Pyramid of Dahshour or Bent Pyramid
The southern or "Bent" Pyramid of Sneferu at Dahshur. Uniquely, this pyramid retains much of its original polished limestone casing.
Located at the royal necropolis of Dahshur, approximately 40 kilometres south of Cairo, the Bent Pyramid of Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu is a unique example of early pyramid development in Egypt.
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 building's collapse. This theory appears to be borne out by fact that the adjacent Red Pyramid, built immediately afterwards by the same Pharaoh, was constructed at an angle of 43 degrees from its base.
The Bent Pyramid has a small satellite pyramid of unknown purpose immediately to its south, and an early form of offering temple on its eastern side. It is also unique amongst the approximately ninety pyramids to be found in Egypt, in that its original polished limestone outer casing remains largely intact.
The ancient formal name of the Bent Pyramid is generally translated as either The Southern Shining Pyramid or Sneferu is Shining in the South.