The Northern (Red) Pyramid of Senefru:
– A short distance to the north of the Bent Pyramid stands Senefru’s second pyramid at Dahshur, which wasn’t built until the 30th year of his reign.
– This pyramid is called the Northern Stone Pyramid or the Red Pyramid, from the reddish color of the local stone in its core.
– Its importance is due to the fact that it’s the earliest tomb so far known that has been completed as a true pyramid.
Original Name: ˁḫ s-nfr-w “Senefru is shining”
Original Height: 104m
Angle: 43° 36’ 11’’
The Interior of the Red Pyramid:
– The pyramid is entered through an opening in the northern face.
– The entrance gives access to a corridor through the core of the pyramid.
– The corridor continues horizontally to the entrance of the first of the three chambers, one beyond the other.
– The first two chambers are almost identical in size and in design.
– At the south end of the first chamber there is an opening into a second short passageway, which leads to the second chamber “the second chamber is exceptional in its position directly under the apex”.
– Then there is a passage leads to the third (final) chamber through a hole in the south wall of the second chamber. It’s very likely that the third chamber was intended to be the burial chamber.
– Some human remains were found in the chamber when it was cleared in 1950, but, although they were believed to be ancient and to be parts of a male skeleton, there was no evidence to show to whom they had belonged.
– For many years the builder of Red pyramid couldn’t be identified with certainty, although the Horus name of Senefru (nb rnt) was found, written in red ochre, on a casing stone at the north-east corner of the pyramid.
– All doubts about the ownership of the northern pyramid were, however, dismissed in 1982, when a joint expedition of the Egyptian Antiquities Organization and the German Institute of Archeology in Cairo, found larger than life size statue of Senefru when they excavated the mortuary temple on the east side of the pyramid
Additional confirmation of the ownership by Senefru of the two pyramids at Dahshur:
1. A priest named Dua-re, who lived in the 5th dynasty and whose mastaba was built to the east of the Bent Pyramid, bore the title “overseer of the Two Pyramids of Senefru”, while his son, Ankhmare, was described as “overseer of the Southern Pyramid of Senefru”.
2. The same epithet “overseer of the Southern Pyramid of Senefru” is inscribed on the figure of the priest of the Middle Kingdom found in the valley temple of the pyramid.
The Funerary Complex of the Red Pyramid:
– The valley temple of Sneferu’s Red Pyramid at Dahshour has never been excavated. During recent excavations of remains of the cult place (mortuary temple) were discovered at the east side of the pyramid.
– After the king’s death, the unfinished stone building was hastily completed in brick, and is therefore poorly preserved.
– The Bent and the Red pyramids are true pyramids. Are shape of a pyramid superstructure is commonly interpreted as related to the solar cult and reflecting the idea of the sunrays considered a ramp for the king to climb the sky and join Re. Although both step and true pyramids may represent a primeval hill or Heliopolitan ben-ben, the old form of a ‘stairway to heaven’.
– Senefru planned to be buried at Meidum. A traditional step pyramid, though placed inside a new-style square complex with a valley temple, was designed to become his tomb. After some 15 years, during which the members of the royal family and dignitaries were being buried in large mud brick mastabas to north of the pyramid, Senefru decided (for unknown reason) to move north and to build his funerary complex at Dahshur. The Bent Pyramid with its subsidiary structures was built, and new cemeteries for the Officials planned to the east and northeast of it.
– Around his 30th year Senefru started a new project at Dahshur North.
– The Red Pyramid became eventually his final resting place. At the same moment he decided to come back to Meidum and convert the existing monument into a true pyramid, possibly with an idea that it would have served as a cult-center of his defied person.