The Red Pyramid of Dahshur, located near Saqqara, was erected for Pharaoh Snefru, father of Khufu, for whom the Great Pyramid of Giza was built. The Red Pyramid was the first "real" pyramid, with the second biggest foundation of any Egyptian pyramid. It is estimated to have been built around 5000 BC. The Red Pyramid is unique because it is made of sandstone rather than limestone.
According to recent findings by Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities, the Red Pyramid was probably used as a burial place for members of the same family over several generations. It is thought that each new king or queen might have their own pyramid built at this stage in order to accommodate more people within its walls. This may also explain why so many ancient pyramids were painted red- why would anyone else want to die white?
In addition to being used for burial, the Red Pyramid has also been suggested as a location where humans were held in captivity. There are some markings on the side of the pyramid which some have interpreted as signs of confinement, such as small windows and a low entrance. However, other scholars believe these markings were intended to represent the sun, moon, and stars, just like those found in modern night clubs.
Finally, some have proposed that the Red Pyramid was used for human sacrifice.
It is the biggest of the three great pyramids of the Dahshur necropolis, 40 kilometers outside Cairo near Saqqara. It was made of red limestone. Surprisingly, the pyramid is regarded as the third biggest in Cairo, behind the great pyramid of Khufu and the pyramid of Khafre. It is larger than either of these two pyramids.
The Red Pyramid is named after the color of its limestone, which was originally red but now mostly covers it in dust. The original color can still be seen in certain parts of the structure where the stone has weathered away.
Its size is amazing: it is 240 feet (73 m) high, 100 feet (30 m) wider at the base than either of the other two pyramids, and has a volume of approximately 1 million cubic feet (25,000 m3). It would have been quite an achievement when it was built some 1500 years ago, although not without precedent because many previous kings had already created huge monuments before this one. But even more remarkable is that the Red Pyramid was not built by any king, but by a member of the ancient Egyptian middle class who was entitled to put up a pyramid instead of having one constructed for him. His name was Ahmose and he wanted to show that he was as good as if not better than anyone else who had gone before him.
The red pyramid was originally coated with white Tura limestone rather than red, but only a handful of these stones survive near the pyramid's base.
The original height of the Red Pyramid was 45m (147ft), about 10 meters less than that of the Great Pyramid. Its volume is estimated to be 1.5 million cubic meters (55,000 ac), which makes it the largest stone structure in Egypt after the Great Pyramid. The pyramid was named after the color of its limestone, which was once painted black but now mostly fades to red.
In 1883, an Austrian expedition led by Carl Bähr discovered a secret passage under the apex of the pyramid leading into a small chamber. They called this chamber the "Red Pyramid Chamber" because of the color of its walls. In this room were found several ancient coffins that were opened and cleaned out for their contents - gold, silver, and some jewels - which are now in the Vienna Museum. This discovery proved that the pyramid was actually intended for more than just a tomb for King Khufu; it showed that he had also been responsible for other people's tombs, thus proving his status as a true king.
Khufu's son Khafre took over after him.
The Red Pyramid, also known as the North Pyramid, is the largest of the three great pyramids at Cairo's Dahshur necropolis. It is the third biggest Egyptian pyramid, after those of Khufu and Khafra at Giza, and is named for the rusty reddish tint of its red limestone stones. The pyramid was originally covered in a dark green stone called petzite antimonide. Today it is painted red.
It is estimated to be about 362 feet (111 m) high, with a base that is nearly 100 feet (30 m) wide. Although heavily eroded by wind and rain, the pyramid remains one of the best-preserved ancient monuments in Egypt. It was built for King Zoser (who may have been king of all Egypt), who lived around 2490 BC. This makes the pyramid approximately 2680 years old.
Zoser was a powerful ruler who united much of Egypt under his rule. His tomb, which is not open to the public, is located near that of his wife Queen Meresankh.
In addition to being a king, Zoser was also a priest of Ra, the sun god. His role as priest led to him being referred to as "the father of priests". He is said to have established many new cities during his reign, including El-Kuruh. Some believe that this may have been done as a way to provide jobs for his workers.