Egyption History & Travel - 2010

The Sed festival (also known as Heb Sed) was an ancient Egyptian ceremony which was held to celebrate the continued rule of a pharaoh. The festivals were held to rejuvenate the pharaoh's strength and stamina and prove his capacity for continued rule. Djoser showed his vitality by running around the periphery of his step pyramid. The Bent Pyramid Pharaoh Sneferu (1 st in the 4 th dynasty) built three large pyramids which still stand and some smaller ones. His are the first true pyramids with smooth sides, no steps or layers involved. The two most famous ones are “The Red Pyramid” and “The Bent Pyramid.” Neither is in Giza but about five miles south of that location. The “Bent Pyramid” is quite unusual because it appears to have a bent top. The pyramid was started as a 55 degree angle structure, but near the top the builders changed to a 43 degree angle, thus creating the “bend” in the shape.

Bent Pyramid - picture from touregypt.net

Many are the conjectures covering the reasons for the switch, but the most acceptable one says that the pyramid was showing cracks in the structure which seemed to presage collapse. So the builders found it necessary to change the angle to avoid further damage to the structure. The Bent Pyramid is 344 ft. tall and it is has two entrances, on the North side and the other on the West. Two entries is unusual in pyramid building too.

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