Another early start and in the early morning mist we left Beni Suef to drive to the Pyramid of Meidum (Maydum, Maidum) on the edge of the Fayoum Depression to the north of the ship. The pyramid is the ruin of the first true pyramid attempted by the Egyptians. The Step Pyramid at Saqqara was the world’s first but not of a typical pyramid shape. At Meidum attempts were made to make a limestone covered smooth pyramid. The remains show the internal structure of eight steps and the remains of a limestone exterior and a sand and rock infill. It is clear to see that the facing and internal filling has collapsed. This happened a few centuries after its construction, towards the end of BC time. It is thought that there were not only design flaws but the weight of the unconsolidated sand and broken limestone just gave way.
Today all that is left is the core and the mass of slumped material at the base. Pharaoh Huni (2637-2613 BC) ordered it to be built and afterwards his architects constructed the next pyramid at Dashur. This again had design flaws and the internal structure had to be changed to prevent the weight of the structure leading to collapse. This left the structure ‘bent’. It seems that these two pyramids are practice pyramids in area of little significance. Finally at the nearby Red Pyramid Huni had success and completed the first true pyramid. This led to the construction of the pyramids on the Giza Plateau.
We will be visiting the Plateau tomorrow as currently we are docked in Cairo having successfully navigated 600 miles of the River Nile.