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What Are the Three Types of Pyramids?

Pyramids are famously associated with ancient Egypt. In the Valley of the Kings there are actually three types of pyramids: the true pyramid, the step pyramid and the bent pyramid. Each has distinct features which sets it apart from the others.

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Bent Pyramid

The bent pyramid, at the royal necropolis of Dahshur, represents an early attempt at pyramid construction by the ancient Egyptians. Each protruding edge starts at one angle and then changes halfway up to a more gradual angle, producing the "bent" appearance. Another unusual aspect is that there are two entrances. Most pyramids have one difficult entryway to prevent easy access for grave-robbers. The bent pyramid has the typical north entrance as well as a highly elevated entrance on the west side.

Step Pyramid

The step pyramid, which takes its name from the step-like jaggedness of the sides, dates back to the Third Dynasty. The first and possibly the only step pyramid constructed to completion was made for King Netjerykhet Djoser at Saqqara. Access to the inside is through the top with a descending passage to the tomb. Inside there are galleries on all but the south side.

True Pyramid

The true pyramid is considered a development of the early step pyramid. The construction of both true and step pyramids was the same: both were created by stacking bricks into the correct shape and proportions. The true pyramid has three smooth sides rather than a change in angle in the middle. The first true pyramids were built during the start of the Fourth Dynasty.

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About the Author

Stella Oakley

Stella Oakley is a writer holding a Bachelor of Arts in history from Georgia State University, specializing in Latin America and Islam. A skilled researcher, she also works in a gynecology clinic and a fitness center.

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