Pyramid of Hawara

A three-hour drive south of Cairo is the Pyramid of Hawara, which was constructed by the sixth Pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty, Amenmehat III. Historians put the construction of the Pyramid of Hawara around 1850 BC, making it approximately 3,865 years old today. The Pyramid of Hawara is often called the Black Pyramid because it looks much darker than other Egyptian pyramids from the same time period. The pyramid was built from brick stones and then covered in limestone, giving it a dark appearance.

Pyramid of Hawara

When first built, the Pyramid of Hawara was nearly 60 meters (200 feet) tall, although erosion and desert sands have slightly reduced the height over time. Hawara was not the first pyramid commissioned by Pharaoh Amenmehat III. His first, called Dashur, was not successful and collapsed shortly after construction. As a result, the Pyramid of Hawara is built with a lower angle to prevent a collapse. But today even this second pyramid is little more than an eroded, vaguely pyramidal mountain of mud brick.

An interesting note to make about the Pyramid of Hawara, which still stands but doesn’t have a sharp apex anymore, is how it began to acknowledge and try to deceive tomb thieves. The Pyramid of Hawara featured passageways in a labyrinth pattern to try to confuse and frustrate potential robbers in ancient Egypt.