Pyramid of Maidum
view of maidum from the town of fayoum
Few itineraries include the collapsed Pyramid of Maidum,
a fourth dynasty edifice built by the pharaoh Sneferu.
But it is interesting because of the unique role it
plays in the history of pyramid building -- it marks
the intermediary step between the Step Pyramid of
Djoser and the true pyramids found later at Dashur
and in Giza.
There is some argument as to who actually built this
pyramid -- some believe that it was started (if not
finished) by Huni, the last king of the third dynasty.
Others, however, attribute it to Sneferu. It is possible
that Sneferu finished the pyramid.
approaching the pyramid - you can walk through
This was the first attempt to build a
true pyramid, not a stepped pyramid like that at Saqqara.
Unsure how to proceed, the builders apparently started
with a small stepped-pyramid core, which they then
"filled in" to make a smooth pyramid shape.
It was originally started as a seven tiered step pyramid,
including fine facing stone. Then another layer was
added, making the whole pyramid larger, and another
facing stone layer was added.
the clearly deliniated layers on the Maidum
At this point, it would have looked like a steep version
of the Step Pyramid at Djoser. But that wasn't the
end of the modifications -- each of the steps was
filled in with casing blocks and then smoothed with
a final layer of limestone. The stones were laid with
a noticeable inward slant to attempt to resist the
natural forces trying to flatten the pyramid. [