Pyramid of Maidum
Most Egyptologists contend that the pyramid collapsed
at some time after it was finished, and this is supported
by the fact that a large funerary complex was added
to the site. There is no evidence that the pyramid
collapsed while under construction, as some suggest.
the inner core, showing a few of the casing
stones have fallen
In theory, it was a spectacular collapse -- a few
of the tightly packed, angled facing stones were sqished
out on the side...and in a cascade of stone, the facing
collapsed, an avalanche of limestone and loosely stacked
The core that remains is unnaturaly smooth and is
actually the facing stone that was added when the
pyramid was turned into an eight-step pyramid. It
supports the idea that Maidum was like a 'nested set"
of pyramids one completely finished face hidden inside
a larger outer shell.
a gap in the casing, showing the rubble interior
Even on the remaining tower, gaps in the limestone
facing reveal the haphazard way that the inner stones
were used for fill. Most likely, the loose, rubble-like
interior was unable to support the additional weight,
and kablam! it slid down in a heap. The actual cause
is unknown, but theories abound (including an interesting
dissertation on fluid dynamics and the shape of the
rubble hill) on how it collapsed. It is also suggested
that the collapse of Madium prompted the change in
angles of the Bent Pyramid in Dashur.
the inner core of the pyramid, surrounded by
debris and sand