Mar
16
2009

Get bent: Burial chamber in unique pyramid to open to the public

Bending pyramid rules: An engineering adjustment on the fly changed the dimensions of the Bent Pyramid of Dasher, giving the pyramid its unique shape and its name.
Bending pyramid rules: An engineering adjustment on the fly changed the dimensions of the Bent Pyramid of Dasher, giving the pyramid its unique shape and its name.Courtesy Ivrienen
The pyramids of Giza get all the hype, but there are plenty of other cool pyramids to check out in Egypt. And this week, one of the most unique pyramids in the region will have greater access to the public.

The burial chamber of the Bent Pyramid in Dashar will have its inner chambers opened to the public. Only about five percent of the tourists in Egypt go to see the Bent Pyramid, which is too bad in my mind.

I actually haven't been to Egypt but have been working on a new traveling exhibit about Egypt and archaeology, and that's how I learned about the Bent Pyramid. As you can see by the accompanying photo, it has a very unique shape. It's believed that the Bent Pyramid started out to be the tallest pyramid ever constructed. But engineering problems encountered along the way forced a redesign of that concept, lowering the angle of the pyramid's ascent and giving it a "bent" appearance.

Having full access into a burial chamber of a pyramid is a rare thing. Human traffic, and the moisture that comes from all those people's breaths, are not conducive to a pyramid's dry interior. Zahi Hawass, Egypt's top archaeologist, was so concerned with the twists and turns of the Bent Pyramid's winding tunnels on his first trip inside that he had aides tie a rope around his waist so they could pull him out if he got lost.

All in all, it adds up to be another great reason to some day visit Egypt. Have you already been there, or some other points of interest in Egypt? Share them here with other Buzz readers.

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