The black pyramid of Amenemhat III is one of the middle kingdom of Egypt (2055-1650 BC) most known structures and one of the only five remaining out of the eleven pyramids at Dahshur in Egypt. The black pyramid of Amenemhat III was known as Sxm “The Might Pyramid” to refer to Amenemhat the mighty and was later dubbed the name Black Pyramid for its black appearance of decayed mudbrick core revealed by the missing casing blocks. The black pyramid of Mmenemhat III made history as it held both the deceased pharaoh and his Queens.

The Black Pyramid of Amenemhat III Architecture

The black pyramid of Amenemhat III is about 75 m tall with a base of 105 m and an incline of 57°. The base of the pyramid is around 75 m on each side and would have measured about 105 m if completed. The black pyramid of Amenemhat III has the typical design of the middle kingdom as it is encased in limestone and is made of mud-brick and clay instead of stone. The ground level is made up of structures consists of an entrance opening through the courtyard and the mortuary temple. There are two sets of walls between them, there are ten shaft tombs that are a type of burial structure formed from graves built within a natural rock. Below the ground level is a network of complicated passages in order to possibly fool any tomb robbers or it could have been a ritual significance as the chambers were described as the home for the ruler god of the underworld Osiris, some of these passageways lead to the king’s section which remains mostly intact and holds a sarcophagus and canopic jars.

The subterranean structures of the black pyramid of Amenemhat III are divided into two sections; one for the king in the eastern quadrant and his wives in the southern quadrant, both the two sections had their own entrances and were connected by two corridors. Inside the king’s chamber is a pink granite sarcophagus carrying a serekh motif. While the queen’s chambers contain sarcophaguses similar to the king’s, several pieces of jewelry, an alabaster perfume jar, two maceheads, and seven alabaster cases in the shape of ducks. All the rooms and chambers inside the black pyramid of Amenemhat III are incased with limestone.

The Black Pyramid of Amenemhat III Contents

The mortuary temple is heavily damaged and there is an open courtyard with 18 granite columns in the shape of holy Papyrus plants and behind it is an offering hall. The inner walls of the pyramid contain a series of niches that may have held statues of the king. A wide causeway with a low brick wall on each side connected the black pyramid of Amenemhat III and the mortuary temple with the valley temple which is composed of two open courts raised terrace above the other. The walls of the lower court formed a gateway that resembled a pylon, in the court a limestone model of a 13th dynasty pyramid with a subterranean chamber was found. In the west of the pyramid are several tombs belonging to various many members like his daughters that contained the personal items and jewelry of these princesses.

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