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Ok, I admit this is a touristic photo, but when the tour guide wanted to take it, I let him. We were in the Saqqara area, having just visited the Step Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid (which was really the one of all the pyramids that took my breath away).
The pyramid I am "touching" here is the first true, cased pyramid in ancient Egypt. The Step Pyramid was - as the name tells - mastabas build on top of each other, each one a little smaller than the one below it, so that the "steps" were formed. Then came the Bent Pyramid - an effort to make a smooth, cased pyramid. Only they made the angle too steep and had to change it in the middle of building process. Then they built the Black Pyramid. It was smooth-sided, but unfortunately the casing stones were not supported against the bedrock but sand. And so they collapsed and now there is just the rubble core left of the once magnificent pyramid.
Learning from their mistakes the pyramid builders started their fourth pyramid - and this time it was a success. The Red Pyramid still stands (called so these days because of its reddish colour - the white Tura limestone casing stones are now more or less gone.) It is estimated there are some two million tonnes of stone in the pyramid.
The pyramid was built under the rule of Snefru, the father of Khufu. And Khufu's Great Pyramid in Giza is the one all the tourists know.
I loved the total silence of the desert in the area. Hardly any tourists here (unlike the Step Pyramid area). Here, in the silence, the pyramids had a real presence.