Activities in Ancient Fayoum

Senusret I Obelisk Fayoum Egypt

Senusret I Obelisk Fayoum

Senusret I Obelisk Fayoum, information, tours, prices, booking

Senusret I Obelisk located in Fayoum city, Egypt. In fact, Senusret I Obelisk made of the red red granite. Nowadays, the obelisk stands in Gamal Abdul Nasser square in Fayoum city. Gamal Abdul Nasser road. Moreover. Senusret I Obelisk features has inscriptions on it, but they are hardly visible. The inscriptions mention Senusert, Horus, Amun, Isis and more. Furthermore, Senusret I Obelisk is 13 meter high and has a round top. The Obelisk built for Senusret I (1971 – 1926 BC). Later, it placed here to honor a project of fertilization of the region. Senusret I (also Sesostris I and Senwosret I) was the second pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt.

He ruled from 1971 to 1926 BC. In fact, he was one of the most powerful kings of this Dynasty. Moreover, he was the son of Amenemhat I and his wife Nefertitanen. His wife and sister was Neferu. She was also the mother of the successor Amenemhat II. Sesostris I known by his prénom, Kheperkare, which means “the Ka of Re created”. He continued his father’s aggressive expansionist policies against Nubia. In fact, it was by initiating two expeditions into this region in his 10th and 18th years. Moreover, established Egypt‘s formal southern border near the second cataract. It is where he placed a garrison and a victory stele. He also organized an expedition to a Western Desert oasis in the Libyan desert. Senwosret I established diplomatic relations with some rulers of towns in Syria and Canaan.

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He also tried to centralize the country’s political structure. In fact, it was by supporting Nomarchs who were loyal to him. His pyramid constructed at El Lisht. Furthermore, Senwosret I mentioned in the Story of Sinuhe. In fact, he rushed back to the royal palace in Memphis from a military campaign in Asia. In fact, he returned after hearing about the assassination of his father, Amenemhat I. Senusret I obelisk once was part of a temple in the vanished cult center of Crocodilopolis. In fact, the temple dates back to the years of Sesostris I and Amenemhat III (1844-1797 BC). Senusret I obelisk is in a bad shape of decay, especially on the west side.

Moreover, the monument damaged in the south-west and south-east corners. Birds sit on the top of the obelisk and that is why it covered with bird droppings. In the Napoleonic expedition in 1798-1801 the obelisk found laying on its side. But it looked to be in one piece. There is drawing in the middle of the obelisk. In fact, made after the graver of it made for this expedition. On the other drawing, there is an impression of the inscriptions. In fact, it is on one side of the obelisk as their artists reproduced it.

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In 1825-1828 Edward William Lane visits the site and find Senusret I obelisk broken in two pieces. Moreover, it lied there without any mound or ancient remains in the vicinity. Furthermore, the two parts, which designated by the people as male and female. The people of the country look upon these fragments with the same superstitious feeling. In fact, it was because of the stones of the temple at Panopolis. And the women recited the Fatha over them in the hopes of many offspring.

In 1843 Richard Lepsius described the obelisk and made a small map. In fact, Senusre I Obelisk roughly situated between tow areas. The first one was Abgig in the east of the monument. The second one was the ruins of a little village west of the obelisk. In 1971-1972 Senusret I Obelisk brought to El Fayoum City. Moreover, it restored and re-erected on a roundabout on the road to Cairo, in the north-east of the city.

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Seila Pyramid Fayoum Egypt

Seila Pyramid Fayoum

Seila Pyramid Fayoum information, tours, prices, booking

Seila Pyramid is a small step pyramid which situated in Fayoum, Egypt. In fact, the pyramid is a little distances to the south of Kom El Hammam. Moreover, it is on the top of the escarpment on the eastern side of the Fayoum. Seila Pyramid is the most of seven small step pyramids in the Nile Valley. The most southerly one is on Elephantine Island. In fact, the function of these pyramids still unknown. It is because they do not follow the usual mortuary style. Furthermore, the have no subsidiary buildings. So far, no burial chambers found, but they all appear to date back to Dynasties III or IV. It Maybe, the pyramids may mark royal boundaries, or homelands of royal consorts.

In fact, Seila Pyramid now is just remains. The remains of the pyramid today are only 7 meter high. Moreover, the only lower levels of the pyramid can seen. It is with parts of these buried in rubble. Furthermore, the pyramid first investigated by Borchardt at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, the owner’s name not discovered. In the 1980  the pyramid re-investigated by Brigham Young University with. In fact, it was with Mr. Nabil Swelim, an Egyptian archaeologist.

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The remains of builder’s marks and inscriptions found on some of the blocks. Furthermore, fragments of two limestone stelae and an offering table also discovered. As a result, it possible that the structure belongs to Snefru of Dynasty IV. In fact, Seila Pyramid aligned north to south. Moreover, it is with a four-stepped core of small blocks of limestone and mortar. No internal chambers found. There are some rock-cut tombs at the base of the escarpment below pyramid which not inscribed. In fact, some thousands of papyri found there. Finally, the tombs date back to the Roman and Coptic Periods.

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Fayoum Waterwheels Egypt

Fayoum Waterwheels

Fayoum Waterwheels Egypt information, tours, prices, booking

Fayoum waterwheels become a prominent symbol of the town and the oasis. In fact, Fayoum waterwheels are more than 200 one and widespread in Fayoum city. The city located 140 kilometer south of Cairo. In fact, the waterwheel is a manual machine. It converts the energy of free flowing or falling water into useful forms of power, often in a watermill. The waterwheel consists of a large wooden or metal wheel with many of blades or buckets. They arranged on the outside rim and form the driving surface.

In fact, the Greeks were the one who invented the waterwheel. The first depictions of them can seen in Ptolemaic Egyptian sources. So, since Pharaonic times these devices kept the town well irrigated. It was despite of its irregular topography of rolling hills and steep depressions. In fact, the waterwheels mounted vertically on a horizontal axle. Moreover, the tub or Norse wheel mounted horizontally on a vertical shaft. Vertical wheels can power either through the axle or via a ring gear. Besides, they drive belts or gears and horizontal wheels usually directly drive their load.

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In fact, Fayoum has a great number of waterwheels. It really was an important addition to Fayoum’s economy in the 3rd century BC. Fayoum waterwheels let the stream of the river to lift water up to certain level. Hence, the people could transport into the fields for irrigation. Fayoum waterwheels can seen in two best places in Fayoum, Egypt. The first one is the city of Fayoum which has 4 waterwheels which stand next to another. In fact, they are the largest and located behind the tourist office on the main Gomhouria St. The second place located about 3 km north of town along Bahr Sinnuris. In fact, they are a cluster of 7 waterwheels.

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Qasr Qarun Fayoum Egypt

Qasr Qarun Fayoum

Qasr Qarun Fayoum information, tours, prices, booking

Qasr Qarun Fayoum which means Qarun Palace, located near the western edge of Qarun’s Lake in Fayoum Oasis. In fact, Qasr Qarun marks the location of the ancient town of Dionysias. The town now located near the modern village of Qarun. It was the beginning (or end) of the caravan route to the Bahariya Oasis. In fact, it was during ancient times. The town cleared by a Franco-Swiss archaeological team. It was in the 19401 and 1950. An epigraphic survey conducted in 1976. The town spread out north and south and is in ruins save for a few structures that are worth mentioning. The Roman bath is a mere outline which located on the ground. In fact, a few still sand, at least partially. Some even have fresco decorations on the interior walls. The most noteworthy of these located just east of Qasr Qarun.

Thermal baths with frescoes discovered here in 1948. The desert has long since reclaimed them. In fact, Qasr Qarun dedicated to Sobek-Re. In fact, it sometimes referred to as the “Temple of Stone”, located in the middle of the ancient town. The temple dates to between 323 and 330 BC during the Ptolemaic period. In fact, it not dated more precisely due to the absence of inscriptions. Qasr Qarun Fayoum made of blocks of yellow limestone and is substantially complete. The exterior of the temple partially restored by the Egyptian Antiquities Service. The parts of the internal structure reinforced.

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One of the most interesting aspects of Qasr Qarun Fayoum is its roof. It still offers us a sense of the atmosphere that once prevailed in all the temples of the Western Desert. The exterior, minus its damaged portico, looks like a square box, but this is deceiving. The interior of Qasr Qarun Fayoum is a labyrinth of rooms, stairways and corridors. It also is a labyrinth of cellars tunnels and upper rooms of all sizes at different levels. In fact, there are fourteen rooms on either side of central corridor that leads to three chapels.

In fact, there are vestibules, a sanctuary and a few extra chambers. There is also a stairway to the roof which is worth the climb for the splendid view. Moreover, there is also a smaller temple which constructed from mud-brick. In fact, it  dates back to the Roman Period. The temple dedicated to the crocodile god, Sobek-Re. The interior contains Ionic columns. Only the square core of the structure survived. In fact, the most of the outlying buildings destroyed now.

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Biahmu Fayoum Egypt

Biahmu Fayoum Egypt

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Biahmu Fayoum in Egypt is 7 km north of the capital of the vast Oasis of Fayoum. In fact, Biahmu is the the site for the famous pedestal itself. Indeed it is not near a road today. To get there, you should walk through the thick vegetation. You also should do through shaded areas and span many irrigation ditches. The remains of two large stone pedestals once supported colossi of Amenemhat III. They stand just north of the small village of Biahmu. In fact, the two large pedestals are somewhat ruinous, but essentially complete stone. Moreover, they are light yellow in color. They now partly supported by Department of Antiquities bricks. In fact, the walking to al-Sanam village is pleasant.

The fresh, soft and sandy color of the pedestals stand about 100 meters apart. It presents an attractive contrast to the rich green of the fertile surrounding countryside. How Much more striking the scene was thirty-eight centuries ago. In fact, each of the pedestals surmounted by a majestic red quartzite. It seats the colossus of Amenemhat III. The Pedestals maybe stood about the same height as they do now. In fact, it is about 8 meters and the colossi towered a further 13 meters. Each Colossus and pedestal surmounted by an enclosure wall. The wall is of the same solid blocks as the pedestals.

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In the thirteenth century AC, Nabulsi saw the two colossi almost intact. One faced West and the other faced the East. In fact, the persistent rumors of hidden treasure led to the removal of their tops. The colossi however, solid and yielded nothing but their dignity. In 1888, Professor Petrie removed many fragments. He passed them on to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford which now holds forty-seven pieces. The best preserved is the nose of one colossus. It is on display in the museum’s Egyptian Sculpture Gallery. Other fragments apparently left in site by Petrie.

In fact, these disappeared, and now no trace of the colossi remains at al Sanam. The purpose of the colossi not agreed upon. It is unusual in Egypt to find statuary so completely isolated. That is why they explained as markers of a harbor on the ancient lake Moeris. They marked as a special monument to the great achievement of Amenemhat III in the province. Moreover, they somehow related to the main temple of Sobek at Kiman Faris, 6 kilometers away. Christopher Kirby carried out new studies on the site in the 1990. He believes that the enclosure walls represent open-court and solar temple. In fact, the polished quartzite statue of the pharaoh would shine brilliantly in the sun

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Dimeh Al Siba Fayoum Egypt

Dimeh Al Siba Fayoum Egypt

Information about Dimeh Al Siba Fayoum

Dimeh Al Siba Fayoum is around 8 km south of Qasr El Sagha, towards Qarun’s Lake. In fact, the site is of the Graeco-Roman town of Soknopaiou Nesos. Today, it known as Dimai, or Dimeh El Siba. The town founded during the Ptolemaic Period. It appears like it built on an earlier neolithic settlement. Its Greek name means “Island of the Crocodile god” but it is doubtful that it was ever an island. The town site is remote which stood on the northern frontier of the Fayoum region. It is as a garrison for the Roman soldiers who protected the area from desert bandits.

Dimeh Al Siba site well-preserved with a broad processional way. It known as the “Avenue of Lions”. In fact, it runs from the Gate of Soknopaios down to a quay. The quay located on the edge of the lake. In fact, the quay has two limestone piers and steps on its southern side. Moreover, the houses of the town located on either side of the avenue. They are typical of the multi-stores houses of the period.

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Within the ruins of the town were two temples which stood on a mound. In fact, they contained within mud-brick walls. The northern temple was at the end of the processional way. In fact, it now ruined. It dedicated to Soknopaios, who was a form of the Crocodile god Sobek. Only the stone foundations of this temple remain today. The southern temple constructed of mud-brick and stone and was of a later date.

The mud-brick walls of the town seen from quite a distance away. They are still 10 m high. The site strewn with debris and pot-sherds which cover the whole space of the temple area. A Roman cemetery situated to the south-west of the town. Dimeh Al Siba in Fayoum excavated by a team from the University of Michigan in 1931.

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Qasr El Sagha Fayoum Egypt

Qasr El Sagha Fayoum

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Qasr El Sagha Fayoum located 100 km south of Cairo and 25 km from the main road. In fact, it is 30 km away from Kom Ushim. Qasr El Sagha is is above the north side of Qaroun Lake. The temple discovered in 1884. El Sagha temple built from limestone blocks of different sizes. In fact, it includes 7 recesses and many other chambers. Qasr el Sagha stands on a level platform to protect it from the water of Qarun Lake.

In fact, the archaeologists had a disagreement about the date of the temple. Later on, they all agreed that the structure built no later than the Middle Kingdom. In fact, it seen from its plan. This temple neither completed nor decorated. The seven chambers which found inside the temple completely closed without entrances. El Sagha temple also includes shrines, an offering hall, and a blind room.

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The site of El Sagha reached via a track from Kom Ushim (Karanis). A 4×4 vehicle and a guide recommended to visit this site. In remote antiquity a forest grew on the escarpment north of the site. Thought that Lake Qarun once extended its northern shore close to the temple. It was in the days when the lake was much larger. Qasr El Sagha rests on a level platform on the side of the escarpment. On the flat plain to the south of El Sagha there are several sites of prehistoric villages. In fact, the inhabitants existed by hunting, farming and Fishing.

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Medinet Madi Fayoum Egypt

Medinet Madi Fayoum Egypt

Medinet Madi Fayoum Egypt information, tours, prices, booking

Medinet Madi Fayoum indeed is one of the most important archaeological sites in Fayoum. In fact, Medinet Madi Fayoum located 30 km south-west of El Fayoum city. Its modern name means “city of the past”. In fact, in Graeco-Roman times it known as ‘”Narmouthis”. Excavators discovered two separate towns at the site. Today, the main monument at Medinet Madi Fayoum is only a small temple. In fact, the temples dedicated to Sobek, Horus and the serpent-goddess Renenutet. Moreover, the temple founded during the reigns of Amenemhet III and IV. It was during Dynasty XII. The temple remains are in a well-preserved condition.

In fact, it was due to its isolated location but threatened by the encroaching sands of the desert. The inner chambers are the oldest part of the structure . In fact, the structure is one of the few surviving monuments of the Middle Kingdom. It indeed is a rare example of architecture from this period. Furthermore, there is a small columned hall which leads to three shrines. In fact, the shrines which contained statues of deities and the two kings. The temple restored during Dynasty XIX and expanded during the Graeco-Roman Period. Moreover, the temple contains an altar and some Greek inscriptions. In this part, there is also a large worn relief of the crocodile-god Sobek. In fact, it is with a wonderful toothy grin!.

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The Ptolemaic areas also comprise a paved processional way to the south. It is with an avenue of sphinxes and lion statues guarding the route. Furthermore, a kiosk with eight columns built on the processional route. In fact, it led to the twin-columned portico and transverse vestibule in front of the shrines. The temple walls today are only a few meters high. The walls still show some of the inscribed hieroglyphic texts and scenes. There is an important Greek inscription from the temple in the museum at Alexandria. To the east of the temple there are remains of mudbrick store-rooms. In fact, Italian teams of archaeologists worked at Medinet Madi Fayoum. It is since the 1960s.

They uncovered a large Roman town and several early Christian churches. In 1995 a Ptolemaic gate found to the east of the temple. On further investigation another temple discovered beneath the rubble. In fact, the temple dedicated to Sobek. This second temple built of mud-brick with stone doorways and lintels. In fact, its axis at right-angles to the older temple. Tablets and papyri also found in the debris. In fact, it included an important oracular document written in demotic script. The Italian Mission constructed a three-dimensional model and a reconstruction of the monuments. In fact, they which highlighted the important chronological development of the site.

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Another team recently excavated a vaulted structure. It was on the north side of the new temple, but the remains preserved. In fact, the team was from Pisa and Messina Universities. On the north side of the temple court, a crocodile nursery discovered. It was with dozens of eggs in different stages of maturation. In fact, the temple at Medinet Madi is one of the most isolated and romantic sites. In fact, it sets in a long hollow in the desert. The walls constructed from a pale golden limestone. The statues and sphinxes appear and disappear with the windblown soft desert sands. Actually, the ruins are interesting and well worth the effort of getting there.

How to get to Medinet Madi Fayoum:

Medinet Madi Fayoum located 30 km away of the city of Fyoum. The city is about 100 km south of Cairo, Egypt. A road leads to the village of Abu Gandir. The village is the closest approach to the site which is about 2 km away. In fact, the site located on a small hill. It reached on foot or in a suitable vehicle across the intervening desert. A guide recommended as there are no marked tracks across the sands.

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Hawara Pyramid Fayoum Egypt

Hawara Pyramid Fayoum Egypt

Hawara Pyramid Fayoum Egypt information, tours, prices, booking

Hawara Pyramid Fayoum called the Black Pyramid. In fact, Hawara Pyramid Fayoum constructed by Amenmehat III. He was the sixth Pharaoh of the 12th dynasty of the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt. It was around 1850 BC. Hawara Pyramid Fayoum situated 9 kilometers to the East of the El Fayoum city. It built out of brick stones and then coated by limestone. Hawara pyramid Fayoum was a large structure and 58 meters high. Moreover, each side of the base of the pyramid was around 100 meters long. In fact, Hawara Pyramid Fayoum has a burial chamber. It cut out of rock in the beginning in the shape of a rectangle. And then, a large single piece of quartzite put inside the cavity of the burial chamber. At the end of the building process, this piece of quartzite emptied to build the burial chamber.

In fact, it indeed is the most important section of any pyramid in ancient Egypt. The chamber became a room with four walls. Each wall is half a meter thick, seven meters high and two meters and a half wide. In fact, the thieves were able to enter the burial chamber. It was through an opening in the ceiling. They stole all the valuable and important items that the priests have put inside it. It was in spite of all these precautions carried out by Amenmehat III to protect his pyramid. Hawara Pyramid Fayoum constructed with the sarcophagus of the King. In fact, it made out of quartzite and positioned inside the burial chamber. Three blocks of stones put on top of the large stone. In fact, the large stone used to close the opening that leads to the burial chamber.

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The whole pyramid built over these stones. The inner passageways of the pyramid built and designed in a fascinating artistic style. In fact, it was to deceive the thieves. The thieves indeed were clever in stealing the gold and jewelry. In fact, the gold and jewelry buried with the kings and queens of ancient Egypt.

Hawara Village:

The village of Hawara located 9 kilometers to the South East of El Fayoum city. In fact, it indeed is one of the wonderful Egyptian destination. The village of Hawara situated around 100 kilometers to the South East of Cairo. In fact, Hawara known since ancient Egypt and it called Hat Wa’art which means the footsteps. And then, it named Laprincess. Some historians believe that this name derived from the name of the Temple of Amenmehat III in Hawara.

In fact, the “Laprent” or the temple located at the outlet of the lake. Some archeologists to unearthed some of the most wonderful portraits in Hawara. In fact, they now and called “the Portraits of the Fayoum”. These are 146 portraits of different people. They drawn with paint and date back to the period from the 1st to the 3rd centuries AC.

Amenmehat III:

In fact, the king Amenmehat III is the builder of Hawara Pyramid Fayoum. He ruled Egypt in the 19th century BC and was the son of the King Sesostris III. The last one made great achievements during his reign. In fact, the achievements were like having peaceful political conditions with the neighboring countries. The countries located to the North and East of Egypt. Furthermore, he also had Nubia which located to the South under his control. In fact, Amenmehat remained the king of Egypt for 45 years. He and he followed the steps initiated by his precursors of the 12th dynasty. Moreover, he added 17,000 acres to the area of planted land in the Fayoum. In fact, he made use of a large section of the huge Qarun Lake at the time. Furthermore, he had many constructions which erected in the region.

In fact, it is like his pyramid and mortuary temple in Hawara. He also had some sections of Medinet Madi which dedicated to the god Sobek. Amenmehat III also interested in mining for different materials. It was to assist him in his constructions. In fact, in this period, mining activities of turquoise in Sinai flourished. He also had some additions constructed in the goddess Hathour temple in Serbet El Khadim in Sinai. The favorite wife of Amenmehat III called Aat. Her tomb unearthed near his pyramid in Dahshur. In fact, it constructed before his other achievements in the Fayoum. Actually, the king never pleased with his pyramid in Dahshur. The pyramid severs obstacles and faults which found even during the building process. That is why, he guided his efforts, money, and time to Hawara Pyramid Fayoum.

Hawara Pyramid Fayoum Construction:

Amenmehat III wanted his new pyramid in Hawara will not fall down. it was after his failure attempt in Dahshur. That is why the engineers constructed it with a much lower angle than the other pyramid in Dahshur. There was a smaller pyramid which located on top of the original pyramid. In fact, the lower plan and design of Hawra Pyramid Fayoum complicated. Moreover, maybe it influenced by the design of the step Pyramid of Saqqara. The last one built early in the beginning of the period of the Old Kingdom. The first feature of Hawara Pyramid Fayoum was different from the previous pyramids. In fact, the previous pyramid which built before it during the period of the Old Kingdom. Amenmehat III made the entrance to his pyramid in the Southern section.

The entrance to the previous pyramids are in the Northern section of the pyramids. In fact, it was an intelligent idea by the King. The idea was to mislead any thieves who want to rob the items which put inside the pyramid. Moreover, Amenmehat III built a long staircase which leads the thieves to a small room. In fact, it was to let thieves beleive that it is the burial chamber. The real burial chamber entered through a narrow short passageway. It located on the ground and blocked by a large stone that weighs more than 45 tons. A hidden opening in the ceiling gives way to another passageway. In fact, it runs in different directions; to the East, the North and then finally to the West. It makes it more difficult to reach the antechamber. In fact, the antechamber enables the passer to enter the burial chamber.

The tomb of Nefruptah:

In fact, Nefruptah tomb located near Hawara Pyramid Fayoum. It located a half kilometer to the North of the pyramid. The princess Nefruptah is the favorite daughter of the King Amenmehat III. The tomb constructed out of limestone and it used to contain a granite sarcophagus. In fact, it transferred to the Egyptian Antiquities Authority. When the princess passed away, a beautiful sarcophagus made for her. It positioned inside Hawara Pyramid Fayoum. In fact, it was a contradiction to the habits of the kings and royal family of ancient Egypt. They they used to put the sarcophagus of the king only in the burial chamber. An offerings table and three utensils made out of silver found inside the tomb. Moreover, a necklace which belonges to the princess found inside her tomb.

Mortuary temple of Amenmehat III:

Beside the Pyramid of Hawara, lies also the ruins of the Mortuary Temple of Amenmehat III. In fact, the temple attached to the pyramid when they first constructed. This temple used to contain 12 halls with ceilings. Six of them positioned to the North and the other six positioned to the South. In fact, the Mortuary temple of Amenmehat III used to have a large fortified wall. Furthermore, it used to contain more than 300 different rooms and chambers. Half of them located under the ground and they hosted the mausoleum of the king. The rest of the rooms situated above the ground. Nothing remains of this structure today except the pillars of the ground floor. In fact, the underground floor not excavated until today.

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