Bookmark and Share

Zawiyet al-Aryan

Open LookLex Encyclopaedia

Open the online Arabic language course

Pyramid of Khaba

Pyramid of Khaba at Zawiyet el-Aryan, Egypt

Khaba was a pharaoh of the 3rd Dynasty and ruled for 4 years, from 2640 until 2637 BCE.

Should you make it out here, you are probably into some serious pyramid excursion. The two pyramids at Zawiyet el-Aryan are sanded over, we know little about who built them, and they were never even finished.
The one usually credited to Khaba is the most interesting. It helps on visitors interest that it is called "Layer Pyramid". But to my knowledge that would not make it terribly different from a step pyramid (like Zoser's pyramid at Saqqara).
If it was built for Khaba that makes it only 10-30 years younger than Zoser's pyramid. Khaba's short reign may explain why it never was completed, as the succeeding king would be more inclined to pay for his own burial ground.
The one referred to as Unfinished has unknown origins, but it is investigated. Since granite has been much used, many believe that it belongs to the 4th Dynasty. Perhaps it was Snefru who built it, abandoning it for building true pyramids instead of the step pyramid that this may have been laid out to be?

When setting out for Zawiyet el-Aryan you stay the nights in Cairo.
In order to get out here, you may either ride through the desert from the pyramids at Giza, or even walk. A horse ride should take about 45 minutes, a walk perhaps 2 hours.
Or you may take a microbus or hire a taxi to the village of Shabramant. Ask in your hotel how to get the necessary connections.
There are no guards or entrance fees at Zawiyet al-Aryan. But one or more men from the village will appoint themselves to be your guides.

By Tore Kjeilen