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Pyramid of Hawara (Labyrinth) in the Fayoum Egypt


Pyramid of Hawara

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Feature story of Hawara Pyramid

Known also as the Labyrinth, the Pyramid of Hawara (built by Amenemhet III) was the most visited sites of the ancient World. Herodotus claimed to have counted three thousand rooms in the pyramids funeral complex. Herodotus visited the pyramid during the 5th century B.C. and described it as follows:

"The Labyrinth has 12 covered courts -six in a row facing north, six south. Inside, the building is of two stories and contains 3,000 rooms, of which half are underground, and the other half directly above them. I was taken through the rooms in the upper story, so what I shall say of them is from my own observation, but the underground ones I can speak of only from report, because the Egyptians in charge refused to let me see them, as they contain the tombs of the kings who built the Labyrinth and also the tombs of the sacred crocodiles. The upper rooms, on the contrary I did actually see, and it is hard to believe that they are the work of men; the baffling and intricate passages from room to room and from court to court were an endless wonder to me, as we passed from a courtyard into rooms, from rooms into galleries, from galleries into more rooms, and thence into yet more courtyards. The roof of every chamber, courtyard and gallery is, like the walls, of stone. The walls are covered with carved figures, and each court is exquisitely built of white marble and surrounded by a colonnade." He went on to write, "It is beyond my power to describe. It must have cost more in labor and money than all the wall and public works of the Greeks put together - though no one would deny that the temples of Ephesus and Samos are remarkable buildings. The Pyramids too are astonishing structures, each one of them equal to many of the most ambitious works of Greece; but the Labyrinth surpasses them."

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