Egypt: Destinations - Lisht and the Pyramdis of Amenemhet I and Senwosret I


Near a village called Lisht, about halfway between Dahshur and Maidum, and just south of the city of El Aiyat lies the ancient area known as Lisht. There are ruins of a residential town, called Itytawi, founded by the first two 12th Dynasty Kings. However, the two main attractions, though both considerably ruined, are the Pyramids of Amenemhet I and Senwosret I. Neither of the pyramids have the substance of those to the North in the Cairo/Memphis/Sakkara area.

Amenemhet I's Pyramid is partly constructed of limestone blocks taken from Old-Kingdom monuments. The granite door removed from the north entrance and now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, covered little, as that entrance is inaccessible. Originally, it was at the back of a chapel which lead to an access shaft. However, there is water in the burial chamber, which makes it impossible to visit.

To the east and on a lower terrace is the funerary temple, which is also in ruins. Little remain of this, but inside the enclosure are royal tombs and mastabas, which include that of the visier Antefoker. The tomb of Senebtisi, where a number of papyri were discovered, lies outside the southwest corner of the wall.

The entrance to Senusret I's Pyramid is concealed by a chapel on the north side The pyramid was built on a central structure of stone cross-walls in which the cavities formed by the walls were filled with stone blocks. This was for strength. On the outside, some of the limestone casing still exists. Again, water makes the burial vault impossible to excavate. However, the corridor in from the chapel is lined with limestone and blocked with granite. The funeral complex has a monument in its center and is surrounded by two walls which consist of an inner limestone wall and an outer brick wall. There are nine small pyramids between the walls for the royal family of Senusret I. The funeral temple is here is based on Old Kingdom models. There are mastabas outside the funeral complex that include that of Imhotep who was chancellor and high priest of Heliopolis. Here, there are two great statues of Senusret I.

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