Was the Construction of the Pyramids a Mistake?


Quick Answer

Pyramids, far from being a mistake, evolved naturally from earlier flat-topped mastaba tombs. They symbolized the setting and rising sun, a symbol of rebirth after death. However, the peculiarly angled sides of King Sneferu's pyramid were due to a mathematical error.

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Full Answer

Sneferu's Bent Pyramid of Dahshur, located south of the Pyramids of Giza, was originally intended to be much taller, with steeper sides. When a pyramid built on the same plans collapsed due to the weight on the base, architects modified their plans for the Bent Pyramid, angling the sides inward to reduce weight and avoid collapse.

The nearby Red Pyramid was also built by Snefuru. With sides angled similarly to the modified angle of the Bent Pyramid, it is the third-largest pyramid in Egypt and was probably the first true pyramid successfully completed.

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