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Meidum Pyramid


Meidum Pyramid, Egypt

Meidum Pyramid, Egypt

John Thomas

Meidum (also spelled Maidum) is an Old Kingdom pyramid, begun during the 3rd dynasty by Huni, and completed during the 4th Dynasty (2613-2494 BC) by his son Sneferu (or Snofru). Meidum is the southern-most of Egypt's pyramids, located in the Dahshur Plain about 45 miles south of the mouth of the Nile, near the village of Meidum.

Meidum was the first pyramid to contain an interior corbelled vault, above a single chamber. But it is also known as the Failed Pyramid, built too steeply to remain stable. Meidum was built three times, the first two times as a pyramid of eight great steps, similar to Djoser's. The final revisit of the pyramid smoothed out the steps. The outer pyramid collapsed, probably during the reign of Sneferu, and what is visible today is part of the first stepped pyramid.

Archaeologists associated with Meidum include Ludwig Borchardt and William Flinders Petrie; the pyramid was also investigated by Napoleon's army in the late 18th century.


Tour Egypt has an excellent discussion of Meidum.

Romer, John. 2007. The Great Pyramid: Egypt Revisited. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

More on Egyptian Pyramids

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Also Known As: Failed Pyramid
Alternate Spellings: Maidum

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