World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Zawyet el'Aryan

Article Id: WHEBN0002635997
Reproduction Date:

Title: Zawyet el'Aryan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Khaba, Memphis, Egypt, List of Egyptian pyramids, Third Dynasty of Egypt, Unfinished Northern Pyramid of Zawyet el'Aryan
Collection: Memphis, Egypt, Populated Places in Giza Governorate
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Zawyet el'Aryan

Zawyet el'Aryan
Zawyet el'Aryan is located in Egypt
Zawyet el'Aryan
Location in Egypt
Country  Egypt
Governorate Giza Governorate
Time zone EST (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) +3 (UTC)

Zawyet el-Aryan (or Zawiyet el-Aryan) (Arabic: زاویة العریان) is a town in Lower Egypt, located between Giza and Abusir.[1] To the west of the town, just in the desert area, is a necropolis, referred to by the same name. Almost directly east across the Nile is Memphis. In Zawyet el-Aryan, there are two pyramid complexes and five mastaba cemeteries.


  • Pyramids 1
    • The Layer Pyramid 1.1
    • The Unfinished Pyramid 1.2
  • Necropolis 2
  • Zawyet el'Aryan today 3
  • References 4


The Layer Pyramid

This monument was built in the third dynasty probably during the reign of Khaba. The pyramid was meant to be a step pyramid of possibly five to seven steps. No casing stones have been found, suggesting that the pyramid was never finished. The underground plan of the pyramid resembles that of the pyramid of Sekhemkhet. A corridor leading into the interior has thirty-two side chambers meant for storage of the burial equipment.[1][2]

The Unfinished Pyramid

This tomb belongs to a king with an illigible name. All that stands now is a square base on which the core of the pyramid would have been constructed. A pink granite sarcophagus was found in a trench which cuts through the structure. It may date to a later time period however. It has been suspected to contain underground chambers, but excavations have not been possible as the structure is part of a military reservation. Also called the Northern Pyramid, this structure dates to the fourth dynasty.[1][2]


The area of Zawyet el'Aryan is surrounded by a total of five cemeteries dating to the 1st Dynasty, 2nd Dynasty, late 3rd Dynasty, 18th Dynasty and Roman Period. Of these cemeteries, only the one dating to the late 3rd Dynasty contains large tombs, of which are four mud brick mastabas. Reisner and Fisher observe that this is to be expected of the necropolis surrounding the pyramid of a pharaoh, the large tombs being those of the royal family and court officials. In particular, around 200 metres (660 ft) north of the layer pyramid is a huge mastaba, today known as Mastaba Z500, which yielded eight marble bowls inscribed with the serekh of king Khaba. Reisner and Fisher therefore conclude that "if the mastabas belong to people connected with the king who built the pyramid, it is probable that the king’s name was Khaba". This opinion is shared by most egyptologists who attribute the layer pyramid to Khaba.[3][4]

Zawyet el'Aryan today

Since 1960, the area of Zawyet el'Aryan is mostly restricted area by the local military, which is also main inhabitant of the town. The pyramids lie within this restricted area since 1964. No excavations are allowed, the original necropolis is overbuilt with military bungalows and the shaft of the Baka pyramid is allegedly misused as a local dump. Thus, the today status of both burial shafts is uncertain and most possibly disastrous.[5][4]


  1. ^ a b c Verner, Miroslav: The Pyramids: The Mystery, Culture, and Science of Egypt's Great Monuments. Grove Press. 2001 (1997). ISBN 0-8021-3935-3, p. 270.
  2. ^ a b Rainer Stadelmann: Die ägyptischen Pyramiden. Vom Ziegelbau zum Weltwunder (= Kulturgeschichte der antiken Welt, Bd. 30). von Zabern, Mainz 1997, ISBN 3-8053-1142-7, p. 140-144.
  3. ^ G.A. Reisner and C.S. Fisher: The Work of the Harvard University - Museum of Fine Arts Egyptian Expedition (pyramid of Zawiyet el-Aryan. (= Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts (BMFA); vol. 9, no. 54), Boston 1911, pp. 54-59.
  4. ^ a b Rainer Stadelmann: King Huni: His Monuments and His Place in the History of the Old Kingdom. In: Zahi A. Hawass, Janet Richards (Hrsg.): The Archaeology and Art of Ancient Egypt. Essays in Honor of David B. O’Connor, vol. II. Conceil Suprême des Antiquités de l’Égypte, Kairo 2007, p. 425–431.
  5. ^ Roman Gundacker: Zur Struktur der Pyramidennamen der 4. Dynastie. In: Sokar, vol. 18, 2009. ISSN 1438-7956, p. 26–30.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.