Hawara pyramid built in Hawara ,an archaeological site of Ancient Egypt. South of the site of Crocodilopolis at the entrance to the depression of the Fayyum oasis. It is the site of a pyramid built by the Pharaoh Amenemhat III in the 19th century BC.

Amenemhat III was the last powerful ruler of the 12th Dynasty, and the pyramid he built at Hawara believed to post-date the so-called “Black Pyramid” built by the same ruler at Dahshur. This believed to have been Amenemhet’s final resting place. At Hawara there was also the intact (pyramid) tomb of Neferu-Ptah, daughter of Amenemhet III. This tomb found about 2 km south of the king’s pyramid.

In common with the Middle Kingdom pyramids constructed after Amenemhat II. Built of mudbrick round a core of limestone passages and burial chambers, and faced with limestone. Most of the facing stone later pillaged for use in other buildings— a fate common to almost all of Egypt’s pyramids— and today the pyramid is little more than an eroded, vaguely pyramidal mountain of mud brick, and of the once magnificent mortuary temple precinct formerly enclosed by a wall there is little left beyond the foundation bed of compacted sand and chips and shards of limestone.

Hawara pyramid

The Pyramid of the 12th Dynasty Pharaoh Amenemhat III at Hawara, from the east.

Description of Hawara pyramid

From the pyramid entrance a sloping passageway with steps. It runs down to a small room and a further short horizontal passage. In the roof of this horizontal passage there was a concealed sliding trapdoor weighing 20 tons. If any robber found and opened it, he would find himself confronted by an empty passage at a right angle to the passage below. Closed by wooden doors, or by a passage parallel to the passage below. Carefully filled with mud and stone blocking. He would assume that the blocking concealed the entrance and waste time removing it (thereby increasing the likelihood of detection by the pyramid guardians).

In fact there was a second 20-ton trapdoor in the roof of the empty passage, giving onto a second empty passage, also at a right angle to the first. This too had a 20-ton trapdoor giving onto a passage at a right angle to its predecessor (thus the interior of the pyramid was circled by these passages). However this passage ended in a large area of mud and stone blocking that presumably concealed the burial chamber.