Hawara is 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.

History of Hawara

Labyrinth, fire altar. Part of a limestone frieze, model of lamps on a stand. 12th Dynasty. From Hawara, Fayum, Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

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.

The huge mortuary temple that originally stood adjacent to this pyramid believed to have formed the basis of the complex of buildings with galleries and courtyards called the “Labyrinth” by Herodotus. This building also mentioned by Strabo and Diodorus Siculus. (There is no historicity to the assertion of Diodorus Siculus that this was the model for the labyrinth of Crete that Greeks imagined housed the Minotaur.)