Egypt: Secrets of an Ancient WorldGive a year of history

This first Egyptian attempt at a smooth-sided pyramid was likely designed to have very steep sides. But a lack of stability probably influenced the architects to aim for a new angle halfway through construction.

Built after he abruptly shifted his court north to Dahshur, this second pyramid by Snefru had an unprecedented two burial chambers, each with a separate entrance.

Perhaps because of the awkward angles in the Bent Pyramid, the pharaoh commissioned a third pyramid nearby and sent workers back to Maidum to finish his first pyramid.

CLASSIC FACT: The cult of Snefru was centered at the Bent Pyramid, even though he was never buried there.

NEXT: First "True" Pyramid >>

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Bent Pyramid photograph by Stephen St. John. Black-and-white photograph by Marilyn Bridges/Corbis.

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