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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Visit to the Pyramid at Maidum

A friend asked if we would be interested in taking a trip out to the village of Maidum where his cousin lived.  We could visit the nearby pyramid while we were in the area.  We naturally responded, "Y es."

Maidum (also sometimes found as Meidum or Maydum in English transliteration) is a tiny village located about fifty miles south of Cairo near the main north-south highway that runs parallel to the Nile.

Heading south from the city toward Faiyum, the highway splits and the route toward Maidum/Asyut quickly becomes first rate desert.  It's 399 km, or about 240 miles further to Asyut.
Meidum-2 Meidum-02

The black ribbon near the horizon is the road to Asyut.  We have pulled off and come up the dirt road to the top of a small hill with a good view.  The long building without windows on the right is a chicken coop.  It appears that there are a few building being constructed in this area, just barely beyond the Faiyum oasis, visible as green vegetation on the right.

Approaching the Faiyum Oasis, farmland appears along with the occasional desert villa that makes you think of perhaps building your own fantasy castle.

On the Faiyum Oasis there are a multitude of large and small farms raising grain, onions and other crops.


Livestock seems to be mostly smaller operations, probably to meet the individual farmer's needs. 
Meidum-06 Meidum-10

Water is the key to crops in the desert and there is the usual series of canals around Faiyum as well as evidence of pumping from wells.

Exit the Cairo-Asyut highway, turning East, and the Maidum pyramid appears quickly on the horizon on this clear day.
Meidum-1 Meidum-18

The village and surrounding farmland provide a picturesque setting for this unusual lone pyramid that stands some three hundred feet tall.  
Meidum-24 Meidum-23


The literature credits the Maidum pyramid to Sneferu and it is possibly the next pyramid built after the Step Pyramid on the other side of the Nile.  The Wikipedia entry includes an interesting reconstruction diagram showing the original seven layers.  It appears that there is quite a bit of dispute about when the original building collapsed and shed its outer coat.

It's about another 200 miles on south to Asyut.  From there, it is reportedly a pretty drive along the Nile south to Aswan.  Linda has been wondering if perhaps we should rent a car for a month and drive some of these roads ourselves.  She has just about got me talked into it.


Aliza said...

Great photos! I like that diagram of the pyramid construction, too.

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Sam Lin said...

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