The necropolis of El-Lisht included the pyramid complexes of the two earliest rulers of the XIIth dynasty, who were Amenemhat I and Senusert I (1985-1920 BC). It was located on the west bank of the Nile about 50 km. in the southern part of Cairo. Searching for a new royal residence was the main reason for establishing at royal necropolis at El-Lisht "Itj tawy", which appeared to have temporarily replaced Memphis as a seat of the government was often mentioned in texts back dating to this period and it probably lay a short distance eastward of El-Lisht. Moreover, the actual town site has not yet been located, because it has been probably covered by cultivated land.
King Sensuret I.
During the last ten years of Amenemhat I reign, his son Senusert I acted as a co-regent with his father, thus evidently an attempt had been made to murder the king, consequently he found it prudent to shift a great part of the responsibility of the government to his eldest son, who has been chosen to inherit the throne. However, we do not know much about Senusert I during these early years. We knew from the famous papyrus, which was called the " story of Sinuhe" that during his co-regency the prince was active in restoring order at the frontiers of his realm. When the news of his father's death reached him he encamped with his army in the western desert. Then he ordered his men that the news should be suppressed. Accordingly, he traveled quickly in order to reach the capital by night, consequently, he was proclaimed the ruler by due time.
Senusert I was energetic and active ruler, who continued to increase the power of Egypt. During his reign the Egyptians influence had penetrated the countries lying on both the eastern and western sides of the Nile valley, and to the islands of the Mediterranean sea. As a matter of fact, Senusert has ruled for forty-five years, ten as a co-regent with his father. Amenemhat I and three years in co-regency with his son Amenemhat II, he was finally buried in the pyramid, which he had built along side that of his father at El-Lisht.
The Pyramid of Sesostris (Senusert) I, which was also known as the south lisht pyramid was located at 1-6 km. to the south of Amenemhat I's pyramid. As a matter of fact, it was more interesting and better preserved. The monument discovered by Gaston Maspero in the year 1882, because he has found some fragments of alabaster objects bearing the name of Senusert I inside the pyramid determined the fact that ownership of the pyramid was Senusert I. The pyramid was excavated by Y.E. Galtier and Gustave Jequier twelve year later in 1894, then by the expedition of New York Metropolitan museum between the years 1908 and 1934. Generally speaking the technique used in building this pyramid would be later used with the pyramid of El-Lahun at Fayoum.
The pyramid enclosed an outer temenos wall of mud-brick and an inner temenos wall of fine white limestone. Its height originally was about 5 meters. Every 5 meters on both sides were decorated with superb reliefs and some of them are still found on both the western and southern sides. The representative portions of these reliefs are found in Cairo museum, Metropolitan museum of art and New York. The outer temenos wall on one hand, enclosed the entire upper temple, on the other hand, the inner wall enclosed the interior section of the temple.
The pyramid occupied an area of 352 feet square approximately. Its superstructure was composed of a frame work of eight massive stone walls radiating from the center outwards to the four corners and to the middle of each side. As a matter of fact, the eight compartments were further divided into two sections of unequal size by walls which were built to be parallel to the sides, and about half way between them and the center. These sixteen compartments were filled with rough pieces of limestone laid in white sand, and generally the whole mass was held together by a heavy casing of well cut blocks of Tura limestone. In addition to this the entrance opened in the floor of the offering chapel in front of the middle of the north face and it lead to a passage, which was sloping at angle of 25 square in section (0.95m.) and descending to the burial chamber. Moreover, this passage was lined by limestone near the entrance, and farther down with granite.
Huge granite monolithic blocks of the same section as those of the corridor. Their length was about 6-9 meters and it blocked the whole passage. However, it seemed that such engineering feat, which was introducing these huge blocks into the passage after the burial could have been facilitated by sliding them into place upon rollers placed in the upper section of the corridor which had been left without being lined by limestone. This part of the passage was subsequently completed and stopped in the same manner. In addition to this the small cross section of the sloping passage could not allow the sarcophagus to be conveyed down to the burial chamber. Finally, it must be supposed that the sarcophagus was lowered through a shaft above the burial chamber during the construction of the pyramid.
Language: Aspects of writing | Linguistic Features | Hieroglyphs etc.Gods
Gods: Isis | Ra | Set | Osiris | Qebhsennef | Maat
Pyramids: Building stones | Egypt Land of the pyramids | Canstruction of Pyramids | Huni's Pyramid | Zoser's step Pyramid | Sneferu's Pyramid | The solar Boat | The grest pyeamid of cheops | Chephren's pyramid | Senusert I's pyramid | Sphinx
Paint: Introduction | Subjects of paint scenes
sports: Introduction | Chariots-training horses | Running | Combating sports | Aquatic sports | Competition | Games and toys | Acrobtics
jewellery: Introduction | Gold | Silver | The precious & semi-precious Stones | The substitutes of precious stones | Same kinds of jewellery | Discoveries of jewellery
Sculpture: Introduction | Old kingdom statues | Middle kingdom statues | New kingdom statues