Names of the pyramids of Ancient Egypt

We tend to refer to the pyramids of ancient Egypt by their location, or by the name of the king for whom the pyramid was built (or whom we associate with them). Of course, the Egyptians themselves had specific carefully chosen names for each monument and some of these are recorded in the buildings surrounding the pyramids.

Old Kingdom

Bent Pyramid of Sneferu at Dashur – Sneferu is Shining, Sneferu is rising, Sneferu appears

Bent Pyramid of Sneferu at Dashur – Sneferu is Shining in the South, Sneferu rises in the south, Sneferu appears in the south

Red Pyramid of Sneferu at Dashur – Often given as “Sneferu Shines” but more accurately translated as “Sneferu rises” or “Sneferu appears”

Red Pyramid of Sneferu at Dashur – variant often translated as “the shining one” but more accurately “the one who appears” or “the one who rises”

Pyramid of Menkaure at Giza – “Menkaure is divine”

Pyramid of Djedefre at Abu Rawash – “Djedefre’s starry sky”

Pyramid of Sahure at Abusir – “Sahure’s soul rises” or “the soul of Sahure appears”

Pyramid of Niuserre at Abusir – “the places of Niuserre endure”

Middle Kingdom

Pyramid of Amenemhat II at Dashur – “Amenemhet is mighty” (apparently also known as “Amenemhet is provided for”)

Further reading

  • Lehner, Mark (1997) The Complete Pyramids
  • Verner, Miroslav (1997) The Pyramids

Copyright J Hill 2016