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After noticing this book mentioned the existence of ramps to the southwest of the first smooth pyramid, I also noticed them mentioned in Martin Isler’s discussion of ramps and pyramids. Thus, I here present satellite pictures of these quarry roads/ramps of Sneferu, which someone should photograph.

The North Pyramid of Dahshur.

The North Pyramid of Dahshur.

The North Pyramid of Dahshur, work camp being outlined in red, quarry roads/ramps in blue.

The North Pyramid of Dahshur, work camp being outlined in red, quarry roads/ramps in blue.

I was surprised that these ramps are so little-noted on web pages dealing with the Pyramids. The features noted here are also noted on page 65 of this book. Ramps were almost certainly used for building smooth pyramids’ lower portions; see this paper, page 132, the southern portion of Khufu’s pyramid being surrounded by gypsum, tafla, and limestone debris, demonstrating the probability a ramp existed on the South side of Khufu’s pyramid. Of course, it is unlikely that a ramp spiraled all around a large pyramid as suggested in the Lehner paper linked to above; control of shape would have been difficult in that situation. Ramps have also been unearthed on two or three sides of the Middle Kingdom Senusret I pyramid complex. Zahi Hawass claims a portion of the great supply ramp of Khufu’s pyramid has been discovered, though I have doubts about whether the remains found really are part of the great supply ramp of Khufu’s pyramid, as the remains found do not quite point in the direction Lehner claims the ramp pointed and appears to be too small to be a part of what must have been a sizable supply ramp.

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