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Page last updated at 09:02 GMT, Thursday, 3 September 2009 10:02 UK

The necropolis of Dahshur

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Located approximately an hour's drive out of Cairo is the royal necropolis of Dahshur. Famous for its pyramids, the site contains two of the oldest, largest and best preserved in Egypt. The site opened to the public in 1996 but remains undiscovered by large tourist groups and retains a certain peace and tranquillity.

The Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid were constructed during the reign of Pharaoh Snefru whose name means 'bringer of beauty'. The unusual shape of the Bent Pyramid is unique and represents an important transitional phase in pyramid building. Its outer, white limestone casing remains intact - a rarity in Egypt.

The Red Pyramid, 2km to the north, was named for the red limestone used in its construction and is the world's first 'true', or smooth-sided pyramid in Egypt.

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