Pyramidion of Amenemhat III

The basalt pyramidion of Amenemhet III was found from his pyramid toppled from the peak of its structure and preserved relatively intact. Under a winged sun-disk are hieroglyphic texts offering the king access to the sun-god.

Very few pyramidia or capstones have survived into modern times. Most of those that remain are made of polished black granite, inscribed with the name of the pyramid’s owner. Four pyramidia – the world’s largest collection – are housed in the main hall of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Among them are the pyramidia from the so-called Black Pyramid of Amenemhat III at Dahshur and of the Pyramid of Khendjer at Saqqara.

Pyramidion of Amenemhat III
Pyramidion of Amenemhat III from Dahshur

In the year 1900, the then director of the Department of Antiquities Gaston Maspero had Dashur inspected, after the guards at the Saqqara necropolis were attacked by robbers. On the east side of the pyramid of Amenemhat, a grey block was found sticking out of the sand, which, upon closer inspection, was decorated with beautiful inscriptions. After excavation, the pyramidion of Amenemhat III was transported to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, reign of Amenemhat III, ca. 1860-1814 BC. From Dahshur. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 35133