Meidum, Maydum or Maidum is an archaeological site in Lower Egypt.
It contains a large pyramid and several mud-brick mastabas. The pyramid was Egypt’s first straight-sided one, but it partially collapsed in ancient times.
The area is located around 62 miles (100 km) south of modern Cairo.
The pyramid at Meidum is thought to be just the second pyramid built after Djoser’s and may have been originally built for Huni, the last pharaoh of the Third Dynasty, and continued by Sneferu. The architect was a successor to the famous Imhotep, the inventor of the stone built pyramid.
The collapse of the pyramid is likely due to the modifications made to Imhotep’s pyramid design as well as the decisions taken twice during construction to extend the pyramid. Because of its unusual appearance, the pyramid is called el-heram el-kaddaab — (Pseudo Pyramid) in Egyptian Arabic.
Sneferu Pyramid waste limestone block.
Hole in bottom, used as pivot block on which to turn heavy levers in moving stones. 4th Dynasty. From Meidum, Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London
The second extension turned the original step pyramid design into a true pyramid by filling in the steps with limestone encasing. While this approach is consistent with the design of the other true pyramids, Meidum was affected by construction errors. Firstly, the outer layer was founded on sand and not on rock, like the inner layers. Secondly, the inner step pyramids had been designed as the final stage. Thus the outer surface was polished and the platforms of the steps were not horizontal, but fell off to the outside. This severely compromised the stability and is likely to have caused the collapse of the Meidum Pyramid in a downpour while the building was still under construction.