The pyramid of Hawara is located in the south-eastern Fayoum region, about 80km south of Cairo. It is the burial place of pharaoh Amenemhat III of the 12th dynasty (c. 1855-1808 BC). To the south of the pyramid Amenemhat III constructed a large mortuary cult complex in which the he was worshipped as a god for over 1500 years. The complex that originally stood adjacent to this pyramid is believed to be the "labyrinth" that is referred to by Herodotus and other classical authors as one of the wonders of the ancient world.
Due to sustained subsurface flooding, caused by the irrigation of the surrounding cultivated land, the archaeological site is exhibiting signs of severe deterioration. The underground water level has increased over the past century and now reaches approximately 5 meters below the topographic surface and has inundated the interior of the pyramid and the site of the labyrinth.
The LABYRINTH: Conservation, Analysis and Virtual Reconstruction of the Archaeological Site of Hawara Pyramid and Labyrinth Project, led by the Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage at Nottingham Trent University and the National Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics in Egypt will develop and implement an evidenced-based strategy and action-plan to inform the sustainable preservation of the endangered archaeological site using digital technologies.
The team will scan the pyramid and labyrinth area to detect anomalies and variations of magnetic/seismic and geoelectric fields, temperature and water levels to indicate hidden voids, structures and archaeological remains. A 3D digital model of the site will be created for conservation and preservation purposes. This work will inform and drive an effort to limit the impact of increasing hydrogeological threats and the deterioration of the structural integrity of pyramid and the associated labyrinth. The Project also intends to foster tourism by increasing global awareness of the site and its historical and archaeological significance.
The entrance passage of the pyramid partly submerged with internal flood water. March 2020.
This Project is sponsored by the generous fund of the Arts & Humanities research Council in the UK and the Science and Technology for Development Fund in Egypt, under Grant Ref:
Grant Ref: AH/R007977/1 (UK)
Grant Ref: STDF/30805 (EGY)