Earth : Africa : North Africa : Egypt : Lower Egypt : Dahshur
Dahshur (Arabic دهشور Dahšūr, often incorrectly rendered in English as Dashur) is an Egyptian archaeological locality some 10 km to the south of Saqqara and therefore 35 km south of the Egyptian capital Cairo (29°48'30.7"N 31°12'22.1"E). It is best known as a more tranquil (if also more isolated) location in which to visit several very large pyramids - at least, when compared to Giza and Saqqara. Visitor numbers are much smaller, queues are way shorter and there is far less hassle.
Dahshur formed part of the extensive necropolis of ancient Memphis during the Old Kingdom - the so-called "Pyramid Age". The pharaoh Sneferu (sometimes spelt Snofru), founder of the 4th Dynasty and the father to Khufu - builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza) - managed to erect two complete pyramids at the location, in addition to completing another pyramid (for his predeccesor Huni) at Meidum. In sheer volume alone, the father definitely out-did his son!
Somewhat later, pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom's 12th Dynasty erected their own pyramids at the locality - though on a greatly reduced scale.
Dahshur is very much off the traditional tourist trail around Cairo, having been a restricted military zone until 1996. The Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities has in recent years, however, been encouraging travellers to visit Dashur, in an attempt to relieve some of the pressure on the Giza pyramids.
A number of Cairene hotels and travel agencies offer guided coach tours to Dahshur.
Dahshur is probably best accessed by hired taxi from Cairo, usually as an extension to a day trip to Saqqara and / or Memphis or even the more remote Pyramid of Meidum. A hired car and driver for the day to these sights can be arranged with comapnies such as Blue Cab in Cairo (over the phone or email) for around $30.
The Dahshur Necropolis is open daily 8am-5pm, admission LE£40. Students are 35 EGP. The pyramid field extends over 3.5 km north to south.
Dahshur is quiet compared to the more popular sights of Egypt. Do not expect any salesmen or even shops.