Ancient Egypt - Pharaoh Senusret I

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

During Senusret's reign, he continued exploiting the quarries and mines throughout Egypt, and for the first time, led an expedition into the Western Desert. At Heliopolis, he erected a pair of 66-foot red granite obelisks, each weighing 121 tons. One of the pair still stands and is the oldest standing obelisk in Egypt.

Senusret built a pyramid one mile south of his father's monument, at el-Lisht. This pyramid used a method of construction never before seen in an Egyptian pyramid; four stone walls radiated from the center built of rough-hewn blocks that decreased in size the higher their placement. The eight sections formed by these walls were then subdivided by three more walls, splitting the pyramid into 32 different units which were then filled with slabs of stone as well as debris. An exoskeleton of fine limestone then covered the structure. This new method of construction was not particularly efficient, and the completed pyramid suffered from stability problems. Unusual for Egyptian archaeology, clear evidence for ramps used to construct the pyramid remain. The burial chamber, like his father's, is inaccessible due to ground water.