Dr. Daniel Soliman
Egyptologist at Dutch National Museum of Antiquities
The Red Pyramid, built in Sneferu’s reign, was the first ever large pyramid with smooth sides, making it a ‘true’ pyramid. With 105 meters in height, this was no easy task.
Sneferu’s architects were able to build such a large structure after years of trial and error because of the political and economic stability in the Fourth Dynasty, also known as the ‘Golden Age’. Soris ruled Ancient Egypt for about 24 years, a strong testament to his leadership. The stability allowed the kingdom to spend a great amount of resources on art and monuments.
Several years after the reign of Sneferu, the wealth and prosperity of royal rule declined. Power became decentralized with smaller, local rulers, which spread the economical welfare. This however made it difficult to achieve large impactful nation-wide construction projects.
The Egyptians loved to use colours in their art and relics to emphasize certain parts of their beliefs. While the colours white (“hedj”) and red (“deshr”) would sometimes symbolize purity and chaos respectively, they represented unity in the king’s so-called double crown. We hope to pass on this state of being through the design of the Soris piece.
The name of the Pharaoh could be written in hieroglyphs inside of a protective oval, known as a cartouche. The hieroglyphic signs in Sneferu’s cartouche are a folded cloth (s-), a heart with its trachea (nefer), and a quail chick (-u).