Built by Sneferu, a pharaoh of the Fourth dynasty, the Red Pyramid was the third pyramid he built, following the Medium and Bent Pyramids, and ultimately served as his tomb. The Red Pyramid is believed to be Egypt's first successful attempt at constructing a true smooth-sided pyramid.
The pyramid rises from the desert at an angle of inclination of 42 degrees to an elevation of 105 metres. It is the third largest pyramid in Egypt after the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Khafre, both at Giza. The pyramid is surrounded by a funerary complex that includes a ruined mortuary temple on the eastern side of the pyramid and an enclosure wall.
The remains of the mortuary temple have long been used by local people as place to socialise. Located just west of the pyramid is a deep open shaft full of water at the bottom, under which lies a submerged passageway that connects with the interior of the pyramid.
The Medjay Bayek of Siwa explored the tomb in 48 BCE, helping the scholar Merkes to look for an ancient artifact that would help to solve Sneferu's pyramid mystery. The artifact, revealed to be a model replica of the pyramid, was insert into the pyramidion at the top of the pyramid with the other model replicas of the Bent Pyramid and the Medium Pyramid, reveal the location of a temple ruins, built above Sneferu's secret vault.
- The Red Pyramid is so named because of the warm hues of the iron rich limestone used in its construction.
- The Red Pyramid was not always red but was once cased in fine white limestone.
- A pyramidion was discovered next to the real life Red Pyramid at Dahshur where it is now on display. It is possible it was never used since the angle of inclination of the pyramidion differs from that of the pyramid itself.