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Egypt Opens Its 'Unusual' Bent Pyramid

Pair of its most ancient pyramids open to public for the first time since the 1960s
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 14, 2019 8:13 AM CDT
Detail of a recently discovered sarcophagus at the Memphis necropolis during an event opening the pyramid and its satellites for visitors in Dashur, Egypt, Saturday, July 13, 2019. An Egyptian mission...   (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
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(Newser) – Egypt on Saturday opened two of its oldest pyramids, located about 25 miles south of the capital Cairo, to visitors for the first time since 1965. Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anany told reporters that tourists are now allowed to visit the Bent Pyramid and its satellite pyramid in the Dahshur royal necropolis, which is part of the Memphis Necropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Bent Pyramid, which the AP reports was built during the Old Kingdom of the Pharaoh of Sneferu, in about 2600 BC, is unique in that it has two internal structures. El-Anany said the Bent Pyramid represents a transitional form of pyramid construction between the Djoser Step Pyramid (2667-2648 BC) and the Meidum Pyramid (also about 2600 BC). The Guardian notes its "unusual" shape: The first 160 feet rise at "a steep 54 degree angle, before tapering off towards the top."

El-Anany also announced that Egyptian archaeologists have uncovered a collection of stone, clay, and wooden sarcophagi, some of them with mummies, in the area. He said archaeologists also found wooden funerary masks along with instruments used for cutting stones, dating to the Late Period (664-332 BC). Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said they also uncovered large stone blocks along with limestone and granite fragments indicating the existence of ancient graves in the area. Egypt has been whipping up publicity for its new historical discoveries in the hopes of reviving a devastated tourism sector still recovering from the turmoil following a 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

(Read more ancient Egypt stories.)

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