Egyptian Pyramid to Open to the Public

Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, has announced that the 4500 year old “Bent” Pyramid will soon open its inner chambers, allowing tourists to venture inside for the first time. He also says that others may follow suit soon afterwards.

The Bent Pyramid is located in Dahshur, which sits roughly 50 miles south of Cairo, and is believed to have been built by the Pharaoh Sneferu. Hawass says that the Pharaoh’s tomb has yet to be discovered, and he believes that it is still somewhere inside the structure.

The pyramid gets its name from the fact that its upper portion slants at a different angle from the lower portion. Egyptian archeologists believe that as the structure was being built, engineers changed their design out of fear that the whole thing would collapse. As a result, the bottom part of the pyramid rises up at a 55º angle, then transitions to 43º as it nears the top.

The Red Phyramid, which sits closely to the Bent, is already open to the pubic, allowing visitors to venture inside. Hawass promise that more are scheduled to open next year, including one that is described as having “an underground labyrinth”, that dates back to the Middle Kingdom, some 4000 years ago.

While I was in Egypt a few years back, I had the opportunity to go inside one of the Pyramids at Giza. It was dark, cramped, and the passage was narrow. Once you got inside, to the inner chamber, there wasn’t anything to see either, and certainly nothing like the amazing artwork inside the tombs at the Valley of the Kings.