The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities opened on Saturday the 4,600-year-old Bent Pyramid at Dahshur royal necropolis in Giza province southern the capital Cairo to visitors for the first time after its restoration and reparation works have been done.
The pyramid belongs to Old Kingdom’s Pharaoh Sneferu, and it was named as the “Bent Pyramid” or “the Pyramid with Two Angles” for having two different angles of inclination from base to top.
“This pyramid doesn’t have only two angles of inclination but also two entrances. The first one is in the northern side and it will be officially opened for the first time to the public today, and the second is the western one,” Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany, told reporters during the inauration ceremony in the desert near the pyramid.
The Bent Pyramid is about 101 meters high with a base of nearly 188 meters. The northern side entrance opened to visitors leads to a narrow 80-meter long passage with a stairway leading finally to a burial chamber.
The sides of the pyramid looked smooth despite some broken spots. Some damaged parts of its edges had new metal supports.
“This pyramid marks a very important step in the construction of pyramids in Egypt, because it’s a turning point and a transition between step-sided and smooth-sided pyramids,” said the Egyptian minister, noting that Dahshur necropolis is included in the UNESCO’s world heritage list.
The Bent Pyramid was the first built by Sneferu; the second is located about two kilometers away and referred to as the Red Pyramid due to the reddish color of its sides.
Sneferu, the founder of the Fourth Dynasty, was the father of King Khufu (Cheops), the builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
After the inauguration ceremony, the Egyptian ministry announced the discovery of remains of a 60-meter Middle Kingdom winding wall about 300 meters south of King Amenemhat II’s pyramid in Dahshur necropolis.
“Besides the wall, the Egyptian mission of the Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA) found a collection of stone, clay and wooden sarcophagi with some of them having their mummies inside,” Mostafa Waziri, SCA chief and head of the mission, told Xinhua near the Bent Pyramid.
A collection of wooden funerary masks was also unearthed during excavation works, along with small tools used for cutting stones, all belonging to the Late Period some 2,600 years ago.
The ceremony was attended by the governor of Giza as well as ambassadors and diplomats from about 40 Western, Asian, Arab and African states.