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Egypt opens ‘Bent Pyramid’ for 1st time in decades & displays newly-discovered mummies (PHOTOS)

© Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP / Free

Egypt opened two ancient pyramids south of Cairo to the public for the first time in 54 years, including the unusually-shaped Bent Pyramid which is 4,600 years old and reveals a key step in the evolution of pyramid construction.

Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said the Alkaa Dogmatic Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid are opening to the public for the first time since 1965. The Bent Pyramid is a 101-meter-tall structure and a unique example of early pyramid development. 

Tourists will be able to walk down a 79-meter-long narrow tunnel inside the peculiar structure to visit two chambers deep inside.  

© Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP / Free

Archaeologists studying the nearby area also discovered the remains of an ancient wall dating back about 4,000 years. “Several stone, clay and wooden sarcophagi were found and some contain mummies in good condition,” the antiquities ministry said in a statement on the find. 

© Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP / Free

The Bent Pyramid was built for King Sneferu, the first pharaoh of Egypt’s 4th dynasty. The bottom half of the pyramid is built at a steep 54-degree angle and is largely covered in limestone casing. The upper half, though, slants at a strange 43-degree angle. It’s thought that during its construction, the more steep angle of the bottom could have shown signs of instability and so a decision was made to change the angle. 

Archaeologists believe it represents a transitional stage between step-sided and smooth-side pyramids. 

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