For the second time in less than two weeks, Egypt government officials on Saturday opened a new pyramid to the public, welcoming visitors and tourists to King Snefru's Bent Pyramid, in the royal necropolis of Dahshur, about 25 miles south of Cairo.
In the same pyramid complex where eight mummies were unearthed last November, Egypt's antiquities minister Khaled El-Anany told reporters that the Bent Pyramid had undergone extensive conservation work, including collecting stones from around the pyramid and re-attaching them to the main structure.
The Bent Pyramid is is unique in that it has two internal structures, the Associated Press reported on Saturday. It was deemed "bent" because the angle of its slope changes about one-third of the way up the pyramid's sides, shifting from a 54 degree angle to a gentler slope of 43 degrees. The Bent Pyramid's satellite pyramid was also opened to the pubic.
The construction of the pyramid also marked a transition from step pyramids to smooth-sided pyramids, El-Anany said.
"We are officially opening the Bent Pyramid for visitors today," El-Anany told reporters. "We are ending a rich archaeological season by a wonderful visit to this unique UNESCO-registered site," he said, referring to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a specialized agency within the U.N. that promotes international collaborations on projects involving the arts, science, culture and education.
The Bent Pyramid was built by King Snefru, a pharaoh from the old kingdom's fourth dynasty who ruled Egypt from 2575 to 2551 B.C.
"The two pyramids King Snefru built here eventually led Khufu, Snefru's son, to build the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World," he added.
Mostafa Waziri, the General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, also said that excavation work in the same site resulted in the discovery of pottery coffins that include mummies in "perfect shape."
Late last month, the 4,000-year-old mud-brick Lahun pyramid was also opened to the public in Fayoum, about 60 miles southwest of Cairo.
The north African nation is in the midst of a blitz of publicity to help revive a section of its tourist industry still recovering from the chaos the unfolded in the aftermath of a 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, the Associated Press reported on Saturday.