On June 28th, the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany paid a visit to the mystical site of the Lahun Pyramid in Fayoum, to mark the completion of its restoration and also announce its opening up to the public for the first time ever.
The ceremony was attended by Major-General Essam Saad Governor of Fayoum, General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri, and a few members of the Egyptian parliament along with Egyptian and international media outlets, where the occasion also included announcing the inauguration of Khond Aslabay mosque as well as a new discovery at the northern corner of the pyramid.
The Ministry of Antiquities said that the Lahun Pyramid is 4,000 years old and was constructed by King Senusret II, a 12th dynasty pharaoh who ruled Egypt from 1897 BC to 1878 BC. Considered as the only pyramid of the Middle Kingdom, the lesser-known structure was constructed using mud-brick, which is a common material that pertains to older pyramids. With a length of 106m and a height of 48.6m, the Lahun pyramid’s structure is supported by a natural rocky core that was made to accommodate a pyramid top and included large limestone walls that provide support for the brick sections.
Restoration efforts included cleaning the burial chamber, corridors and the overall inside of the pyramid from debris, as well as installing a wooden passageway at the entrance, a lighting system and guiding panels.
During excavation works by an Egyptian archaeological mission spearheaded by the General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri, the southern side of the Lahun pyramid revealed many artifacts found inside a Middle Kingdom tomb. Waziri stated that the tomb containing these objects consisted of three shrines and a front court.
In a report by ABC News, they state that the pyramid’s entrance is peculiarly located on the southern side; a strange location seeing as other pyramids across Egypt have their entrances typically located on their northern sides.
British archeologist William Petrie was the first to discover the Lahun pyramid in 1889, at a time when it did not garner the adequate attention it deserved and as such remained shrouded in mystery. However in 2009, Reuters reported that several mummies contained in brightly painted wooden coffins were unearthed from inside the pyramid by archeologists.
The Pyramids of Giza might be the most commercially recognizable ones in the world, but official sources estimate that Egypt is home to more than 120 pyramids that date back to different periods throughout Ancient Egyptian history, and the Lahun pyramid is one of the most intriguing ones to date.