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Egypt opened to visitors two of its oldest pyramids

Egypt on Saturday opened two of its oldest pyramids, located about 25 miles south of the capital Cairo, to visitors for the first time since 1965.

Tourists were now allowed to visit the Bent Pyramid and its satellite pyramid in the Dahshur royal necropolis, which is part of the Memphis Necropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Bent Pyramid, which was built during the Old Kingdom of the Pharaoh of Sneferu, in about 2600 B.C., is unique in that it has two internal structures. Tourists will now be able to clamber down a 79-meter (86 yards) narrow tunnel from a raised entrance on the pyramid’s northern face, to reach two chambers deep inside the 4,600-year-old structure.

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Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anany also announced that Egyptian archaeologists have uncovered a collection of stone, clay and wooden sarcophagi, some of them with mummies, in the area. Authorities are seeking to promote tourism at Dahshur, about 28km (17 miles) south of central Cairo. The site lies in the open desert, attracts just a trickle of visitors, and is free of the touts and bustle of Giza. The promotion of Dahshur is part of a wider push to boost tourism, an important source of foreign revenue for Egypt.

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