Middle East

Egypt's Bent Pyramid opens to visitors

Egypt has opened to visitors the Bent Pyramid near Cairo, in a move that is part of a wider push to boost tourism.

A man stands in front of the Bent Pyramid, Egypt. Photo: 13 July 2019 Image copyright EPA

The Bent Pyramid at Dahshur was built for pharaoh Snefru about 2,600BC, and was originally designed as a "true" pyramid with the steep 54-degree angle.

People walk in front of the Bent Pyramid. Photo: 13 July 2019 Image copyright EPA

But the pyramid was being built on soft, silty clay - and there was a problem with stability and subsidence. This was solved by adjusting the angle to a flatter 43 degrees, 147ft (45m) up the face.

A man walks next to the Red Pyramid at Dahshur. Photo: 13 July 2019 Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

The angular shape contrasts with the straight sides of the Red Pyramid just to the north.

A man walks out of a passage from inside the Bent Pyramid. Photo: 13 July 2019 Image copyright Reuters

Visitors can now clamber down a 79m narrow tunnel from a raised entrance on the Bent Pyramid's northern side to reach two chambers deep inside the structure.

A man brushes off dust from a sarcophagus, part of a new discovery carried out near the King Amenemhat II's pyramid at Dahshur. Photo: 13 July 2019 Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

Archaeologists also presented mummies, masks and tools discovered during continuing excavation works that began near the Dahshur pyramids last year.

A recently discovered sarcophagus at Dahshur. Photo: 13 July 2019 Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

Tourism is an important source of revenue for the country.

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