Ancient Egypt mystery solved after secret rooms discovered in pyramid

The Pyramid of Sahure
The pyramid of Sahure -Credit:(Image: Getty)

A mystery surrounding Ancient Egypt has been unravelled after secret rooms were found in a pyramid, two centuries following its initial exploration. The pyramid complex was constructed in the 25th century BCE for Pharaoh Sahure, the second ruler of Ancient Egypt's fifth dynasty (c.2465 c. 2325 BCE).

This marked the beginning of a period of pyramid building by his successors at Abusir, a site previously used by the founder of the fifth dynasty for his sun temple. The pyramid of Sahure was first explored in 1836 by British Egyptologist John Perring, who managed to clear the entrance and access passage. However, stonecutters severely damaged the burial chamber, leaving it uncertain whether it consisted of one or two rooms.

Perring discovered a basalt fragment, which he believed was part of the pharaoh's sarcophagus. He also found a low passageway in the northeastern part of the eastern wall of the burial chamber, reports the Express.

READ MORE The 90p kitchen staple that kills ants and woodlice in your home

Perring suggested this could lead to a storage area, but the corridor was filled with debris and he did not attempt to explore it. Due to poor preservation within the pyramid, an accurate reconstruction of the substructure was impossible. In 2019, a conservation and restoration project inside Sahure's pyramid was initiated with the aim of protecting the pyramid's substructure. The project was carried out by the Antiquities Endowment Fund of the American Research Center in Egypt.

Mohamed Ismail Khaled, an Egyptologist at the Julius-Maximilians-Universitat of Wurzburg, shared with SciNews: "Our efforts focused on cleaning the interior rooms, stabilising the pyramid from inside, and preventing further collapse." Mr Khaled added: "In the process, we succeeded in securing the pyramid's burial chambers, which had previously been inaccessible."

During the intricate restoration process, the team identified the original dimensions, unveiling the blueprint of the antechamber, which had dilapidated over the centuries. As a result, the ruined walls were replaced with new sustaining ones. Archaeologists revealed: "Perring suspected that corridors might have led to storage rooms. During further exploration in 1907, these assumptions were called into question."

They further unveiled: "But we discovered traces of a passage. Thereby proving that the observations made by Perring were correct. The work was continued, and the passage was uncovered. Thus, eight storerooms have been discovered so far."