An Egyptian step pyramid even older than all the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World which also includes the Great Pyramid of Giza has been unearthed by archaeologists in southern Egypt.
The group, led by Gregory Marouard, a research associate at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute began excavating in 2010 to uncover the pyramid which was known about but had not been recovered from its deep sandy home due to budget restrictions.
The step pyramid, which when built around 4,600 years ago was 13 metres (43 feet) high, but due to pillaging is now only about one third of that.
It is one of seven ‘provincial’ pyramids built across central and southern Egypt by either the Pharaoh Huni or Snefru and the purpose of the constructions remains a mystery. The most likely explanation so far is that they were used as symbolic monuments scattered over Egypt as confirmation of the pharaohs’ divine powers.
“The construction itself reflects a certain care and a real expertise in the mastery of stone construction, especially for the adjustment of the most important blocks,” said Marouard.
It seems the pyramid was a victim of budget cuts and resourcing as Egypt’s focus poured into building the Great Pyramid of Giza leaving smaller pyramids to be neglected.