CAIRO: The pyramid of the fifth Dynasty Pharaoh Unas was opened to public Friday after two decades of renovation, the antiquities Ministry announced in a statement.
The opening ceremony of the 4,300 year old pyramid complex, which is located a few meters to the south of the Step Pyramid in Sakkara, was attended by Antiquities Minister Khaled al Anany and delegations of foreign archaeological institutes in Egypt.
“Despite its small size, it is considered one of the most important Egyptian pyramids because it is the first burial to contain carvings known by modern historians as ‘the Pyramids Texts,’” said Anany.
“The Pyramids Texts feature a collection of ancient Egyptian religious texts carved on the walls of royal burials for the purpose of protecting the pharaoh’s remains, reanimating his body after death, and helping him ascend to the heavens, which are the emphasis of the afterlife in the ancient Egyptian mythology,” archaeologist Sherif el Sabban told The Cairo Post Friday.
In doing so, Unas initiated a tradition that was followed in the royal pyramids to the 8th Dynasty and until the end of the Old Kingdom circa 200 years later, al Sabban added.
French Egyptologist Gaston Maspero was the first to have an access into the pyramid in 1881 but the pyramid was closed in 1996 as humidity has negatively affected its burial chamber, according to the antiquities ministry statement.
The minister also inaugurated three tombs after their renovation work has been completed.
The Mastaba of Ankhmahor; a vizier under the reign of the six Dynasty Pharaoh Teti (2345B.C.02333B.C.), in addition to the tomb of Nefer-Seshem-Ptah were among the tombs opened to public.