In a remarkable archaeological discovery, a series of previously undocumented storage chambers have been unveiled within the pyramid of Pharaoh Sahure. This revelation sheds new light on the architectural marvel of Sahure’s pyramid, the second king of the Fifth Dynasty (c. 2400 BC) and the first king buried in Abusir.
Conservation and Restoration Project within the Sahure Pyramid
Initiated in 2019, the conservation and restoration project within the Sahure pyramid aimed to preserve its structural integrity. The team’s efforts focused on clearing the inner chambers, stabilizing the pyramid’s interior, and preventing further deterioration. In the process, they succeeded in ensuring the safety of previously inaccessible burial chambers.
During restoration, the team discovered the original dimensions of the deteriorated antechamber, revealing the layout plan. As a result, new support walls were constructed to replace the collapsed ones. The eastern wall of the antechamber had suffered significant damage, with only about 30 centimeters of the northeast corner and the eastern wall remaining visible.
Within the scope of the project, the traces of a low passageway noticed by John Perring during an excavation in 1836 were further excavated. Perring had mentioned that this passage was filled with debris and garbage, rendering it impassable due to decay. Egyptologists suspected that this passage might lead to storage chambers, but in 1907, when Ludwig Borchardt conducted a more detailed examination of the pyramid, these assumptions were questioned, and other experts concurred.
What’s even more astonishing is the recent team’s discovery of the traces of this passageway, confirming the accuracy of observations made during Perring’s discovery.
As work continued, the passageway was uncovered. To date, eight storage rooms have been unearthed. While the northern and southern sections of these chambers, especially the ceiling and original flooring, have suffered significant damage, remnants of the original walls and flooring can still be seen.
Careful documentation of the floor plans and dimensions of each storage chamber significantly altered researchers’ understanding of the pyramid’s interior.
During restoration, a balance was maintained between preservation and presentation, ensuring the structural integrity of the chambers for future research and potential public access.
Utilizing the latest technology, including portable LiDAR scanners and 3D laser scanning, the team collaborated with the 3D Geoscan team to conduct in-depth research within the pyramid. This cutting-edge technology facilitated comprehensive mapping of both the expansive external areas and the narrow corridors and chambers inside the pyramid.
This groundbreaking project represents a significant milestone in understanding the historical significance of Sahure’s pyramid. The discovery and restoration of these storage chambers are expected to revolutionize our perspective on the development of pyramid structures and challenge existing paradigms in the field.
The exploration of hidden chambers within Pharaoh Sahure’s pyramid is a testament to human curiosity and dedication to unraveling the mysteries of the past. This discovery not only sheds light on the architectural brilliance of the Fifth Dynasty but also paves the way for future insights into ancient Egyptian history.
Featured Image Source: Mohamed Khaled