Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
The base of it anyway. It’s 16 feet high now, but Zahi Hawass, the indomitable secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, speculates that it was 50 feet plus when it was whole.
It’s ca. 4,300 years old, and Hawass thinks it was built for one Queen Sesheshet.
Hawass said that the ancient pyramid, the 118th to be found in Egypt, may be that of Teti’s mother because two of the Pharaoh’s wives are buried nearby in the necropolis. The archaeologists working on the site will only know for sure that it is Sesheshet once they enter the burial chamber and find inscriptions, Hawass said. It’s unlikely that they will find any treasure inside as there are signs that thieves from ancient times hacked into the structure by digging a shaft, he said.
References to Queen Sesheshet have been found in ancient papyrus texts. In one of them, the queen made a request to doctors to find her a cure for hair loss, Hawass said. It’s not clear if she was ever given one.
What, they didn’t have Rogaine made from scarabs and Nile silt?
Anyway, another supercool thing about this find is that there are large fragments of the casing still extant. The Great Pyramid of Giza has some of the casings visible down at the base, but most of the beautifully decorated limestone was either destroyed by earthquakes or by people who reused the casings to build something new over the years.