Past Press Releases

CONTENTS: Lectures \ Teaching \ Books \ Opening the 2nd Pyramid \ New Information From Giza \ Sites Opened at Bahriya Oasis!Discoveries in Memphis: the Pyramid of a Queen! \ Discovery at Saqqara 

News From The Pyramids
June 2000
Dr. Zahi Hawass


  1. A lecture about the pyramids and the Sphinx with Mark Lehner. On full day at the natural History Museum in L.A. August 26. The conference is hosted by the American Research Center (ARCE).

  2. A full two days symposium will be held in Dallas with:

Kent Weeks
Mark Lehner
Robert Witner
Salim Ikram

The symposium is arranged by Seven Wonders Travel.
To attend call : 915-533-8503

        3.  Another lecture, I will deliver in Sacramento. For information call Vision Tours:     


I will teach this year at UCLA. The course will be on pyramids and start from August 7 to September 15, only two days a week, Tuesday and Thursday.

The outline of the course is listed in my Web-site last year.


Silent Images women In Pharaonic Egypt. Published by Harry Abrams Network in Hardcover and paperback. Also it is published in Italian by Mandadori.

The Valley of the Golden Mummies is going to be published by Harry Abrams in September: The book will be published in English French, German, and Italian.

The American University Press in Cairo has produced the second edition of the book, Secrets of the Sphinx.

 Opening the second pyramid to the public

The second pyramid (Khafre) will be open to the public in July 2000.

Mr. Farouk Hosni the Minister of Culture announced the opening.

The following has been done inside the pyramid:

1-       Cleaning the salt.

2-       Restoration of cracks.

3-       Cleaning the graffiti.

4-       Improving the ventilation system.

5-       Changing the electricity system.

The third pyramid of Menkaure will be closed for conservation. This is the program of the rotation system that we do routinely at the plateau.

There are also three New Tombs will be opened to the public after Restoration at Giza:

1-       Dua en Re

2-       Nefer bau ptah

3-       Imery

The Tombs are dated to the Old Kingdom and located west of the great pyramid of Khufu.

We made architectural restoration to the three tombs. The tomb of Imery that dated to Dynasty 5 of the Old Kingdom has beautiful daily life scenes. The best scene in this tomb is the scene of wine production.

New information from Giza

We demolished all the electricity pillars at Giza pyramid. These pillars were about 3-5 meters high and I always say that it make a site pollution. Instead we put a new installation about are meter high.

We also close the site completely at:

In Summer:
1-   Opening the site:

8 AM -  5 PM

In Winter :
2-    Opening the site:
8 AM - 4 PM

The site now is very quiet and you can feel the silence and the dignity.

Sites open to the public at Bahriya Oasis

We already opened some New Sites to the public.

  1. Temple of Alexander the great.

  2. The 26 Dynasty chapels at Ain EL-Meftela.

The two 26 Dynasty tombs at Town of EL-Bawiti:

  1. Banentiu.

  2. Zad-Amun eu Ankh.

You can also visit 6 Mummies that were moved to a local Museum in the Town of el-Bawiti.

The ticket for all these sites cost 30 Egyptian Pounds. The Mummies are in Cases but the Museum is not finished yet. They are two room attached to the inspectorate of Antiquities.

Discoveries in the Area of Memphis

1- The French Expedition under Jean Leclant found a new pyramid of a Queen!

The Pyramid was found to the south of the pyramid of King Pepi I of Dynasty 26. The pyramid belong to Queen Ankhes-en Pepi, she was the main Queen of Pepi and the mother of Pepi II.

The pyramid is inscribed inside with pyramid Texts and it is the first queen’s pyramid to contain this inscription which helps the Queen to go safely to the afterlife.

Discovery at Saqqara of a hidden rock-cut statue of kings, protected by a cow in the tomb of a high official during the time of Ramesses II

 A series of important tombs of the New Kingdom (14th- 13th centuries B.C) had been discovered by a French Mission working on the site of Saqqara (the Mission Archéoloique Française du Bubateion, directed by Dr. Alain Zivie) in 1996. The discovery occurred on the famous site of Saqqara, the cemetery of Memphis, in the precinct of the later sanctuary of the goddess Bastet where huge numbers of mummies of cats have been buried much later, in Late and Ptolemaic Periods (last centuries BC)

Amongst the discovered tombs, one of the most astonishing and beautiful has been the sepulture of the lady Maïa, wet-nurse of the King Tutankhamun, whose excavation (made more difficult by the reuse of the tomb as a cats necropolis in a later period) and study are still in progress. Other tombs located in the same small part of the cliff and identified in 1996 and 1997 have been the tomb of the royal butlers Seth Penrenout, the tomb of painters (Djehoutymes and Ken) and the tomb of a high official of the time of Ramesses II, whose name could be read Netcherouymes (or Antyoumes?)

This last tomb is exceptional from an architectural point of view. The main part of its chapel, instead of being hewn in the rock, has been partly hewn in the rock and partly built in a beautiful limestone (imported from Tura on the other side of the Nile). A big part of its walls with their decoration and their reliefs (painted) has been found, as well as two square pillars of about 2 m of height, also decorated and painted.

The owner of the tomb was a certain Netcherouumes (or Antyouymes?) who was, according to the inscription, high steward of Memphis and director of the treasury under the King Ramesses II. It seems that he had also been, in a previous part of his life, a royal messenger (ambassador). In that case, he could have been one of the envoys of Ramesses II to the capital of the Hittites, Hattusa (in Turkey), who prepared the peace treaty between Egypt and the Hittites in the years 21 of Ramesses II.

Since its discovery in 1996, the tomb of Netcherouymes had been studied and works of conservation and preservation have been realized, but no more excavation had been done there. The excavation has been resumed only during the Spring season of the French Mission of the Bubasteoin, in the month of May 2000. After clearance of the built chapel, the next step was the exploration and the excavation of the rock–cut part of the tomb (inner chapel). But, as often on this site, a solid masonry of stones and mortar, dating of the Later or Greek Period, prevented to go father. The only way was to extract some blocks in order to get an idea of the size and the décor of the room still hidden by this blocking.

The removing of some stones led to a striking discovery. Behind the blocking, at a short distance deeper in the rock, it was possible to see, through a narrow hole, the upper part of a statue of a King (certainly Ramesses II), hewn in the rock, still painted, but fragile. A closer examination permitted to discover that the King is standing at the front and under the head of a huge cow (or less probably bull), also hewn in the rock and still prisoner of the ate blocking.

The Mission has not proceeded forward this season. The questions of conservation and preservation, as well as the technical problems of removing of the late blocking, will be studied before to progress in the exploration of this room, certainly during the next season (Autumn 2000).

Such a figure, hewn in the rock, of the goddess Hathor (less probably the bull of the god Apis) protecting the King, at such a Marge scale, is quite exceptional. It is the first time that it is attested at Saqqara (but there is a perhaps one, badly preserved, in the tomb of the royal butler, also discovered by the Mission in 1996). Nevertheless, old drawings and archives of the XIXth century seem to attest the existence of other tombs with such representations, elsewhere on the site, but now lost.

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Past Press Releases:

Opening of tombs and Queen's Pyramids in Giza (2/98)

World Celebrates Successful Restoration of the Sphinx(5/98)

Dr. Hawass Promoted (7/98)

Horse and Camel Stable at Giza/Restoration of Great Pyramid (11/98)

The Great Pyramid, Sphinx Temple, Recent Lectures and more (4/99)

The Opening of the Great Pyramid (6/99)

The Millennium Celebration(12/99)

Eighth International Congress Honorees and More (3/2000)

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