Egyptian Tomb to Reopen to Tourists
For the past 25 years, her tomb has been forbidden to visitors, but this year, Egyptian authorities have decided to reopen the tomb of Queen Meresankh III. She was the wife of the pharaoh Khafra (also known as Chephren), who built the second-largest tomb at Giza.
The queen’s tomb, also located at Giza, houses elaborate drawings and inscriptions, the colours and intricacies of which captured the imagination of American archaeologist George Reisner and his team when they discovered Meresankh’s tomb in 1927.
“Our eyes were first startled by the vivid colours of the reliefs and inscriptions around the northern part of this large chamber. None of us had ever seen anything like it,” he wrote in the October 1927 bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Authorities have also said they plan to reopen the Serapeum at Sakkara, an underground temple located in the south of Cairo, and believed to have been the burial site for sacred bulls, laid to rest in huge granite and basalt sarcophagi.
Egypt’s tourism has suffered in the past year, primarily a result of the revolution that took place last spring and summer, and the country hopes these new openings will boost the number of visitors.
“We want to give people a reason to come back, to give them something new,” said Ali Asfar, director general of archaeology on the Giza plateau.