Egypt reveals a new ancient treasure

Fleishman is a Times staff writer.

Desert winds blow, sands shift, archaeologists dig, and one day you find a pyramid. Egyptian authorities announced Tuesday that they had discovered what’s left of the base of a pyramid estimated to be 4,300 years old.

The site near Saqqara has been under excavation for 20 years, and its pyramid is believed to have belonged to Queen Sesheshet, the mother of King Teti, who ruled the Sixth Dynasty about 2291 BC.

“It’s common for us to find a tomb or a statue, but to find a pyramid, that is rare,” Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters. “There are probably many more discoveries to be made around this site.”


Archaeologists have yet to enter the pyramid’s tomb. Saqqara, about 12 miles south of Cairo, was a necropolis for rulers of ancient Egypt.

The newest find brings to 118 the number of Egypt’s discovered pyramids. It lies near the oldest existing step pyramid, which, when the light is right and a camel lumbers in silhouette, seems to defy time, looters and all the elements.