4,300-year-old pyramid discovered in Egypt

Archeologists in Egypt have found a 4,300-year-old pyramid.

Archeologists in Egypt have found a 4,300-year-old pyramid.

The pyramid, which is believed to have belonged to Queen Sesheshet, was discovered in the sprawling rulers' burial site near the ancient city of Memphis about 20 kilometres south of Cairo, said Zahiu Hawass, Egypt's chief of antiquities.

Queen Sesheshet was the mother of King Teti, the founder of the sixth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom.

Archeologists began excavating the site where the pyramid was found about two years ago, but only uncovered the find about two months ago, Hawass said.

The discovery will help archeologists develop a greater understanding of Egypt's Sixth Dynasty — the last of the Old Kingdom — which ruled from 2323-2291 BC. It was a time of conflict in Egypt's royal family that eventually led the country into an era of famine and social upheaval.

The step-like structure is currently five metres tall, but is believed to have been 14 metres high with 22-metre-long sides when it was fully intact, Hawass said.

The site was found near pyramids that belong to two of Teti's wives in the Saqqara area, the main burial site for ancient royals before the pyramids of Giza.

Hawass said archeologists intend to enter the pyramid within two weeks to confirm it belongs to Queen Sesheshet, but expect that most of its contents will have been plundered by thieves.

It is the 118th discovered pyramid in Egypt.

With files from the Associated Press