Egypt's chief archaeologist claims rediscovery of long-missing pyramid

Egypt unveiled on Thursday a newly uncovered 4,000-year-old "missing pyramid" and a ceremonial procession road where high priests, their faces obscured by masks, once carried mummified sacred bulls worshipped in the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. The pyramid was actually a "rediscovery," said Egypt's antiquities chief, Zahi Hawass. It is believed to have been built by King Menkauhor, an obscure pharaoh who ruled for only eight years. In 1842, German archaeologist Karl Richard Lepsius mentioned it among his finds at Saqqara, giving it number 29 and calling it the "Headless Pyramid" because its top was missing. But the desert sands covered Lepsius' discovery, and no archaeologist since was able to find Menkauhor's resting place. "We have filled the gap of the missing pyramid," Hawass told reporters on a tour of the discoveries at Saqqara, the necropolis and burial site of the rulers of ancient Memphis, the capital of Egypt's Old Kingdom, about 19 kilometers south of Cairo. Only the pyramid's base - or the superstructure as archeologists call it - was found after a 25-foot (8 meter)-high mound of sand was removed over the past year and a half by Hawass' team.