Egypt plans to encase the smallest of the three Great Pyramids with 2,000 red granite slabs that covered part of the structure in ancient times, a government archaeology official said Sunday.
Workers soon will begin making detailed plans of King Mycerinos’ pyramid to determine where the slabs should be placed, said Zahi Hawass, chief archaeologist for the Giza plateau where the Sphinx and Great Pyramids are located.
The 10-year project began last year with the measuring and registering of stones - some weighing 1-1/2 tons - found scattered on the plateau just outside Cairo. Cranes will be used to lift them into place. The project’s cost is estimated to be $5 million.
Mycerinos’ pyramid was reopened March 3 after a yearlong restoration effort to reinforce walls, erase graffiti and install a new ventilation system.
He said that only one-third of the pyramid’s bottom was covered with granite and 70 percent of those stones fell off. The current project entails replacing the stones that dropped away.