In order to encourage tourism again after the violent revolution in Egypt last year, the 4,500 year old tomb inside the Pyramid of Khafre will be opened later this year (Washington Post, 2012). This is one of the three pyramids on the Giza plateau, and while not the largest—the Great Pyramid of Khufu holds that title—it is the only one of the three to still retain parts of its original limestone casement.
The tomb itself belongs to Queen Meresankh III, one of the wives of the 4th Dynasty pharaoh Khafre. Queen Meresankh III died suddenly, and her mother volunteered the tomb for her daughter (Washington Post, 2012). This tomb has been closed to the public for many years in order to repair damages and alterations made to the tomb from when it was previously open; thus, the reopening is meant to be an important and symbolic event for Egypt. As Ali Asfar, director general of archaeology on the Giza plateau stated “We want to give people a reason to come back, to give them something new” (Washington Post, 2012). Five additional tombs belonging to high priests will also be opened for the public. One such example is the tomb of Kaemankh who was one of the royal treasurers (Washington Post, 2012).
It is the public’s fascination with ancient Egypt (“Egyptomania” if you will), that the country is hoping to evoke in order to bring tourists back in. By reopening an ancient tomb, Egyptian archaeologists are trying to entice an international audience to come explore ancient wonders and demonstrate that the country is a safe and inviting place for tourists once again. Hopefully, for the sake of the Egyptian tourism industry, this ploy will increase the number of visitors to the country and will show that Egypt is once again a safe locale for foreign visitors.