Egyptian Government Reopens Bent Pyramid to Tourists

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. archaeological / ˌɑr ki əˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl / (adj) – describing the history and remains of the culture, life, and activities of people in the past

    Caves are full of archaeological finds because early humans used to live in them.

  2. frequent / frɪˈkwɛnt / (v) – to visit a place often

    Tourists frequented the amusement park.

  3. prototype / ˈproʊ təˌtaɪp / (n) – the first or original model of something

    The newest version of the robot has a lot more functions than its prototype.

  4. revitalize / riˈvaɪt lˌaɪz / (v) – to make something more lively or active again

    The increase in foreign investors revitalized the country’s failing economy.

  5. instability / ˌɪn stəˈbɪl ɪ ti / (n) – the state of being unsecured

    The rise in food prices is due to the country’s economic instability.


Read the text below.

An odd-looking pyramid in Dahshur, Egypt, reopened to tourists for the first time since its closure in the 1960s.

The irregular pyramid, known as the Bent Pyramid, underwent restoration after it was closed in 1965. Last July, Egyptian officials decided to reopen the site to promote tourism in the city. The archaeological site lies in an open desert that is currently not frequented by tourists. It is also not yet as developed as Giza, where the famous Great Pyramid stands.

The Bent Pyramid was built during the Old Kingdom for the Pharaoh Sneferu           / ˈsnɛf ru / around 2600 B.C. Its uniqueness comes from its imperfect pyramid shape. The unusual appearance is due to the change in the pyramid’s angle at the middle before it narrows at the peak.

According to archaeologists and experts, the Bent Pyramid represents the transition between older pyramids and the perfectly shaped pyramids that Egypt is known for. They hypothesize that the Bent Pyramid may have served as a prototype for the latter pyramids.

The reopening of the Bent Pyramid is one of Egypt’s efforts to revitalize tourism in the country. Egypt was a popular tourist destination and had a lot of international visitors in the early 2000s. However, the number of tourists visiting the country sharply declined when the country faced political turmoil from 2011 until recently.

During this period of instability, some tourist destinations were robbed or damaged. Many hotels also became deserted because of lack of clients. The country reportedly lost millions of dollars monthly from the drop in tourist visits.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think opening new tourist attractions like the Bent Pyramid can help revitalize tourism in Egypt despite its political instability? Why or why not?
• How can a country protect its tourist attractions and landmarks from consequences of instability, like war and theft? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What things commonly affect tourism in a country (e.g. politics)? Discuss.
• In your opinion, is it important for a country to build a good reputation as a tourist destination? Explain.