Andrew Bayuk has posted his annual “Guardian’s Spotlight interview with Dr Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. The interview covers a number of topical areas, including the restoration work on (and laser survey of) the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, and also that the Great Pyramid of Giza will no longer be part of the yearly closing cycle of the Giza pyramids – it will remain open always from now on (though limited to only 300 people per day).
Also mentioned in the interview is the ‘persistent’ matter of the Queen’s Chamber shafts in the Great Pyramid (the site of the “Gantenbrink Door”, first discovered…oh, 16 years ago now?):
I meet now with people from Singapore, and scientists from Manchester University, and also from Hong Kong, and we built a kind of a tunnel in the desert, similar to the one in the Great Pyramid, and they made 3 times experiments. And next month we have the final experiment. After that, we’ll choose the team to continue the work…
…We will hope that it’s the beginning of next year, maximum.
Also worth checking out, while you’re in the neighbourhood, is this recent update on the Great Sphinx:
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) said that the scientific studies carried out by the Ecology and Engineering Center revealed that the groundwater in front of the sphinx is potable water, found at a depth of 4,8 metres below ground – a level which has not changed since ancient times. He asserted that within two months, the water in front of the Sphinx will be pumped out within the framework of a 2 million LE project being carried out by the Archeological Engineering Centre at Cairo University (AEC).
Needless to say, that area is another that has had it’s fair share of rumour and controversy…