Egypt Announces Renovation of Pyramid of Menkuare at Giza

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Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/egypt-reconstructing-outside-giza-smallest-pyramid-king-menkaure/

Cairo — Archaeologists have launched a huge project to restore the smallest of Giza's three famous pyramids to what they believe it looked like when it was built more than 4,000 years ago. An Egyptian-Japanese archaeological mission announced the project to put back in place hundreds of granite blocks that used to form the outer casing of the pyramid of King Menkaure, the smallest of the three main pyramids on the iconic Giza Necropolis.

Thought this might be of interest to the Civ-playing audience.
 
Thanks for sharing this fascinating article about the project to restore the exterior of the smallest pyramid of Giza. I'm actually planning a trip to Egypt later this year and was wondering - would any of these restoration sites be open for visitors to check out the work being done? I'd love to see the archaeologists in action and get a glimpse of this ambitious project if possible.

On another note, as someone traveling to Egypt for the first time, do you have any tips on safety? Is it safe to explore these areas or would it be better to hire a guide? I want to experience the culture and history authentically but safety is also a priority. Any advice would be much appreciated as I start planning my itinerary. Thanks in advance!
 
Thanks for sharing this fascinating article about the project to restore the exterior of the smallest pyramid of Giza. I'm actually planning a trip to Egypt later this year and was wondering - would any of these restoration sites be open for visitors to check out the work being done? I'd love to see the archaeologists in action and get a glimpse of this ambitious project if possible.

On another note, as someone traveling to Egypt for the first time, do you have any tips on safety? Is it safe to explore these areas or would it be better to hire a guide? I want to experience the culture and history authentically but safety is also a priority. Any advice would be much appreciated as I start planning my itinerary. Thanks in advance!
I would suggest that if you are traveling alone or with a friend or family, and don't speak the language, you hire a local guide to help you get around, deal with transportation, arrange tickets etc. There are websites for hiring guides around the world. I've found the hardest part of going to places where I have no clue about the language or how to navigate the cities, a guide can make things so much easier and fun. IIRC I paid $80 a day or so in Beijing in 2018. It was so worth it. I got to focus on seeing and doing things and not how to understand the subway or taxis or paying too much etc.

 
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That would be interesting to see the restoration work in progress. I'd have to imagine it would be hard to hide a project of such scale, and the question would be more, "how close could one get/should binoculars be packed?" But maybe they'll have it obscured to protect the archaeologists from the distraction of all the visitors? :dunno:

Alas, my information on safety when traveling to Egypt is 80-90 years out of date. Which means it's more or less useless unless you have a time machine.
 
I would suggest that if you are traveling alone or with a friend or family, and don't speak the language, you hire a local guide to help you get around, deal with transportation, arrange tickets etc. There are websites for hiring guides around the world. I've found the hardest part of going to places where I have no clue about the language or how to navigate the cities, a guide can make things so much easier and fun. IIRC I paid $80 a day or so in Beijing in 2018. It was so worth it. I got to focus on seeing and doing things and not how to understand the subway or taxis or paying too much etc.

I am travelling alone, I was searching earlier and I stumbled from this blog Moderator Action: spam link removed. The_J about the pros and cons on getting a guide and now I am reading your comment, I think it really safe and best to get one. and I do agree, it's really make life easier and on getting a guide. Thank you so much for your advice! I really appreciate it.
 
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@reststillunwritten Guides are great for handling all the logistics of getting around in places where language is a challenge. If your guide also has the art, history, culture knowledge, then that adds a great dimension to their use. My Chinese guide not only was fluent in English, but was certified by the government to know detailed knowledge about all the main tourist destinations in Beijing. And she was fun to be with. I hired her for 4 days. She "picked me up" at my hotel each morning; we took taxis to our destinations; she could bump me to the front of long lines, I bought her lunch and on long days dinner. I gave her a generous tip at the end. My guide at the Summer Palace. When not guiding, she runs a custom bicycle business.


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Honestly I am not a fan of this. Conservation is one thing, and something that definitively should be done, but just outright rebuilding an ancient monument like that just feels wrong. I mean, they are basically erasing millennia of history and replacing it with an artists impression of what it was supposed to look like. To me that just diminishes the value. And I can't but feel like it's a cynical attempt to attract tourists by making something shiny.
 
I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, yes, the pyramids are certainly authentic as-is, if degraded to some extent from their original form. And there have been examples of restorations done in ways that were later found to be historically inaccurate, such as at Knossos, IIRC? Finally, the Pyramids as they have been, sans the granite blocks, is essentially the iconic image by this point in time.

On the other hand, I see the appeal in restoring crumbled monuments, especially if there is authentic information on their appearance when they were in better repair. I've visited Dresden, and without knowing the history, you might not guess that most of the buildings were destroyed during the war and rebuilt later, as much has been rebuilt in the traditional style. They benefitted from current residents and photographs documenting the former state of the building, but I can see the same going back farther as well. Medieval castles, Roman towns - a restoration that was as accurate as possible could be illuminating, although it could also become a tourist trap.
 
Since that pyramid is the smallest and least noticed, it is a good candidate for restoration. Should Greece rebuild the Parthenon back to its original splendor? Why not? Nashville did. I do not see a lot of grandeur ruins beyond their being shadows of what once was.
 
Since that pyramid is the smallest and least noticed, it is a good candidate for restoration. Should Greece rebuild the Parthenon back to its original splendor? Why not? Nashville did. I do not see a lot of grandeur ruins beyond their being shadows of what once was.
How did I not know about the Nashville Parthenon? I knew about the Bavarian one, Walhalla, but not the one in Nashville that I could visit much more easily.

But yes, the Parthenon is a good example of a ruined ancient monument that I think would be a good candidate for restoration. IIRC, it was destroyed when the Venetians bombarded the Ottoman powder magazine being stored there, circa 1690? We have good records of what it looked like prior to that event, and I don't see a good reason that just because the Venetians and Ottomans made it explode, it should stay in that state indefinitely. Although perhaps one of our Greek posters could enlighten us if there's a cultural reason why it is preferred to leave it as-is?
 
How did I not know about the Nashville Parthenon? I knew about the Bavarian one, Walhalla, but not the one in Nashville that I could visit much more easily.

But yes, the Parthenon is a good example of a ruined ancient monument that I think would be a good candidate for restoration. IIRC, it was destroyed when the Venetians bombarded the Ottoman powder magazine being stored there, circa 1690? We have good records of what it looked like prior to that event, and I don't see a good reason that just because the Venetians and Ottomans made it explode, it should stay in that state indefinitely. Although perhaps one of our Greek posters could enlighten us if there's a cultural reason why it is preferred to leave it as-is?
The Nashville one is wonderful. I trust you can find the links? I was surprised how big it is. I suspect that for Greece to rebuild it would have several obstacles: money; reclaiming the ruins that have been an Athenian trademark for a long time; perhaps creating the need to restore the entire Acropolis; politics; and the Elgin Marbles.

Basking in past glories evidenced by ruins has a noble ring to it where a restored Parthenon might be seen as tacky.
 
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