Stay Smart About Africa

Soon Pyramids will be in the Middle of a Busy Interchange

Egypt is building two highways across the pyramids plateau outside Cairo, reviving and expanding a project that was suspended in the 1990s after international outcry. The Great Pyramids, Egypt’s top tourist destination, are the sole survivors of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and the plateau is a Unesco world heritage site. The highways are part of an infrastructure push championed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is building a new capital city to ease the population pressure on Cairo, home to 20-million people. The northern highway will cross the desert 2.5km south of the Great Pyramids. The southern one will pass between the Step Pyramid of Saqqara — the oldest one — and the Dahshur area, home to the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid. Some Egyptologists and conservationists say the highways will disrupt the integrity of the pyramids plateau, pave over unexplored archaeological sites, generate pollution that could corrode monuments, produce litter and expose closed areas packed with hidden archaeological treasures to looting.


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