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Egypt opens more tombs to public

travel Updated: Aug 06, 2012 13:46 IST

AFP
Highlight Story

The city of Giza is opening six tombs to the public this month, including the tomb of Queen Meresankh III, which will be open to the public for the first time in 25 years. Egypt's tourism authorities hope to attract increased numbers of tourists.

Queen Meresankh III was the granddaughter of the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu, the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty. In her tomb, the paintings, which are over 4,500 years old include red, yellow and blue coloring and are still visible on the walls. The structure was discovered by archeologist George Reisner in 1927.

The other five tombs include those of high priests such as Kaemankh, the royal treasurer and keeper of the king's secrets. Colorful painting on the walls of his tomb show activities of the time such as fishing on the Nile and a cow being slaughtered.

Tourism in Egypt suffered last year when the number of visitors dropped by 32 percent following the political turmoil which took place during the first months of 2011. The industry is already showing signs of recovery in the first months of 2012, with an increase of 29 percent in the number of visitors over 2011 last year.

Officials are also planning on re-opening the famous Serapeum at Sakkara, an underground temple to the south of Cairo.