It’s not every day that a new pyramid is discovered.
But that is what happened in February 2013, when the remains of a 15-metre-high mud-brick pyramid was unearthed on the West Bank in Luxor.
A joint University of Liege and Free University of Brussels mission discovered the pyramid commanding a fine position: on the crest of a hill, overlooking the Ramesseum.
The pyramid originally stood above the tomb entrance to a man named Khay. He held the highest civil function in Egypt, that of Vizier, equivalent to that of a Prime Minister, for some fifteen years during the reign of Ramesses II.
Khay was involved in the celebrations of Ramesses II’s first six jubilees and also supervised the workers charged with building the royal tombs within the Valleys of the Kings and Queens.
The Vizier seems to have been well-rewarded for his service. Although only a few courses remain today, in 1250 B.C. Khay’s pyramid would have been a stunning fixture on the Theban landscape; originally plastered a brilliant white and capped with a carved stone pyramidion. The remains of the pyramidion (pictured) show Khay worshipping the god Ra-Horakhty (Horus in the Horizon).
Photo: Laurent Bavay, Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Université Libre de Bruxelles.