Khufu's Great Pyramid looms over three smaller pyramids. The tomb of Hetepheres (G7000X) was discovered near G1a, the small, partially collapsed pyramid.

This Egyptian queen's tomb lay untouched for more than 4,000 years

Shortly after the discovery of King Tut's tomb, another intact royal burial was found—this time in the shadow of the Great Pyramid at Giza. The golden treasures inside belonged to Hetepheres, a queen of Egypt's Old Kingdom.

Khufu's Great Pyramid looms over three smaller pyramids. The tomb of Hetepheres (G7000X) was discovered near G1a, the small, partially collapsed pyramid.
Alamy/ACI

Howard Carter's sensational 1922 discovery of King Tutankhamun’s treasure-filled tomb sparked a fascination with all things ancient Egyptian across Europe and the United States. 

Hopes were high that more exciting discoveries were coming, not least among the archaeologists working in sites across Egypt. A spirit of intense rivalry marked relations among this group of largely Western scholars, who all jockeyed for the most promising sites while jealously monitoring their competitors’ progress.

From the early 1900s, the Giza plateau, site of Egypt’s three iconic pyramids, was being systematically excavated by an international group of scholars. A part of this vast terrain fell to the American archaeologist George Reisner. On February 2, 1925, Reisner’s photographer, Mohammedani Ibrahim, was working near the Great Pyramid, erected by Pharaoh Khufu in the mid-third millennium B.C. Ibrahim looked down and noticed his tripod was resting on a white layer of plaster, possibly the top of a structure hidden below.

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