A step pyramid, a few decades older than the Great Pyramid of Giza has been uncovered by archaeologists near Edfu, in southern Egypt. Although scientists were aware of the pyramid's existence, it has remained buried under sand until a group of archaeologists started excavating the area in 2010.
Built of sandstone blocks and clay mortar, it had been constructed in the form of a three-step pyramid. The style is similar to that of a step pyramid built by Djoser , the pharaoh who constructed Egypt's first pyramid at the beginning of the third ancient Egyptian dynasty. Originally the pyramid was 13 metres high but is about one third of that now as the blocks it was constructed with have been stolen over the centuries.
It is one of seven so-called ‘provincial’ pyramids built across central and southern Egypt by either the Pharaoh Huni (reign c. 2635-2610 BC) or Snefru (reign c. 2610-2590 BC). The purpose of these seven pyramids is a mystery. They may have been used as symbolic monuments dedicated to the royal cult that affirmed the power of the king.