Pyramid mystery unearthed


On this day, an international panel overseeing the restoration of the Great Pyramids in Egypt ends years of frustration when it abandons modern construction techniques in favor of the method employed by the ancient Egyptians. Located at Giza outside Cairo, the pyramids, some of the oldest manmade structures on earth, showed severe signs of decay by the early 1980s. A massive preservation project was launched, but repair work on the pyramids proved destructive when water in modern cement caused adjacent limestone stones to split. On January 12, 1984, restoration workers stopped using mortar and adopted the system of interlocking blocks practiced by the original pyramid builders. From thereon, the project proceeded smoothly. Preservation efforts continue today, and the internal chambers of the largest pyramid were recently reopened following an extensive restoration.