Egypt Cancels Plans to Cap a Pyramid in Gold for Millennium


(I just received news from a reliable source regarding the capping ceremony due to take place at Giza on 31 December 1999. Apparently an announcement of its cancellation will be published in the Egyptian press this weekend and possibly in the English language newspapers too.)

During a press conference held in Cairo on Thursday, Farouk Hosney, Egypt's culture minister, announced that plans to crown the Great Pyramid with a golden pyramidion during the millennium celebrations have been officially cancelled. Hosney's announcement may come as no great surprise; opposition to the ceremony has grown increasingly fierce since it was first put forward by Dr Zahi Hawass earlier this year. Amidst an air of controversy, during which some have suggested that the capping ceremony may have its roots in Masonic agendas or the fulfilment of Edgar Cayce's prophecies, Dr Hawass defended his position by referring to a to set of limestone relief's found at Abusir:

"One of the reliefs shows workmen dragging a capstone, and there is a statement in hieroglyphics that the capstone was cased in gold. The other relief depicts a scene of ladies dancing. The pyramid's construction was a national project because every household would participate by sending food and workmen to help the king. My interpretation is that, when the Ancient Egyptians finished building the pyramid, the king and government officials cased a capstone with gold and placed it on top of the pyramid. This symbolized completion of the pyramid, and everyone in Upper and Lower Egypt danced and sang because the national project of constructing the pyramid was successfully finished. Egypt will make a similar offering to the world on December 31, 1999."

But Dr Hawass interpretations were not received in a favourable light by a board of senior Egyptologists:

"We know that Khufu's father built the first true pyramid. Its capstone was found some years ago by archaeologists and there is no indication that it had a golden surface," said Ali Radwan, Egyptology professor at Cairo University. (The Sunday Times 5 December, 1999)

It could also be said that evidence of workman dragging a capstone is not evidence of it being placed on a pyramid.

Conspiracy stories in the Egyptian press, and on the Internet, connecting the capping ceremony with a Masonic agenda or the fulfilment of an Edgar Cayce prophecy have been fuelled by Dr Hawass' long term association with, and frequent appearance at, the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) run by the Edgar Cayce Foundation. On the other hand it maybe a simple case of promoting tourism in Egypt with a liberal dose of lucrative lecture tours - whatever the truth maybe - its out there somewhere!

Farouk Hosney completed his speech to the Egyptian press by stating that the celebrations, including the music and laser extravaganza, would continue as planned despite the cancellation of the capping ceremony.

(References: see Dr Zahi Hawass' web site at and EGYPTNEWS archives for previous postings:

Chris Ogilvie-Herald.


Dec 16, 1999 - 01:06 PM

The Associated Press

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - In an apparent nod to public opinion, the government on Thursday canceled its plan to cap the Great Pyramid in gold for the millennium celebrations.

Egypt had planned to usher in the New Year by affixing a gold-encased capstone on the Great Pyramid, built as a tomb for King Cheops about 4,500 years ago.

The 30-foot high cap was to be lowered by helicopter at the stroke of midnight Dec. 31, making the broken pyramid whole again, if only for a night.

Culture Minister Farouk Hosni gave no reason for backing off the plan, but said the decision was made despite technical advice that it would not have damaged the monument, Egypt's Middle East News Agency reported.

Egypt's millennium celebrations feature a 12-hour concert at the foot of the Giza pyramids with 1,000 performers.

Egypt, whose recorded history goes back 6,000 years, is promoting the celebration as the start of its seventh millennium.

AP-ES-12-16-99 1303ES