Washington: Archaeologists have discovered a 4,600-year-old step pyramid near the ancient settlement of Edfu, in southern Egypt, that predates the Great Pyramid of Giza by at least a few decades.
It is one of the seven so-called "provincial" pyramids built by either the pharaoh Huni or Snefru, Fox News reported.
The step pyramid, which once stood as high as 43 feet, is only about 16 feet tall today because its stone blocks were pillaged, and the monument was exposed to weathering.
The provincial pyramids, which are scattered throughout central and southern Egypt, are located near major settlements, have no internal chambers and were not intended for burial.
The team led by Gregory Marouard, a research associate at the University of Chicago`s Oriental Institute found that six of the seven pyramids have almost identical dimensions, including the newly uncovered one, which is about 60 x 61 feet.