CAIRO, Egypt — Egypt's antiquities chief on Thursday revealed a 2,500-year-old hidden tomb under the shadow of one of Giza's three giant pyramids, containing 400 pinkie-sized statues and six coffin-sized niches carved into granite rock.
Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said archeologists had been working for three months to clear sand from a granite shaft found between the pyramid of Khafre -- also known by its Greek name of Chephren -- Giza's second-largest tomb of a pharaoh, and the Sphinx.
Under blaring sun Thursday, Hawass said Giza's latest discovery came to light after archeologists detected what appeared to be a four-sided shaft. The antiquities chief verified it by climbing a pyramid to get a bird's eye look.
Excavators later removed several tons of fine sand to descend 33 feet below ground level to where they found the niches.