Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Archaeology News: "New" 4,300 year-old Egyptian pyramid discovered

Now, if you're like me, when you first read that headline, you had to ask yourself, how the heck could there be an entire pyramid that was still undiscovered all this time? The answer, according to the article, is that the pyramid, aside from being only a third of its original height due to the passage of millenia, is buried in the sands of Saqqara.

According to the article, the original pyramid was about 50' in height, and included a door to the burial chamber. That would make the base approximately 75' on a side (very approximately; I am just guessing on the angle the pyramid was originally built).

Naturally, when I see this sort of thing, aside from the general coolness that there are still awesome and relatively huge things left to be discovered in Egypt, I think of it in terms of dungeons and encounters with undead. I don't know about you, but I could put a couple of very interesting rooms into a structure 75' on a side at the base, especially with 50' of room to go up (each level smaller than the one beneath it, naturally) as well as the potential for chambers beneath the pyramid itself. I especially like the idea that the pyramid itself is buried in the sand.

Wouldn't it be refreshing for a group of PCs to actually have to undertake a little mundane work to get to the entrance of the thing? It would certainly explain why it and its inhabitants remain undisturbed, its treasures unlooted, and its traps untriggered. Might even encourage them to bring along some hirelings to do the digging (remember all those great Mummy movies?) with all the attendent fun and joy that can bring (how do you feed and water all those men while they work? What if there is a spy in their midst?)

Gadzooks, it might even be enough to actually use the rules in the DMG for digging and construction...

4 comments:

erekibeon.com said...

I think the classic module B4 "The Lost City" started just like that...

grodog said...

As did Gygax's classic S1 Tomb of Horrors, with it's hill you had to probe to find the true entrance...

Allan.

Scott said...

Though not pyramid-related, there was an adventure in Dungeon magazine once where the entrance to the dungeon was hidden at the bottom of a well. My players wasted about an hour searching for the dungeon before I reminded them about the well from the flavor text!

Badelaire said...

+1 for the Mummy movies reference. Those films (even the Scorp. King and the new Chinese Mummy movie) are just chock full of gaming idea fodder.

After all, Egyptian Tomb-Robbing is about as close as you're going to get to real-life dungeon crawling...