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Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur

Factors affecting the property in 1994*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Land conversion
  • Other Threats:

    Deterioration of the stones

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Growing number of visitors
  • Uncontrolled development of the nearby village 
  • Deterioration of the stones
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1994
Requests approved: 3 (from 1991-1993)
Total amount approved : 68,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1994**

November 1988: expert mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1994

In October the Centre was informed by the international press and other sources in Egypt of a project to extend the alternative urban motorway, cutting in two the site of the Plateau of the Pyramids, isolating it from the desert and passing between the pyramids of Giza and those of Sakkarah. It is also to be feared that constructions would soon proliferate along this motorway.

By letter of 11 October, the Centre immediately requested from the Dr Nur-el-Din, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, detailed information on this project which, if implemented, would cause serious and irreparable damage to this World Heritage site.


Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 1994

The Committee is requested to express its concern about a possible project to extend the alternative urban motorway and to request the Egyptian authorities to provide all information available to the Secretariat for examination and subsequent reporting to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee at its nineteenth session.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1994
SOC: Memphis and its Necropolis - the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur (Egypt)

Memphis and its Necropolis - the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur (Egypt)

The Committee studied the report of the Secretariat and the information communicated by the Supreme Council of Antiquities on the situation at the World Heritage site of Memphis and its Necropolis - the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur concerning the following:

a) the ongoing construction of a highway cutting in two the site of the World Heritage site at Zawyat al-Eryan, at about 2 kms south of the Sphynx;

b) the ongoing construction of about 3,000 lodgings in the buffer zone at Kafr el Gabal and of houses on the site itself;

c) the numerous and new encroachments of the military camps on the listed site, notably at Zawyat al-Eryan, Shabramant and Dahshur, as well as pollution caused by an army factory at Dahshur;

d) the construction of a tarmac road within the site allowing access to the two large refuse dumps, newly created, in the site.

Thereupon the Committee expressed its strong concern to the Egyptian national authorities with regard to all of these developments which gravely threaten the integrity of the World Heritage site, its known and unknown archaeological treasures, and cause irreparable damage if not halted.

Consequently, the Committee requested the Egyptian authorities to take the necessary measures to immediately halt these different activities and to repair the damage already caused without delay. It also requested the authorities to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 May 1995 a detailed report on the safeguarding activities undertaken at the site, which will be presented to the nineteenth session of the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee for examination and decision as to whether or not to recommend placing this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

It fully endorsed the Director-General's decision to thank President Moubarak of Egypt for his intervention to halt the work presently in progress. It also endorsed the Director-General's request that the President continues to be attentive to this matter and take action in order that an alternative route be traced beyond the boundaries of the World Heritage site and that the property be restored to its former state.

No draft Decision

Report year: 1994
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iii)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 18COM (1994)

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.