Egypt recovers stolen fragments of Cheops pyramid

Egypt has recovered fragments from the pyramid of Cheops said to have been stolen by Germans, including part of a stone tablet identifying the pharaoh it was named after, state media report (AFP Photo/Cris Bouroncle)

Cairo (AFP) - Egypt has recovered fragments from the pyramid of Cheops said to have been stolen by Germans, including part of a stone tablet identifying the pharaoh it was named after, state media reported Wednesday.

The Egyptian foreign ministry handed over "samples stolen in the Cheops pyramid" to the antiquities ministry, said the official MENA news agency.

In August, the foreign ministry said German authorities had handed over the items in question to the Egyptian embassy in Berlin.

At 146 metres (480 feet) tall, the Cheops pyramid in the Giza area, west of Cairo, is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, built some 4,500 years ago.

Former antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim said in December "German researchers, helped by an Egyptian guide had taken samples of stone, as well as fragments of a tablet bearing the name of the Pharoah Cheops" in the pyramid.

The tablet was the only one in the pyramid showing the Pharoah's name.

The two researchers took the samples to analyse them to try to confirm a theory that the pyramid was built more than 15,000 years ago.