A French archaeological expedition, using the latest in high-technology equipment, has discovered two pyramids dating back more than 4,000 years, officials said Tuesday.

The pyramids were discovered beneath the sands of the Saqqara desert southwest of Cairo, officials said.Archaeologist Hilel Ghali, antiquities inspector in the region, said the two so-called queen pyramids were built during the reign of Pharaoh Pepi I, a king of the sixth dynasty who ruled Egypt between 2420 and 2280 B.C.

Antiquities director Zahi Hawas, describing the discovery as a significant find, said one of the pyramids belonged to Pepi and the other to his wife.

"It's certain this discovery will shed more light on the reign of King Pepi, particularly since the pyramids of the sixth dynasty," Hawas said.

Saqqara, about 17 miles southwest of Cairo, is the burial place of kings and other important figures of Egypt's Old Kingdom.