I wished I had gone on a dig or two when I was young,, ya never know, you might get lucky and find a tomb .. or some petrified camel dung the royal dung beetles missed. What a long history Egypt has, much of it still buried.
Egypt’s unusual in that a great many monuments have survived at varied levels of preservation. The extreme antiquity even seems to have mystified the ancient Egyptians themselves. Some of the Old Kingdom stone structures were dismantled to build other stuff, and the only way they’re known at all is that bas relief and such wound up incorporated into, for example, Middle Kingdom structures, when most structures including mortuary monuments were being constructed of mud brick. That’s the period when the Israelites were in bondage; the Canal of Joseph still exists, is still called that, and was constructed at that time to irrigate the Fayyum and eventually provide water to make the mud.
During the New Kingdom, the female pharaoh Hatshepsut built the now-restored temple east of the Nile; she chose a site smack dab next to a Middle Kingdom monument (stone, apparently no brick) that had been constructed by one of the Mentuhoteps. Just a few years back, one of her obelisks was found to have been erected over a buried statue of, I think, the same pharaoh Mentuhotep. I don’t think there’s any surviving texts which explain why she felt an affinity with him.
True tourism in Egypt seems to have begun with the Greeks. They seem to have started the pasttime of carving graffiti into various walls and monuments, including the so-called Memnon colossi. This continued under the Romans. The Great Pyramid was still covered with its smooth limestone facing blocks, but was opened up for tourists apparently before the Romans conquered Egypt. It remained open for hundreds of years, finally resealed during Byzantine times.
After the muzzies took over, they spent some time stripping the Giza pyramids of their limestone facing blocks for other construction, and eventually, not being able to figure out exactly where the original entrance was (or perhaps finding the old Greek or Roman entrance which had been resealed), dug the hole into the Great Pyramid’s Grand Gallery which is still used by tourists today. One of the caliphs decided to tear them down entirely, and had his crews start work on Menkaure, the smallest of the three major pyramids there. They worked for half a year, but failed to cause very much damage. Someone working for the caliph calculated (probably using classical math) how many years it would take at that pace to finish the small one and take down the much larger other two, and the demolition was abandoned.