Egypt’s oldest pyramid reopens to visitors

Posted by Leila Stein on 10 March 2020

After a 14-year restoration, The Step Pyramid of Djoser is now once again open to the public.

According to CNN, the pyramid is the oldest in Egypt at 4,700 years old, built during the reign Pharaoh Djoser, one of  Egypt’s Third Dynasty kings. It is made only of stone and built of six stacked terraces which are 63 meters high. The pyramid forms part of the Saqqara funeral complex which is just outside the royal capital of Memphis and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Believed to have been designed by the architect Imhotep, the structure began much needed restoration in 2006. The pyramid was damaged from an earthquake which hit the country in 1992.

The restorations were interrupted by the Arab Spring and Egypt’s popular uprising in 2011 and 2012 before they were resumed in 2013, according to Reuters. 

Rubble inside the site was removed and collapsed ceiling blocks restored. A 176-ton, 5 meter high granite sarcophagus was uncovered under the debris.

Egypts state news agency reported that additions were made for visitors, including better lighting and disabled access.

The pyramid was officially opened on Thursday, 5 March. Overall, the project cost $6,6 million (around R105 million).

‘We are working hard to build a new Egypt…and the restoration of our heritage is at the top of our priorities,’ said Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli in a statement.

Want to go visit the newly opened site? Here are some great accommodation spots in Egypt with Afristay

Image: @pastmedhistory/Twitter

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