The Oldest Pyramid In Egypt Re-opens After 14 Years Of Restoration Costing Nearly $6.6 Million

... Credit :
Deanna Rivera in World News

Last updated: 11 March 2020, 01:53 GMT

On March 5, One of Egypt's most famous and first pyramid ever built has re-opened to visitors after 14-year restoration costing nearly $6.6 million, including its hidden burial chamber.

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The over 60-meter high pyramid was constructed 4700 years ago and was built for Pharaoh Djoser, one of Ancient Egypt's Third Dynasty kings, making it Egypt's oldest stone monument.

This UNESCO world heritage site is Located at Saqqara necropolis within the ancient capital of Memphis, near Cairo.

In the early 1990s, it was badly damaged due to an earthquake, with fears that it could collapse the Egyptian government started the restoration in 2006 hiring a British engineering firm.

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Its re-enforcement included the main burial chamber, which is 28 metres deep and seven metres wide, and a series of passages within the pyramid using stone blocks for its main structure. But to keep the pyramid from collapsing inwards, giant self-inflating airbags filled with liquid were inserted inside.

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Other restored areas include the outer facades, the sarcophagus of King Djoser and some of the stairs in the pyramid entrance.

The structure was designed by Imhotep, described by some as ancient Egyptian genius and the great architect of the world. 

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Tourism and antiquities minister Khaled al-Anani, said:

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"Today we celebrate the completion of the project of warding off the danger and maintaining and restoring the first and oldest remaining pyramid in Egypt. We are in awe as to how he was able to create this structure, which has remained standing for 4,700 years."

The renovations halted in 2011-2012 due to political uprisings in the country, overthrowing late president Hosni Mubarak but resumed at the end of 2013.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said Egypt was engaged in many large-scale projects, and the restoration of its heritage was one of them.

he added:

"Although of course we are very proud that this is an Egyptian legacy, we also know very well it is world and global heritage that we are very keen to maintain."

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Inside you can find intricate carvings along the stone walls, 3 miles of labyrinths leading to the main burial chamber deep within the pyramid, and heaps more archaeological discoveries. They built false doorways, extra chambers and dead ends to confuse grave robbers.

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The pyramid was built for Egyptian Pharoah Djoser. Before him, pharaohs were buried in tombs made of rectangular mud-bricks slab but Djoser wanted something grander than the traditional.


It's worth noting that the FCO does advise against travel to parts of Egypt. Although this doesn't include Cairo, you should check the latest FCO advice on Egypt before you book a holiday or travel.

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