The Pyramid of Djoser, or the Step Pyramid, was built 4700 years ago during the era of Pharaoh Djoser, one of Ancient Egypt’s Third Dynasty kings
The Pyramid of Djosur, the first pyramid ever built, has been reopened in Egypt after 14 years’ restoration costing nearly $6.6 million.
The Pyramid of Djoser, or the Step Pyramid, which is part of the UNESCO world heritage site The Necropolis of Memphis, was built 4,700 years ago during the era of Pharaoh Djoser, one of Ancient Egypt’s Third Dynasty kings.
The Step Pyramid was badly neglected and near to collapse when Egypt‘s government decided to act and order a restoration project which began in 2006.
“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,” said tourism and antiquities minister Khaled al-Anani, Reuters reported.
The structure was designed by Imhotep, described by some as the world’s first architect.
“We are in awe as to how he was able to create this structure, which has remained standing for 4,700 years,” said Anani.
Restoration work stopped in 2011 after Egypt’s popular uprising that toppled longtime President Hosni Mubark, but resumed at the end of 2013.
Djoser’s Step Pyramid, the first large-scale stone construction in history and the largest pyramidal funerary complex, is located at Saqqara archaeological site, west of Cairo.
The 60-metre-high structure consists of six stacked steps over a burial shaft tomb which is 28 meters deep and seven metres wide.
Speaking alongside the ancient structure, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said Egypt was engaged in many large-scale projects, and the restoration of its heritage was one of them.
“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,” he added.
The project saw efforts to prevent the structure from collapsing, and external and internal restoration work, including that of the paths leading to the pyramid and the internal corridors leading to the burial chamber.
Experts also restored the sarcophagus of King Djoser within the structure and the walls of the burial shaft tomb.