After a 14 year period of restoration, Egypt finally reopens its oldest pyramid to the public.
Dating back over 4700 years when it was built as the tomb to Pharaoh Djoser, this unique ‘wonder of the world’ is now open for public viewing
The ancient Egyptian architect, sage and Chief Minister, Imhotep, was the custodian behind the construction of this pyramid. His exemplary contribution to public service happened during the reign of Djoser. Imhotep oversaw the construction of what is now the world’s oldest monument built of hewn stone. The pyramid comprises six steps and towers 61 meters (200 ft) in height.
What was the final resting place of Pharaoh Doser has been closed for the last 14 years pending completion of an ongoing restoration project which has thus far consumed over $6.6 million.
In a statement shared by Reuters, The Egyptian Minister in charge of Antiquities and Tourism, Khaled al-Anany, expressed his bewilderment at the ingenuity that went behind the construction of the incredible structure.
Construction and assembly dates to 2630 and 2611 B.C. at Saqqara, Egypt. Djoser and 11 of his daughters were buried in the pyramid upon death. The structure is a unique hold of 11.6 million cubic feet of firmly cast stone and clay. Looped around the burial chamber are mazes that were possibly intended to keep off thieves (It was looted eventually). However, it seems that the maze turned out to be counterproductive as there are indications that they weakened part of its structural integrity. Concerns of an impending collapse were exacerbated after the 1992 earthquake.
Renovation works began in 2006, only pausing during former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s ouster. Engineers came up with all sorts of ingenious ways to prevent the structure from collapsing on itself during reconstruction. Lots of controversial media stories emerged based on speculation that the restorative work was exacerbating the situation.
During the unveiling ceremony, everything about the pyramid seemed to have improved. Tourists can now go about their viewing without worries of an unstable ceiling or difficult corridors. A few modern touches were accommodated such as a lighting system and accessibility to disabled persons. The best part about visiting the monument is getting the chance to explore its three miles of the maze-like passages.