Egypt's tomb of King Djoser reopens after 15-year closure
- Major restoration work on pharaoh's tomb started in 2006
- Egyptian minister, invited guests mark completion of work with special ceremony
CAIRO: The tomb of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh has been reopened to visitors after being closed for 15 years.
The completion of restoration work on the southern tomb of King Djoser in Saqqara was marked at a special ceremony attended by the Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Anany and a group of invited guests.
Access to the tomb in the Saqqara burial site south of Cairo is via a stone staircase leading to a door carved in the rock and then an entrance corridor with another stone staircase to the cemetery door. More internal corridors lead on to burial spaces and murals decorated with Egyptian blue faience.
The tomb has a well at the end of it and a burial room containing a huge pink granite sarcophagus. The blue faience walls of numerous other corridors are decorated with fake doors bearing the image of the king and his titles.
The cemetery restoration project began in 2006 and included engineering, geotechnical, geo-environmental, and archaeological studies.
Along with the restoration of the lower corridors, work was carried out to strengthen walls and ceilings, repair cracks, and install faience tiles.
The granite sarcophagus at the bottom of the burial well was reassembled and restored, new lighting added, the cemetery floors paved, and a ladder put in leading to the well and the cemetery.
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