Saqqara, September 14 (BNA) Today, Tuesday, Egypt displayed the structure of an ancient tomb belonging to the tomb complex of King Djoser, the pharaoh who lived more than 4,500 years ago, after extensive restoration works on the site.
The structure – known as the Southern Tomb – is largely underground and includes a maze of passages decorated with hieroglyphs and tiles. The central funeral column houses a massive granite-clad sarcophagus from Egypt’s Third Dynasty, according to the Associated Press.
However, the pharaoh was not actually buried there but in the nearby famous Step Pyramid. The two buildings form part of the Saqqara complex near Cairo – one of the country’s richest archaeological sites.
The Step Pyramid is the oldest known pyramid and one of the first examples of monumental architecture from the ancient world, according to UNESCO. It is believed to have been the inspiration for the Pyramids of Giza.
The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism said the opening of the tomb structure this week marks the end of restoration work that began in 2006 and included strengthening underground passages, renovating sculptures and tiled walls, and installing lighting. As of Tuesday, the tomb is open to the public.
In addition to the southern cemetery, the Saqqara plateau contains at least 11 pyramids, including the Step Pyramid, as well as hundreds of tombs of ancient officials and other sites ranging from the First Dynasty (2920 BC – 2770 BC) to the Coptic period (395-642). .
The site of Saqqara is part of the necropolis of Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt, which includes the famous pyramids of Giza, as well as smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur, and Abu Ruweish. The ruins of Memphis were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1970s.