Pharaoh Djoser’s tomb reopens after restoration

A tomb belonging to King Djoser, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who lived in the Third Dynasty, over 4,500 years ago, has recently reopened to the public after extensive restoration work.

The structure, which is known as the Southern Tomb, is located in the southern corner of Pharaoh Djoser’s funerary complex in the Saqqara necropolis, near Cairo. Most of the structure is underground, with a maze of corridors decorated with hieroglyphic engravings and faience tiles leading to a burial chamber containing a large granite sarcophagus. However, Pharaoh Djoser is not buried here, but in the famous Step Pyramid located nearby.

Restoration work on Pharaoh Djoser’s funerary complex at Saqqara began in 2006, and work on the Southern Tomb has involved strengthening the walls and ceilings of the lower corridors, refurbishing the carvings and tiled walls, and restoring the granite sarcophagus, as well as preparing the tomb for visitors by adding paved floors and installing lighting throughout.

The tomb was reopened by Dr Khaled El-Anany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities on Tuesday, 14 September 2021, and is now open to visitors again for the first time in 15 years.

Pharaoh Djoser’s tomb reopened to the public in September this year after restoration work was completed. [Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities]