CAIRO – 15 September 2021: The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced opening the southern tomb of King Djoser in Saqqara to visitors.
The tomb has been closed for 15 years; it has been recently reopened after completing renovation works on September 14.
The southern tomb of King Djoser is located in the southern corner of his funerary complex in the Saqqara antiquities area. The cemetery consists of two parts. The upper part consists of a limestone mastaba [terrace] with a frieze decorated with cobra serpents.
The lower part is carved into the rock of the plateau at a depth of about 30 meters. The lower part can be accessed by a stone staircase that leads to a door carved in the rock and then to the entrance corridor with a stone staircase that leads in turn to the cemetery door.
The cemetery door also leads to the interior corridors leading to the level of the tomb spaces containing frescoes decorated with pieces of ceramic made of blue faience.
In the descending corridor of the tomb there is a well and a burial chamber built with pink granite, similar to the burial chamber of the Step Pyramid. There are many other spaces whose walls are decorated with pieces of ceramics made of faience.
The cemetery restoration project started in 2006 and included engineering, geotechnical, geo-environmental and archaeological studies of the cemetery.
The restoration of the lower corridors as well as the strengthening of the walls and ceilings, the removal of cracks, and the installation of faience tiles were all carried out to complete the interior elements of the tomb.
Additionally, the granite sarcophagus at the bottom of the burial well was reassembled and restored, and the cemetery was rehabilitated by paving the floors, installing a ladder leading to the well and the cemetery, and installing a lighting system.
The visit to the cemetery starts from the stairs and ends at the sarcophagus. The internal corridors below that are not included in the visit.