FILE-Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany
CAIRO – 5 September 2018: Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany will inaugurate on Saturday Miho cemetery, which is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Saqqara, allowing people to visit it for the first time since its discovery in 1940, according to the Ministry of Antiquities’ statement.
The cemetery, uncovered in 1940 by an Egyptian archaeological mission, consists of four decorated rooms with a large courtyard.
Following the inauguration, which will be attended by Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri, Anany will visit the southern cemetery of the 4,600-year-old Djoser pyramid to inspect the restoration works carried out at the pyramid, which are set to be finished in the upcoming months.
Renowned Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawas followed up the restoration worksaiming to consolidate the 4,600-year-old monument against time. The Djoser pyramid is the first stone structure in history; it was built by King Djoser, a king of Egypt’s third dynasty.
The Cabinet decided to allocate LE 15.3 million ($845,309) to support the restoration and maintenance of the pyramid which stopped in 2011 after the UNESCO report, issued in September of the same year, stated that the exterior facades of the pyramid suffered from a lack of maintenance over the centuries.
The restoration of the pyramid began in 2006 and was planned to end in 2009. But fears for the safety of the pyramid increased after UNESCO’s report, which acknowledged that the maintenance company caused many technical irregularities in the pyramid.
These irregularities were particularly due to the use of limestone to plug the openings that emerged from the pyramid body, which led to the distortion of the pyramid's external shape. In addition, the excessive load on the pyramid became a real danger to it.
Additionally, there was a damage caused by the removal of dirt blocks, which led to the creation of many large cavities in several areas, as well as the appearance of many blocks hanging without the existence of any pillars to protect them.