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Egypt reopens ancient King Djoser's southern tomb to tourists

The structure, known as the Southern Tomb, lies south of Cairo near the Third Dynasty pharoah's famous Step Pyramid, Egypt's earliest large-scale stone structure, which itself was closed for restoration until March 2020.
Visitors stand with umbrellas near the step pyramid of the third dynasty Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Djoser (27th century BC) at the Saqqara Necropolis south of Egypt's capital Cairo.(AFP)
Updated on Sep 14, 2021 09:54 PM IST

Egypt reopened the 4,700-year-old southern tomb of King Djoser at the pyramid of Saqqara to tourists after 15-years, following extensive restorations of the site.

The structure, known as the Southern Tomb, lies south of Cairo near the Third Dynasty pharoah's famous Step Pyramid, Egypt's earliest large-scale stone structure, which itself was closed for restoration until March 2020.

The southern tomb, built between 2667 BC and 2648 BC, is thought to have been built for symbolic reasons, or perhaps to hold Djoser's internal organs, said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Egypt is keen to reinvigorate tourism following the coronavirus pandemic and has unveiled a series of new discoveries and a new museum in recent months. 

Djoser, also known by his Hellenized names Tosorthros and Sesorthos, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 3rd Dynasty during the Old Kingdom and the founder of this epoch. 

(With inputs from Reuters)

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