Tomb of ancient Egyptian King Djoser who lived more than 4,500 years ago is restored to its original glory of stunning turquoise stones, hieroglyphic carvings and labyrinth of corridors

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  • The south tomb was built to honor King Djoser, who ruled ancient Egypt about 4,500 years ago
  • However, the body of the pharaoh was not laid to rest in the tomb, but was placed in the Step Pyramid which is nearby
  • The mausoleum has stunning tiles and a maze of corridors, decorated with hieroglyphic carvings
  • Officials have been working to restore the site for the past 15 years and it is now open to the public.

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The elaborate tomb of King Djoser, a pharaoh who lived more than 4,500 years ago in ancient Egypt, has been opened to the public after 15 years of extensive renovations.

The structure – known as the South Tomb – is largely underground and includes a labyrinth of corridors, decorated with hieroglyphic carvings and tiles.

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However, the pharaoh was not buried in the south mausoleum, but was laid to rest in the famous Step Pyramid nearby, built by his personal architect, Imhotep.

The south mausoleum, built between 2667 BC and 2648 BC, is believed to have been constructed for symbolic reasons, or perhaps to hold the internal organs of Djoser, said Mustafa Vaziri, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

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The structure – known as the South Tomb – is largely underground and includes a labyrinth of corridors, decorated with hieroglyphic carvings and tiles.

The two structures are part of the Saqqara complex near Cairo – one of the richest archeological sites in the country.

According to UNESCO the Step Pyramid is the oldest known pyramid and one of the first examples of monumental architecture from the ancient world.

And the massive structure is believed to have been the inspiration for the pyramids at Giza.

However, the South Tomb features stunning turquoise stones on the inside walls, which also have intricate carvings.

Qin Djoser, who ruled for nearly 19 years, is known for his use of stone architecture, which can be seen in the South Tomb, as well as the Step Pyramid and ancient ruins in Memphis - the capital southwest of what is now Cairo Is.

Qin Djoser, who ruled for nearly 19 years, is known for his use of stone architecture, which can be seen in the South Tomb, as well as the Step Pyramid and ancient ruins in Memphis – the capital southwest of what is now Cairo Is.

The South Tomb, built between 2667 BC and 2648 BC.  Pictured is a passage leading to the opening of a huge mausoleum

The South Tomb, built between 2667 BC and 2648 BC. Pictured is a passage leading to the opening of a huge mausoleum

The opening leads to a staircase that descends about 98 feet below the surface and leads to the burial shaft (pictured) and then to a maze of corridors

The opening leads to a staircase that descends about 98 feet below the surface and leads to the burial shaft (pictured) and then to a maze of corridors

Atop the desert landscape sits a large structure, which visitors walk to enter the tomb.

The opening leads to a staircase that descends about 98 feet below the surface and leads to the burial shaft and then to a maze of corridors.

However, the burial vault is, according to experts, too small to hold adult human remains, revealing that the tomb was never built as the resting place of King Djoser.

The south mausoleum is believed to have been built for symbolic reasons, or perhaps to hold the internal organs of Djoser.

The south mausoleum is believed to have been built for symbolic reasons, or perhaps to hold the internal organs of Djoser.

Qin Djoser, who ruled for nearly 19 years, is known for his use of stone architecture, which can be seen in the South Tomb, as well as the Step Pyramid and ancient ruins in Memphis - the capital southwest of what is now Cairo Is.

Qin Djoser, who ruled for nearly 19 years, is known for his use of stone architecture, which can be seen in the South Tomb, as well as the Step Pyramid and ancient ruins in Memphis – the capital southwest of what is now Cairo Is.

Qin Djoser, who ruled for nearly 19 years, is known for his use of stone architecture, which can be seen in the South Tomb, as well as the Step Pyramid and ancient ruins in Memphis – the capital city of what is now Cairo.

south tomb Neglected, the fierce desert was crumbling due to winds, and was eventually damaged by an earthquake that struck the region in 1992.

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism said the opening of the south mausoleum completes restoration work that began in 2006 and includes strengthening underground corridors, re-creating the carvings and tiled walls, as well as the once dark The tunnels involved installing lights.

In addition to the South Mausoleum, the Saqqara Plateau has at least 11 pyramids, including the Step Pyramid, as well as hundreds of tombs of ancient officials and other sites dating from the 1st Dynasty (2920 BC–2770 BC) to the Coptic period. (395-642).

Painted are some of the intricate hieroglyphs that line the inner walls of the huge South Tomb

Painted are some of the intricate hieroglyphs that line the inner walls of the huge South Tomb

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism said the opening of the South Tomb completed restoration work begun in 2006 and included strengthening underground corridors, refurbishment of carvings and tiled walls, as well as installing lights in what were once dark tunnels. Included.

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism said the opening of the South Tomb completed restoration work begun in 2006 and included strengthening underground corridors, refurbishment of carvings and tiled walls, as well as installing lights in what were once dark tunnels. Included.

The interior of the tomb is designed like a maze with corridors and hallways throughout

The interior of the tomb is designed like a maze with corridors and hallways throughout

The Saqqara site is part of the necropolis of Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt that includes the famous Giza pyramids, as well as the smaller pyramids at Abu Sar, Dahshur…

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