The pyramid of Djoser, Third Dynasty, ca. 2630-2611 BCE (photo by Vincent Brown via Flickr)

After nearly 14 years of closure and a $6.6 million restoration, Egypt’s oldest standing pyramid is now open to the public again. The 200-feet-high pyramid of Djoser, located south of Cairo in the Saqqara necropolis, was built around 4,700 years ago as a tomb for the third dynasty pharaoh Djoser.

When renovations began in 2006, with a hiatus between 2011 and 2013 during the Egyptian revolution, the structure was practically crumbling due to neglect, environmental wear, and damage from a 1992 earthquake. According to the Smithsonian, in addition to stable ceilings and walkable corridors for its three miles of internal passages, the pyramid now has a number of new, modern-day features: a lighting system and access for people to disabilities.

Known as the Step Pyramid for its stacked, six-step design, the grandiose tomb claims a lot of “firsts” in the history of art: it was the first-ever large-scale, stone construction and the largest pyramidal funerary complex, and its architect, Imhotep, can claim the first recorded name of an artist in history. After his death, Imhotep was revered as a god by the Egyptians; now, we can bask in one of his most legendary accomplishments again.

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Valentina Di Liscia

Valentina Di Liscia is the News Editor at Hyperallergic. Originally from Argentina, she studied at the University of Chicago and is currently working on her MA at Hunter College, where she received the...