Inside the Pyramid of Djoser - the world's oldest still-standing stone building - that reopened after 14 years of restoration
- The Pyramid of Djoser, built about 4,600 years ago, to house the tomb of the Pharoah Djoser, has reopened after 14 years of restoration.
- It was crumbling due to neglect, fierce desert winds, and damage sustained by an earthquake in 1992.
- The process took 14 years, including a pause during civil unrest in Egypt. It was complicated by local NGOs that claimed the restoration process had actually damaged it.
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The first stone pyramid ever built has been restored and is now open to the public.
The Pyramid of Djoser, also known as the Step Pyramid, a UNESCO world heritage site, was reopened on March 5, after a restoration took 14 years and nearly $6.6 million.
An architect named Imhotep designed the pyramid more than 4,600 years ago to house the coffin of Pharoah Djoser. He decided, for the first time, to build up. He devised a new structure made of six layers of stone that got smaller as they ascended. The final product was meant to be a stairway to heaven.
It was the first building ever made of stone, and led the way to Egypt building more famous pyramids, like the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Over centuries its condition deteriorated due to the effects of time, neglect, fierce winds, and serious damage sustained in a 1992 earthquake.
And while fixing a crumbling stone pyramid is difficult, it was delayed for almost two years by Egyptian unrest. The restoration also faced scrutiny by Egyptian NGOs that claimed the work was actually making the pyramid worse.
Here's how the pyramid made history and was given a fresh future.