Middle East

Egypt reopens ancient King Djoser's southern tomb to tourists

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CAIRO, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Egypt on Tuesday reopened to tourists the 4,700-year-old southern tomb of King Djoser at the pyramid of Saqqara after a 15-year renovation.

The tomb, south of Cairo, lies 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.

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Sarcophaguses that are around 2500 years old, from the newly discovered burial site near Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, are seen during a presentation in Giza, Egypt November 14, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

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.

Reporting by Ahmed Fahmy; Writing by Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Alex Richardson

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