A major architectural restoration project in Egypt has just been successfully completed – on a 4,800 year old pyramid.
Engineering specialist CINTEC Worldwide has completed the complex project at the Pyramid of Djoser after it was called in by the High Council of Egyptian Antiquities after the structure was threatened by collapse.
The Pyramid of Djoser is a step pyramid built by the grand vizier (chief advisor to the royal court) Imhotep for Pharaoh Djoser, in order to provide his gateway to the afterlife.
It originally comprised six rectangular, flat-roofed tombs, stacked in decreasing size to a height of 62m and was completed around the 27th century BC.
Beneath the pyramid structure is a 6km network of tunnels.
French architect Jean-Phillipe Lauer was the first man to excavate the historic remains and reconstructed sections of it for architectural and archaeological study – but grave robbers had already removed any treasures from within.
An earthquake in 1992 caused significant damage to the pyramid and the burial chamber partially collapsed. As a result the central chamber was also in danger of collapsing.
CINTEC used self-inflating air-filled bags to prevent the ceiling collapsing and strengthened the central chamber with an anchoring and reinforcement system.
“Though each project presents a different set of challenges, CINTEC uses solid engineering principles and creative thinking to develop effective restoration solutions,” said Peter James, its managing director . “We are very excited to have applied our expertise to the step pyramid project.”