Egypt reopens historic Serapeum of Saqqara

Sep 20, 2012
A keeper uncovers a massive granite sarcophagus in the Serapeum of Saqqara in Cairo in 2008. Egypt on Thursday reopened the Serapeum of Saqqara, a vast underground necropolis south of Cairo dedicated to the bulls of Apis, after 11 years and complete renovation of the historic pharaonic site.

Egypt on Thursday reopened the Serapeum of Saqqara, a vast underground necropolis south of Cairo dedicated to the bulls of Apis, after 11 years and complete renovation of the historic pharaonic site.

The Serapeum, whose origin dates back to around 1400 BC, was discovered in 1851 by French Auguste Mariette, founder of the first department of Egyptian antiquities.

A massive granite sarcophagus is seen in the Serapeum of Saqqara in 2008. Egypt on Thursday reopened the Serapeum of Saqqara, a vast underground necropolis south of Cairo dedicated to the bulls of Apis, after 11 years and complete renovation of the historic pharaonic site.

It was closed temporarily in 2001 because of water seepage and earth movements.

The site contains huge subterranean galleries in which are contained the large of some 30 sacred bulls, accompanied by steles bearing inscriptions providing information on the reigns under which the animals lived.

Mohammed Ibrahim, the secretary of state for antiquities, said Egypt was working to open to the public other pharaonic sites in a bid to revive tourism which has been hit by political instability for more than 18 months.

"Egypt has not stopped working after the revolution" that ended the regime of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, he told reporters, adding that "this opening must be followed by others."

"We hope that this will help revive domestic and international tourism in Egypt," he added.

Explore further: Asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs may have nearly knocked off mammals, too

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Archaeologists to raise ancient Egyptian ship

Jun 23, 2011

Egyptian and Japanese archaeologists on Thursday began to unearth an ancient boat belonging to King Khufu and buried near the Giza pyramids for more than 4,500 years.

French archaeologists unearth pharaoh boat

Jul 25, 2012

French archaeologists have discovered a roughly 5,000-year-old pharaonic solar boat in an expedition in Abu Rawash, west of the Egyptian capital, the antiquities ministry said on Wednesday.

Egypt unveils discovery of 4,300-year-old tombs

Jul 08, 2010

Egyptian archaeologists on Thursday unveiled a newly-unearthed double tomb with vivid wall paintings in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara near Cairo, saying it could be the start for uncovering a vast cemetery ...

Recommended for you

Gothic cathedrals blend iron and stone

10 hours ago

Using radiocarbon dating on metal found in Gothic cathedrals, an interdisciplinary team has shown, for the first time through absolute dating, that iron was used to reinforce stone from the construction phase. ...

Research shows Jaws didn't kill his cousin

22 hours ago

New research suggests our jawed ancestors weren't responsible for the demise of their jawless cousins as had been assumed. Instead Dr Robert Sansom from The University of Manchester believes rising sea levels ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

secrets
not rated yet Sep 21, 2012
This is wonderful news,as although i visit Egypt often ,the next visit we will stay in Cairo....to visit this and other amazing places.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.