23 July 2024 05:21 AM

'Imhotep' Museum in Saqqara

Saturday، 16 December 2023 - 12:06 PM

In December 2023, Tourism and Antiquities Minister Ahmed Issa inaugurated "Imhotep" Museum in Saqqara, after finalizing its restoration works.

Saqqara is one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt, and is on the list of Egyptian archaeological sites in UNESCO.

The museum is one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt which was established to commemorate architect Imhotep.

Imhotep is credited with being the first Egyptian to build a monumental structure out of stone: Pharaoh Djoser's Step Pyramid located at Saqqara, which was built during the 3rd Dynasty.

About "Imhotep" Museum

The museum consists of six halls, including artifacts of the fifth and sixth dynasties and rare stones.

The air-conditioned Imhotep Museum provides a more secure storage space than the traditional storehouses located at archaeological sites. In the museum, artefacts are more easily protected from theft, and they are stored in climate-controlled conditions.

"Imhotep" Museum was opened for the first time in 1997 and was closed in March 2022 for renovation and development. The cost of the museum renovation and development project reached nearly EGP 48 million.

The museum has six large halls in which one may admire masterpieces from Saqqara, such as a Ptolemaic mummy discovered by Zahi Hawass during the excavation of the Pyramid of Teti complex and a large double statue that was found near the causeway of the Unas complex. The statue depicts the 19th Dynasty High Priest of Mut, Amenemopet, and his wife.

In the entrance hall, the visitor is welcomed by a fragment of the Djoser statue on which one can read the name of the king and the architect Imhotep. This find was on loan from the Egyptian Muuseum in Cairo, and was exhibited only in the museum's opening months.

The second hall displays archaeological finds from various excavations on the Saqqara plateau. The artifacts in this exhibit will be rotated.

The third hall is devoted to Egyptian art, and contains vessels, statues, and stela made of wood and stone, as well as the ancient tools used to build the monuments.

The fourth hall exhibits architectural elements from the Step Pyramid complex, such as columns and the green and blue faience wall tiles that decorate chambers under the pyramid complex. A small statue of Imhotep is also found in this room.

The fifth hall displays objects used in burials from the6th Dynasty through the New Kingdom.

A gallery dedicated to the French Egyptologist, Jean-Philippe Lauer, displays some of his personal effects and photographs of him at work on the plateau. His library is recreated in one room. Lauer began working at the Djoser complex in the 1920s and continued to work there for the remainder of his career, some 75 years.

"Imhotep" Museum Development

The renovation project included replacement of damaged stone flooring with new similar ones and enhancement and upgrading of the museum's surrounding wall.

It also involved improving the irrigation networks in the visitor path area, upgrading restrooms, and developing visitor routes.

Additionally, the final finishing works for the museum exhibition halls have been developed, along with special panoramic lighting for the overall site and the exhibited archaeological pieces, security and surveillance systems, museum facade enhancements, and upgrading the central air conditioning units.

Moreover, facilities have been provided for visitors with disabilities, including dedicated restrooms and pathways.

Cafeterias and bazaars have been added to the site to enhance the visitors' experience in line with the importance of the museum and the archaeological site as a whole.

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