The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Friday, 26 April 2019 10:56

Egypt's oldest pyramid saved from collapse

Egypt's oldest pyramid saved from collapse Egypt's oldest pyramid saved from collapse.

Djoser, Egypt's oldest pyramid, located on the Nile's west bank near Cairo, was prone to collapse but it was saved by a team of British engineers.

The 4,700-year-old Pyramid of Djoser, also known as the Step Pyramid, was unstable for a long period of time after a large earthquake struck the region back in 1992. 

Cintec, an International company that is involved in engineering of structural masonry reinforcement and anchoring systems worldwide, won the contract to repair the historic monument in 2010. The firm has repaired famous structures such as The Statue of Liberty, the White House and the Buckingham Palace.

In a 9-year period, including a 3-year pause due to the Arab Spring (a series of anti-government protests), the team has completed the repairs and has made the 62-meter height Pyramid safe again. "During the revolution many of the pyramids and museums were plundered - we were lucky because even though our equipment was in Egypt it hadn't yet cleared customs. For the past six years I would travel to Egypt and work over there for spells between four to six weeks and then return. At one point I had about 13 visas in my passport - maybe more," Mr. Dennis Lee, member of the engineering team, stated.

The crew used a technique which is based on putting large airbags inside the structure to hold it together before knitting it using more than 100 steel rods. Mr. Lee said that the task was very challenging. "It was nerve-wracking. It's not a crumbling wall in front of you, it's right over your head. It's also very historic so you have to take everything very slowly," he commented.

The team found the pyramid's sarcophagus which used to hold the mummy of the Pharoah Djoser, but, the mummy itself was not found during the repairs.


Read 188 times Last modified on Thursday, 25 April 2019 15:16

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