Sunday, January 15, 2012

Restoring the pyramid of Djoser

Wales Online

DEEP in the world’s oldest pyramid, real-life Indiana Jones Peter James faced the prospect of thousands of tons of rock crushing him at any time.

The former Royal Navy lieutenant-commander – dubbed Indiana James by his team – was at the bottom of a 29-metre shaft where he was fighting to save the 4,700-year-old structure.

It was not a job for people who don’t like being boxed in.

The 68-year-old said: “If you went there in the dark and did not know what you were doing you would just fall down the shaft and splat at the bottom.

“And there must be a thousand metres of tunnels underneath.”

In the eight metre square room he and his four man team sat with the stone sarcophagus of Pharaoh Tjoser – built to house the remains of the ancient ruler.

The only way to reach the sarcophagus is to descend a specially built scaffold tower.

All the way down the surrounding walls are dotted entrances to mysterious tunnels.

One leads from one side of the pyramid to the other.

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