Experience the Wonder of the Saqqara Necropolis
Ancient Egyptian tombs, pyramids and relics draw millions of visitors each year. From every corner of the globe, visitors have traveled to stand in awe of these iconic monuments. Now we can appreciate the relics of this ancient civilization from our own homes with the virtual tours of these Egyptian heritage sites released by Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
You’ll be able to explore one of the Old Kingdom Tombs in Saqqara: the Wahty Tomb, which dates back to the Fifth Dynasty of ancient Egypt, around 2400 BCE. The tomb was cut into the rocks near the Sacred Animal Catacombs. Then, check out the Mehu Tomb, also from the Old Kingdom, which is one of the most complete tombs in the area.
We took a moment with Ahmed Attia, founder and executive manager at NAV3D, who captured these spectacular spaces, to learn about what it was like to do so.
Q: What inspired the 3D capture of Mehu and Wahty Tombs?
The period of closure due to the coronavirus and the cessation of global tourism was an ideal period to capture many archaeological sites, as Egypt began its mission to keep the world in contact with its culture and heritage, its treasures and historical places.
Q: What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why?
You can’t miss the beauty of the colors and the splendor of the details that have lasted for thousands of years, preserved in incredible detail.
Q: What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring Mehu and Wahty Tombs?
One of the most important things the visitor must take from these places are the stories that are carried and told by the drawings on the walls. Exciting information and riveting tales bring us closer to the great history of the pharaohs of another world, more than seven thousand years ago.
Q: What was your favorite part about capturing the tombs in 3D?
I had the special privilege to visit these places during the global shutdown. One of the most enjoyable moments was being able to see the wonderful colors that appear as if they were painted only a few days ago. Also, being able to touch the inscriptions and protrusions was such a special and uncommon experience.
Q: Were there challenges to working in tight spaces and capturing narrow corridors and shafts?
For me this was the first time capturing and documenting narrow places with special specifications. It was necessary to go to the space first to study where and how I should place my equipment. At times, I had to lie or crouch down so that neither I nor the equipment was harmed.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
Overall it was a wonderful and rare experience that gave me a special feeling. I’m proud to capture these spaces in 3D to help share Egypt’s ancient history in difficult times.