• Geography
  • Saqqara Necropolis

  • Saqqara step pyramid
    Saqqara Map
    Location Lower Egypt - overlooking the Egyptian capital of Memphis
    West bank of Nile, 5 km north of Abusir
    Nome1st nome of Lower Egypt White fortress - the 1st Nome of Lower Egypt
    Type of SettlementNecropolis
    Historical Development- The earliest burials of nobles at Saqqara can be traced back to the Early Dynastic Period
    - The area became the first Royal necropolis of the Old Kingdom
    - In the New Kingdom it was eclipsed as the burial ground of royalty by the Valley of the Kings,
    - In the Late Kingdom and Ptolemaic Period, it regained importance as a complex for cult Apis Bull burials in the Serapeum
    - Because the necropolis was lost beneath the sands for the past 2000 years, many mastabas and temple complexes have been superbly preserved, with both their structures and internal decorations intact.
    Monuments
    1. The site is dominated by the famous step Pyramid of Zoser - designed by Imhotep, and is the world's oldest standing stone monument
    2. The ruined Pyramid of the 5th Dynasty Pharaoh Userkaf.
    3. The 6th Dynasty pyramid of Teti 1, now completely ruined. Adjacent to the pyramid are the mastabas of his officials. The mastaba of Kagemni, a Vizier and judge under three Pharaohs of the 5th and 6th Dynasties, has marvelous relieves showing fishermen
    4. The Serapeum - twenty chambers contain sarcophagi the ' Apis Bulls' from the New Kingdom down to the Ptolemaic Period
    5. The Tomb of Shepseskaf - Unlike his immediate predecessors and his successors, he chose the form of a mastaba rather then a pyramid for his tomb
    6. The Pyramid complex of Pepi 1 from the 6th Dynasty, with its associated queens pyramids
    7. The Pyramid of Pepi 2, the last great pyramid built in the Old Kingdom.
    8. Merenre's complex
    9. Unas complex, the oldest tomb which has Pyramid Texts inscribed. His pyramid is surprisingly small considering his long reign, rising only 52 meters above ground. Its present condition is also a disappointment, it is more like a heap of rubble, and it is only on the northern side that a few stones still stand
    10. The Pyramid complex of Djedkare from the 5th Dynasty, known as Haram el-Shawaf.
    11. The tomb of Horemheb - Built before he became Pharaoh, in a modest scale, with wall decorations showing his daily life. The tomb was never used, hence his last resting place became the Valley of the Kings.
    12. The Pyramid of Ibi from the 8th Dynasty - the only pyramid constructed during the first intermediate period. His pyramid was small compared to all other completed ones, just 21 meters high. Today it is in a very ruinous state, consisting of 3 piles of limestone chips lying around the burial chamber.

    Photos: Giza Plateau

    1. thumbnail

      Step Pyramid

    2. thumbnail

      Mastabas

    3. thumbnail

      Saqqara Pyramids