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Saqqara Necropolis

Site (29o51' N 31o14' E), of the principial necropolis of the ancient city of Memphis, situated some 17 km from the Giza, which was in use from the Ist Dynasty to the Christian period (AD 395-540). The entire length of the site is about six kilometers, with a maximum width of about 1.5 km. It has been suggested that the name of the site may be derived from that of the god Sokar. The importance of the Saqqara necropolis is indicated by very crowded nature of the burials, with some having been re-used many times and most having been extensively plundered throughout antiquity. The Ist Dynasty ruler Narmer is the earliest king whose name is known from Saqqara; a stone bowl bearing his name was discovered in one of the extensive storerooms beneath the Step Pyramid of Djoser. It is not impossible that there was originally also a monument of the reign of Narmer at Saqqara, since slightly later Ist Dynasty mastaba tombs are well attested at the site, forming a distinct group along the northeastern edge of the plateau. Building of the Step Pyramid was the first time that stone architecture had been used on such a large scale in Egypt. Mastaba tombs were constructed at Saqqara for the Memphite elite during the Old Kingdom, many of them focusing closely on the pyramids of the kings, which date from Djoser to the XIIIth Dynasty monument of Khendjer. In the New Kingdom many tombs of nobles were build at Saqqara necropolises. These tombs are date between Akhenaten (XVIII Dynasty) and Ramesses II (XIX Dynasty). There was also New Kingdom activity in northwestern Saqqara, in the form of the hypogea of the sacred Apis bull, which began to the buried in the underground galleries of the Serapeum from at least the time of Amenhotep III until the Roman Period. Private tombs of post New Kingdom date XXVIth and XXVIIth Dynasties are also located near the pyramid of Unas.Tombs of the XXXth Dynasty and Greco-Roman Period are clustered mainly on the northern side of the Step Pyramid, and towards the Serapeum.

Serapeum Pyramid of Djoser Pyramid of Teti Pyramid of Sekhemkhet Pyramid of Wenis Valley Temple of Wenis
   In the north-east part of Saqqara is the oldest necropolis - Mastabas of first Dynasty:
  S3507 - Queen Herneith ? [Den] (44.35 x 22.25 m)
tomb X (26 x 12 m) [Den]
S3506 (47.6 x 19.6 m) [I
st Dynasty]
S3505 - Merka [Qa'a] (65 x 37 m)
S3504 - Sekhemka [Djet] (56.45 x 25.45 m)
S3503 - Seshemka [Merytneith] (42.6 x 16 m)
S3500 (37.1 x 23.35 m) [Qa'a]
S2185 [I
st Dynasty]
S2105 [II
nd-IIIrd Dynasty]
S3471 [Djer] (41.3 x 15.15)
S3357 [Hor-Aha] (48.2 x 22 m)
S3338 [Andjib] (37 x 13.85 m)
S3120 [I
st Dynasty]
S3121 [I
st Dynasty]
S3035 - Hemaka [Den] (57.3 x 26 m)
S3036 - Ankhka [Den] (41 x 22 m)
S3038 - Nebetka [Den] (22.7 x 10.55 m)
S3111 - Sabu [Andjib] (29.20 x 12.05 m)
S3041 [Ist Dynasty]

The ruins of Pepi I's pyramid.

Pyramid of Pepi II

pyramid of Pepi I in South Saqqara pyramid of Pepi II in South Saqqara


The buildings associated with the cult of the Apis bull or that of the later syncretyc god Serapis. The Serapeum at Saqqara consists of a series of catacombs to the northwest of the Step Pyramid of Djoser. The Serapeum was excavated in 1851 by August Mariette, who was led to the site through his discovery of traces of some of the sphinxes lining the dromos (sacred way), which are faithfully described by the Strabo. The catacombs date back at least as early as the XVIIIth Dynasty and continued in use until the Ptolemaic Period. They contain many massive granite sarcophagi weighing up to 80 tons, although all but one had been robbed of their burials.  

     1 - Amenhotep III
  2 -  XVIII Dynasty
  3 - Tutankhamun
  4 - Horemheb
  5 - Horemheb
  6 - Seti I
  7 - year 16 of Ramesses II
  8 - ?
  9 - year 30 of Ramesses II
10 .. 14 -  Ramesses II
16 - Ramesses VI
17 - Ramesses IX
27 - year 23 of Osorkon II
28 - year 14 of Takelot II
29 - year 28 Sheshonq III
30 - year 2 of Pimai
31 - year 4 of Sheshonq V
32 - year 11 of SheshonqV
33 - year 37 of Sheshonq V
34 - year 6 of Bokhoris
35 - year 2 of Shabaka
36 - year 34 of Taharqa
37 - year 20/21 of Psametik I
38 - year 52 of Psametik I
39 - year 16 of Nekau II
40 - year 12 of Apries
41 - year 23 of Amasis
42 - year 6 of Cambyses
43 - year 34 of Darius I
44 - year 4 of Darius I
45 - Darius I
unnumered - year 2 of Nepherites I
46 - year 2 of Khabbash
55 - year 16 of Ptolemy XVI
57 - year 52 of Ptolemy VIII
unknown Ptolemy

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