Sakkara (or Saqqara or Sakkara) is a vast necropolis in Memphis area of Egypt. It was used continuously throughout the history of ancient Egypt.

The 6th Dynasty Pyramid of Pepi II which is situated between Saqqara and Dashur. As well as the ruined pyramid there are three satellite pyramids for the Queens Ugebeten, Neit and Ipuit.

From the earliest dynasties, the kings built their mastabas there and that is also here the first pyramid was built by Imhotep, the architect of Djoser (Third Dynasty) to-2600. It is generally accepted that this was the first stone building erected in Egypt.

A royal necropolis during the Old Kingdom, the site was developed around the royal pyramids of the fifth and sixth dynasties. The many mastaba from this era contain many perfectly preserved reliefs describing the daily life of ancient Egypt.

In the Middle Kingdom, with the removal of Pharaoh and his court, first to Thebes and later in the Fayum, the necropolis was somewhat neglected.

Under the New Empire, with the revival of the city of Memphis during the eighteenth and nineteenth Egyptian dynasties, the nobles and courtiers were once again buried at Saqqara in tombs topped temples and funeral chapels.

Statue of the god Apis from the Ptolemaic period

One of the most famous is the tomb that Horemheb had built before he was crowned pharaoh. The reliefs of the chapel depict him with the Royal symbols, in anticipation of his later status.

The tombs of the sacred Apis bulls, whose cult was centered in Memphis are also found at Saqqara. Inaugurated at the eighteenth dynasty, the Serapeum developed mainly during the Ramses dynasty. The son of Ramses II, Khaemwaset, High Priest of Ptah, caused inscriptions and steles to be made describing himself as a great magician and also describing the restoration of the tombs of Apis and the inauguration of the great catacomb which thereafter continued to grow to accommodate the mummified remains of sacred bulls. Khaemwaset died before his father and was buried in the Serapeum.

Then in the Late Period a sanctuary was built at Saqqara which became the most important center of pilgrimage and retained its importance to the end of Egyptian history, even under the Ptolemies and the Roman emperors. An avenue of sphinxes leading to the temple dedicated to Apis (since disappeared) which was reached by crossing a dromos house built in the Hellenistic style containing statues of the major philosophers and thinkers of antiquity.

Other shrines dedicated to Anubis and Bastet were built next to the catacombs at galleries enclosing endless amounts of animal mummies, witnesses of the popular enthusiasm for the worship of sacred animals.

Europeans and Egyptians who continue to search the ground of Saqqara discovered many previously unknown tombs. A fresco representing the rendering of an ox was found in the tomb of a nobleman of the Old Empire. At the time of the pharaohs, the Egyptians wanted to believe in the immortality of the human person. To walk in the afterlife, it would find the images of daily life, including representations of food.

The number of monuments, temples and tombs within this complex is truly astounding.

Entry to a Mastaba

Entry to a Mastaba

Saqqara North

* Mastaba of the First Dynasty, Second Dynasty of which:
  • Horus Aha
  • Horus Djer
  • Horus Djet
  • Horus Den (Oudimou)
  • Horus Adjib
  • Horus Semerkhet
  • Horus Qa'a

    Saqqara Center

    * Third Dynasty:
  • Large enclosure Sanakht
  • Step Pyramid of Djoser
  • Step Pyramid of Sekhemkhet (unfinished) * Fifth Dynasty:
  • Pyramid and temple Userkaf
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen Néferhétepès
  • Pyramid and Temple Menkauhor
  • Pyramid and Temple of Unas * Sixth Dynasty
  • Pyramid and temple of Teti
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen Khoui II
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen Ipout Ire
  • Pyramid and Temple of the Queen Mother Sechséchet Ire

    Saqqara South

    * Fourth Dynasty:
  • Tomb and Temple Shepseskaf called Matabat Faraoun * Fifth Dynasty:
  • Pyramid and Temple Djedkare Isesi
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen anonymous Djedkare Isesi * Sixth Dynasty
  • Pyramid and temple of Pepi I.
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen Noubounet
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen Inenek Inti
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen Ankhesenpepi II
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen Mérétitès
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen Ankhesenpepi III
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen Behenou
  • Pyramid and Temple Merenre I.
  • Pyramid and temple of Pepi II
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen Neith
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen Ipout II
  • Pyramid and Temple of Queen Oudjebten * Eighth Dynasty
  • Pyramid and Temple Qakare Ibi

    Main mastaba tombs

    * Mastaba of the First Dynasty, Second Dynasty and Third dynasty Saqqara North including:
  • Sabou
  • Hésyré
  • Khâbaousokar
  • Ruaben Old Kingdom False door stele of Mery - Fourth Dynasty Serdab the Mastaba of Ti - Fifth Dynasty Relief from the Mastaba Kagemni - Sixth Dynasty * Fourth Dynasty:
  • Mastaba of Metjen
  • Mastaba of Pehernéfer
  • Mastaba Mery
  • Mastaba of Tchenty
  • Mastaba of Setjou
  • Mastaba of Ptahchepsès I.
  • Mastaba of Ranefer * Fifth Dynasty:
  • Mastaba of Nebet
  • Mastaba of Khennout
  • Mastaba of Ti
  • Mastaba of Méhouas
  • Mastaba of Ptahhotep and Akhet-Hotep
  • Mastaba of Iroukaptah
  • Mastaba of Kanefer
  • Mastaba of Khouiptah
  • Mastaba of Ptahchepsès II
  • Mastaba of Néferefrêânkh
  • mastaba of Nefer and KAHAIA
  • Mastaba of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep
  • Mastaba of Ptahchepsès III
  • Mastaba of Akhethétep
  • Mastaba of Pehenoukaï
  • Mastaba of Queen Meresankh IV
  • Mastaba of Isésiânkh
  • Mastaba of Rêmkoui
  • Mastaba of Rachepsès
  • Mastaba of Unas-Ankh
  • Mastaba of Sabou Kem
  • mastaba of Kai
  • Mastaba of Neferkhouou
  • Mastaba of Nimaâtsed
  • Mastaba of Ak and Hétephernéfret
  • Mastaba of Ptahchepsès IV
  • Mastaba of Sabou IBEB
  • Mastaba of Iynefert Shanef
  • Mastaba of Akhethotep Hemi
  • Mastaba of Ihy
  • Mastaba of Hesi * Sixth Dynasty
  • Mastaba of Idout
  • Mastaba of Iynefert
  • Mastaba of Khnoumenti
  • Mastaba of Neferseshemrê Sheshi
  • Mastaba of Sabou Tjéty
  • Mastaba of Khentika
  • Mastaba of Kagemni
  • Mastaba of Merefnebef
  • Mastaba of Mérérouka
  • Mastaba of Idou
  • Mastaba of Inoumin
  • Mastaba of Ânkhmahor
  • Mastaba of Méhouas
  • Mastaba of Iouou
  • Mastaba of DJAOUI
  • Mastaba of Idi New Kingdom * Dynasty XVIII:
  • Tomb of Horemheb
  • Tomb of Maia
  • Tomb Meryptah
  • Tomb of Aper-el, and their son Tawaret Houy
  • Tomb Merymery
  • Tomb Merirê and Baketamon
  • Tomb of Mery-Sekhmet and Iouy
  • Tomb of Seth
  • Tomb of Thutmose and Amenemouia
  • Tomb Ptahmès son of Menkhéper
  • Tomb of Thutmose son Ptahmès
  • Tomb of Maya & Mérit
  • Tomb Paatenemheb * Dynasty XIX:
  • Tomb of Tia
  • Tomb Netjerouymès
  • Tomb Néferrenpet
  • Tomb Ptahmès
  • Tomb Raïa
  • Tomb Iouty
  • Tomb Hormin Late Period * XXVI Dynasty
  • well at Tomb of Amon-Tefnakht
  • well at Tomb of Hor-Néferibrê-Emakhet
  • Tomb in wells Néferibrê-sa-Neith
  • Tomb in wells Ouahibrê-Men * Dynasty XXVII:
  • Tomb in wells Psammetichus
  • Tomb in wells Tjanehib

    Article adapted from Saqqarah found on the French Wikipedia. This article is available under licence CC-BY-SA.)

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