Saqqara (Arabic سقارة Saqqara, the Egyptian name -arab. Āra Sa ʾ ʾ ) is an important Ancient Egyptian necropolis on the west bank of the Nile. The place is about 20 km south of Cairo Governorate Al- Giza.


Already at the time of the Old Kingdom, from the 1st Dynasty to the Late Period, Saqqara is occupied as a burial site. Presumably, the city was named after the god of the dead Sokar. The oldest grave found to date equipment found in Saqqara - North, close to the edge of the desert, where it increases are above the cultivated land. There are a number of mastabas, decorated on the outside with a palace facade. The first of these buildings dated under Hor Aha. By the end of the second dynasty the local desert plateau with mastabas was installed. In the 2nd Dynasty, the first kings were buried at Saqqara, south. From their grave sites, however, only the underground grave chambers are preserved. With the Step Pyramid of Pharaoh Djoser of the 3rd Dynasty of the Old Kingdom around 2650 BC, the pyramids used a.

Even the kings of the 5th and 6th dynasty built their pyramids here. In addition to these pyramids and many dignitaries were buried, as Saqqara was the necropolis of the royal seat of Memphis during the Old Kingdom here. The grave sites of the following 1st split are rather small, but show an unbroken tradition from the Old Kingdom. In the Middle Kingdom, small Mastabagräber concentrated around the pyramid of Teti II and in the south of Saqqara, where in the 13th Dynasty, some pyramids ( Chendjer ) have been built.

In the New Kingdom Saqqara necropolis again experienced as significant a special recovery. Especially at the time of Amenhotep III. , As Memphis again strongly gained in importance, here very many senior officials have been buried. The grave sites of this period usually resemble small temples with pylons and courtyards, including the first grave of Horemheb. These tombs are often not well received.

Few tombs can be dated in the 3rd Intermediate Period, but there are significant tombs from the late period. Many officials have been buried at the bottom of gigantic grave shafts. The necropolis retained its importance down to Ptolemaic times, when some major temples have been built. From this period extensive gallery graves with animal burials.

Pyramid of Userkaf

Pyramid of Unas

The Pyramid of Unas districts, Djoser and Userkaf from the air

Mastaba of Ti

Grave forms

Almost all Egyptian grave forms are found at Saqqara: In addition to the Step Pyramid and classic pyramids of the 5th and 6th dynasty, shaft graves, gallery graves to mastabas from all ancient Egyptian eras. Furthermore, there are pet cemeteries ( ibises, dogs, cats, bulls ), which is one of the Serapeum with the sarcophagi of the Apis bulls of the most outstanding. In addition, there are at least two large, rectangular enclosures, one of which Gisr el- Mudir ( Great Enclosure ) is the oldest stone building in Egypt.

Pyramids and monumental tombs at Saqqara

  • Pyramid of Djoser
  • Sekhemkhet pyramid (unfinished)
  • Mastabat al - Fir'aun
  • Mastaba of Ti
  • Userkaf Pyramid
  • Djedkare Pyramid
  • Unas Pyramid
  • Teti Pyramid
  • Pepi I. Pyramid
  • Merenre pyramid (unfinished)
  • Pepi II 's pyramid
  • Ibi - pyramid
  • Lepsius XXIX Pyramid
  • Chendjer Pyramid
  • Southern Pyramid of Saqqara -South (unfinished)
  • SAK S 3
  • SAK S 7

Grave sites of the New Kingdom

  • Grave of Amenemone, head of the craftsman and goldsmith
  • Grave of Aperel, vizier under Amenhotep III. and Akhenaten
  • Grave of Horemheb, at the end of the 18th dynasty pharaoh
  • Grave of Horemheb, an official at the time of Ramses II
  • Grave of Hormin
  • Grave of Huy
  • Grave of Iniuia
  • Grave of Ipuia
  • Grave of Maia, wet nurse of Tutankhamun
  • Grave of the Mayan, Treasury chief under Tutankhamun and Horemheb
  • Grave of Moses
  • Grave of Paser, an official at the time of Ramses II
  • Grave of Ptahmose
  • Grave of Tia and Tia

However, recent findings

In March 2005, archaeologists found under Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities SCA, at the pyramid of King Teti at Saqqara a mummy whose age is estimated at 2300 years. Her richly decorated sarcophagus is considered one of the finest that have ever been found in Egypt. Beginning of 2009 saw a group under Zahi Hawass a grave chamber of the 6th Dynasty (ca. 2318-2168 BC) with 30 mummies probably from the 26th dynasty ( 664-525 BC).

End of 2009, two other 2500 year old tombs have been found from the 26th dynasty. One of these is the largest grave, which was previously found in the necropolis.