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Saqqara

Saqqara

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Saqqara is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, serving as the necropolis
Necropolis
A necropolis is a large cemetery or burial ground, usually including structural tombs. The word comes from the Greek νεκρόπολις - nekropolis, literally meaning "city of the dead"...

 for the Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

ian capital, Memphis
Memphis, Egypt
Memphis was the ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, the first nome of Lower Egypt. Its ruins are located near the town of Helwan, south of Cairo.According to legend related by Manetho, the city was founded by the pharaoh Menes around 3000 BC. Capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom, it remained an...

. Saqqara features numerous pyramids, including the world famous Step pyramid of Djoser
Pyramid of Djoser
The Pyramid of Djoser , or step pyramid is an archeological remain in the Saqqara necropolis, Egypt, northwest of the city of Memphis. It was built during the 27th century BC for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by Imhotep, his vizier...

, sometimes referred to as the Step Tomb due to its rectangular base, as well as a number of mastaba
Mastaba
A mastaba, or "pr-djt" , is a type of ancient Egyptian tomb in the form of a flat-roofed, rectangular structure with outward sloping sides that marked the burial site of many eminent Egyptians of Egypt's ancient period...

s. Located some 30 km (19 mi) south of modern-day Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Saqqara covers an area of around 7 by.

At Saqqara, the oldest complete stone building complex known in history was built: Djoser
Djoser
Netjerikhet or Djoser is the best-known pharaoh of the Third dynasty of Egypt. He commissioned his official, Imhotep, to build the first of the pyramids, a step pyramid for him at Saqqara...

's step pyramid, built during the third dynasty
Third dynasty of Egypt
For the Sumerian Renaissance, see Third Dynasty of Ur.The Third Dynasty of ancient Egypt is the first dynasty of the Old Kingdom. Other dynasties of the Old Kingdom include the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth...

. Another 16 Egyptian kings built pyramids at Saqqara, which are now in various states of preservation or dilapidation. High officials added private funeral monuments to this necropolis during the entire pharaonic period
History of Ancient Egypt
The History of Ancient Egypt spans the period from the early predynastic settlements of the northern Nile Valley to the Roman conquest in 30 BC...

. It remained an important complex for non-royal burials and cult ceremonies for more than 3,000 years, well into Ptolemaic
Ptolemaic dynasty
The Ptolemaic dynasty, was a Macedonian Greek royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC...

 and Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 times.

North of the area known as Saqqara lies Abusir
Abusir
Abusir is the name given to an Egyptian archaeological locality – specifically, an extensive necropolis of the Old Kingdom period, together with later additions – in the vicinity of the modern capital Cairo...

; south lies Dahshur
Dahshur
Dahshur , is a royal necropolis located in the desert on the west bank of the Nile approximately 40 kilometres south of Cairo...

. The area running from Giza to Dahshur has been used as necropolis by the inhabitants of Memphis at different times, and it has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.

Contrary to popular belief, the name Saqqara is not derived from the ancient Egyptian funerary god Sokar, but from the Beni Saqqar who are a local Berber tribe. Their name means "Sons of Saqqar." Since they are not indigenous to the area it would not follow that they would fashion themselves as being born of an ancient Egyptian god whose identity was unknown until the age of archaeology.

Early Dynastic



of nobles can be traced back to the First Dynasty
First dynasty of Egypt
The first dynasty of Ancient Egypt is often combined with the Dynasty II under the group title, Early Dynastic Period of Egypt...

, at the north side of the Saqqara plateau. During this time, the royal burial ground was at Abydos
Abydos, Egypt
Abydos is one of the most ancient cities of Upper Egypt, and also of the eight Upper Nome, of which it was the capital city. It is located about 11 kilometres west of the Nile at latitude 26° 10' N, near the modern Egyptian towns of el-'Araba el Madfuna and al-Balyana...

. The first royal burials at Saqqara, comprising underground galleries, date to the Second Dynasty
Second dynasty of Egypt
The second dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with Dynasty I under the group title Early Dynastic Period. It dates approximately from 2890 to 2686 BC. The capital at that time was Thinis.-Rulers:...

. The last Second Dynasty king Khasekhemwy
Khasekhemwy
Khasekhemwy was the fifth and final king of the Second dynasty of Egypt. Little is known of Khasekhemwy, other than that he led several significant military campaigns and built several monuments, still extant, mentioning war against the Northerners...

 was buried in his tomb at Abydos, but also built a funerary monument at Saqqara consisting of a large rectangular enclosure, known as Gisr el-Mudir
Gisr el-mudir
Gisr el-Mudir, located at Saqqara in Egypt, just west of Sekhemkhet's pyramid complex, is a massive enclosure that seems to date from the Second dynasty...

. It probably inspired the monumental enclosure wall around the Step Pyramid complex. Djoser's funerary complex, built by the royal architect Imhotep
Imhotep
Imhotep , fl. 27th century BC was an Egyptian polymath, who served under the Third Dynasty king Djoser as chancellor to the pharaoh and high priest of the sun god Ra at Heliopolis...

, further comprises a large number of dummy buildings and a secondary mastaba (the so-called 'Southern Tomb'). French architect and Egyptologist Jean-Philippe Lauer
Jean-Philippe Lauer
Jean-Philippe Lauer , was a French architect and Egyptologist.He was born in Paris, France and originally studied architecture, but in 1926 he went to Egypt. Here he met and married Marguerite Jouguet....

 spent the greater part of his life excavating and restoring Djoser's funerary complex.

Early Dynastic monuments


  • tomb of king Hotepsekhemwy
    Hotepsekhemwy
    Hotepsekhemwy is the Horus name of a early Egyptian king who was the founder of the 2nd dynasty. The exact length of his reign is not known; the Turin canon suggests an improbable 95 years while the ancient Greek Historian Manetho reports that the reign of "Boëthôs" lasted for 38 years...

  • tomb of king Nynetjer
    Nynetjer
    Nynetjer is the Horus name of the third early Egyptian king during the 2nd dynasty. The exact length of his reign is unknown. The Turin Canon suggests an improbable reign of 96 years and the ancient Greek historian Manetho suggested that Nynetjer's reign lasted 47 years...

  • Buried Pyramid
    Buried Pyramid
    The ' is the common name for the funerary complex of pharaoh Sekhemkhet, and is a collection of monuments dating from the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt. It is located in the Saqqara necropolis, close to modern Memphis....

    , funerary complex of king Sekhemkhet
    Sekhemkhet
    Sekhemkhet was a Pharaoh in Egypt during the Third dynasty. According to the Manethonian tradition, a king known as Tyris reigned for a relatively brief period of seven years, and modern scholars believe Djoserty and Sekhemkhet are the same person...

  • Gisr el-Mudir
    Gisr el-mudir
    Gisr el-Mudir, located at Saqqara in Egypt, just west of Sekhemkhet's pyramid complex, is a massive enclosure that seems to date from the Second dynasty...

    , funerary complex of king Khasekhemwy
    Khasekhemwy
    Khasekhemwy was the fifth and final king of the Second dynasty of Egypt. Little is known of Khasekhemwy, other than that he led several significant military campaigns and built several monuments, still extant, mentioning war against the Northerners...

  • Step Pyramid
    Pyramid of Djoser
    The Pyramid of Djoser , or step pyramid is an archeological remain in the Saqqara necropolis, Egypt, northwest of the city of Memphis. It was built during the 27th century BC for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by Imhotep, his vizier...

    , funerary complex of king Djoser
    Djoser
    Netjerikhet or Djoser is the best-known pharaoh of the Third dynasty of Egypt. He commissioned his official, Imhotep, to build the first of the pyramids, a step pyramid for him at Saqqara...



Old Kingdom


Nearly all Fourth Dynasty
Fourth dynasty of Egypt
The fourth dynasty of ancient Egypt is characterized as a "golden age" of the Old Kingdom. Dynasty IV lasted from ca. 2613 to 2494 BC...

 kings chose a different location for their pyramids
Egyptian pyramids
The Egyptian pyramids are ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt.There are 138 pyramids discovered in Egypt as of 2008. Most were built as tombs for the country's Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.The earliest known Egyptian pyramids are found...

. During the second half of the Old Kingdom
Old Kingdom
Old Kingdom is the name given to the period in the 3rd millennium BC when Egypt attained its first continuous peak of civilization in complexity and achievement – the first of three so-called "Kingdom" periods, which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley .The term itself was...

, under the Fifth
Fifth dynasty of Egypt
The fifth dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with Dynasties III, IV and VI under the group title the Old Kingdom. Dynasty V dates approximately from 2494 to 2345 BC.-Rulers:...

 and Sixth
Sixth dynasty of Egypt
The sixth dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with Dynasties III, IV and V under the group title the Old Kingdom.-Pharaohs:...

 Dynasties, Saqqara was again the royal burial ground. The Fifth and Sixth Dynasty pyramids are not built of massive stone, but with a core consisting of rubble. They are consequently less well preserved than the world famous pyramids built by the Fourth Dynasty kings at Giza. Unas
Unas
Unas was a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, and the last ruler of the Fifth dynasty from the Old Kingdom. His reign has been dated as falling between 2375 BC and 2345 BC...

, the last ruler of the Fifth Dynasty, was the first king to adorn the chambers in his pyramid with Pyramid Texts
Pyramid Texts
The Pyramid Texts are a collection of ancient Egyptian religious texts from the time of the Old Kingdom. The pyramid texts are possibly the oldest known religious texts in the world. Written in Old Egyptian, the pyramid texts were carved on the walls and sarcophagi of the pyramids at Saqqara during...

. It was custom for courtiers during the Old Kingdom to be buried in mastaba tombs close to the pyramid of their king. Clusters of private tombs were thus formed in Saqqara around the pyramid complexes of Unas and Teti
Teti
Teti, less commonly known as Othoes, was the first Pharaoh of the Sixth dynasty of Egypt and is buried at Saqqara. The exact length of his reign has been destroyed on the Turin King List, but is believed to have been about 12 years.-Biography:...

.

Old Kingdom monuments

  • Mastabet el-Fara'un
    Mastabet el-Fara'un
    Mastabat Fara'un, located in south Saqqara, Egypt in the Memphite Necropolis, is the burial place of king Shepseskaf, of the Fourth Dynasty....

    , tomb of king Shepseskaf
    Shepseskaf
    Shepseskaf was a son of Menkaure who succeeded his father on the throne. Shepseskaf's name means "His Soul is Noble."- Family :Shepseskaf was a son of Menkaure and grandson of Khafra, but his mother's name is not known. His mother can be either Khamerernebty II or Rekhetre...

     (Dynasty 4)
  • pyramid complex
    Pyramid of Userkaf
    The Pyramid complex of Userkaf is located in the pyramid field at Saqqara. Constructed in dressed stone, with a core of rubble, the pyramid now resembles a conical hill just to the north of the Step Pyramid of Djoser Netjerikhet.-References:...

     of king Userkaf
    Userkaf
    Userkaf was the founder of the Fifth dynasty of Egypt and the first pharaoh to start the tradition of building sun temples at Abusir. His name means "his Ka is powerful". He ruled from 2494-2487 BC and constructed the Pyramid of Userkaf complex at Saqqara.- Family :Userkaf's wife was Queen...

     (Dynasty 5)
  • Haram el-Shawaf
    Pyramid of Djedkare-Isesi
    The pyramid of Egyptian pharaoh Djedkare-Isesi was built at South Saqqara in the fifth dynasty. The translation of its ancient Egyptian name is Beautiful is Djedkare. The pyramid was the first one to be built south of the main Saquara necropolis...

    , pyramid complex of king Djedkare
    Djedkare Isesi
    Djedkare Isesi in Greek known as Tancheres from Manetho's Aegyptiaca, was a Pharaoh of Egypt during the Fifth dynasty. He is assigned a reign of twenty-eight years by the Turin Canon although some Egyptologists believe this is an error and should rather be thirty-eight years...

  • pyramid of king Menkauhor
    Menkauhor Kaiu
    Menkauhor Kaiu , was a Pharaoh of the Fifth dynasty during the Old Kingdom. He was the successor of King Nyuserre Ini and was succeeded by Djedkare Isesi. Menkauhor's royal name or prenomen means "Eternal are the Souls of Horus".-Family:Menkauhor may have been a son of Nyuserre...

  • mastaba of Ti
  • mastaba of the Two Brothers (Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum)
  • pyramid complex
    Pyramid of Unas
    The Pyramid Complex of Unas is located in the pyramid field at Saqqara, near Cairo in Egypt.The pyramid of Unas of the Fifth Dynasty is now ruined, and looks more like a small hill than a royal pyramid.It was investigated by Perring and then Lepsius, but it was Gaston Maspero who first gained...

     of king Unas
    Unas
    Unas was a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, and the last ruler of the Fifth dynasty from the Old Kingdom. His reign has been dated as falling between 2375 BC and 2345 BC...

  • mastaba of Ptahhotep
    Ptahhotep
    Ptahhotep, sometimes known as Ptahhotpe or Ptah-Hotep, was an ancient Egyptian official during the late 25th century BC and early 24th century BC.-Life:...

  • pyramid complex
    Pyramid of Teti
    The Pyramid complex of Teti is located in the pyramid field at Saqqara, in Egypt. It was originally called Teti's places are enduring. The preservation above ground is very poor, and it now resembles a small hill. Below ground the chambers and corridors are very well preserved.-Below Ground:The...

     of king Teti
    Teti
    Teti, less commonly known as Othoes, was the first Pharaoh of the Sixth dynasty of Egypt and is buried at Saqqara. The exact length of his reign has been destroyed on the Turin King List, but is believed to have been about 12 years.-Biography:...

     (Dynasty 6)
  • mastaba of Mereruka
    Mereruka
    Mereruka served during the sixth dynasty of Egypt as one of Egypt's most powerful officials at a time when the influence of local state noblemen was increasing in wealth and power. Mereruka held numerous titles along with that of Vizier which made him the most powerful person in Egypt after the...

  • mastaba of Kagemni
  • Mastaba of Akhethetep
    Tomb of Akhethetep
    The Tomb of Akhethetep , also Tomb or Mastaba of Akhethotep, is a tomb complex that was built and completed at different times in Saqqarah, Giza, Egypt. It is the tomb of Akhethotep, a royal official, located near the western part of the Step Pyramid in Saqqara...

  • pyramid complex
    Mortuary complex of Pepi I
    The mortuary complex of Pepi I is situated in the southern archaeological complex of Saqqara, Egypt. It was excavated in the 1960s by the French Archaeological Mission of Saqqara which, all around the main pharaoh's pyramid, discovered about ten new pyramids for the queens and family of this...

     of king Pepi I
    Pepi I Meryre
    Pepi I Meryre was the third king of the Sixth dynasty of Egypt. His first throne name was Neferdjahor which the king later altered to Meryre meaning "beloved of Rê."-Family:...

  • pyramid complex
    Pyramid of Merenre
    The burial pyramid of Pharaoh Merenre was constructed during the Egyptian sixth dynasty at Saqqara 450 metres to the south-west of the pyramid of Pepi I and a similar distance to the pyramid of Djedkare. Its ancient name was "Merenre's beauty shines" or perhaps "The Perfection of Merenre Appears"...

     of king Merenre
  • pyramid complex of king Pepi II
    Pepi II Neferkare
    Pepi II was a pharaoh of the Sixth dynasty in Egypt's Old Kingdom. His throne name, Neferkare , means "Beautiful is the Ka of Re". He succeeded to the throne at age six, after the death of Merenre I, and is generally credited with having the longest reign of any monarch in history at 94 years...


First Intermediate Period
First Intermediate Period of Egypt
The First Intermediate Period, often described as a “dark period” in ancient Egyptian history, spanned approximately one hundred years after the end of the Old Kingdom from ca. 2181-2055 BC. It included the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and part of the eleventh dynasties. Very little monumental...

 monuments

  • pyramid of king Ibi
    Qakare Ibi
    Qakare Ibi was an ancient Egyptian ruler of the 8th Dynasty. The name Qa-ka-Re means "strong is the soul of Re".His existence was established by the discovery of his small pyramid in South Saqqara which also continues the late Old Kingdom tradition of listing pyramid texts in his tomb. His name is...

     (Dynasty 8)

Middle Kingdom


From the Middle Kingdom
Middle Kingdom of Egypt
The Middle Kingdom of Egypt is the period in the history of ancient Egypt stretching from the establishment of the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Fourteenth Dynasty, between 2055 BC and 1650 BC, although some writers include the Thirteenth and Fourteenth dynasties in the Second Intermediate...

 onwards, Memphis was no longer the capital of the country, and kings built their funerary complexes elsewhere. Few private monuments from this period have been found at Saqqara.

Second Intermediate Period
Second Intermediate Period of Egypt
The Second Intermediate Period marks a period when Ancient Egypt fell into disarray for a second time, between the end of the Middle Kingdom and the start of the New Kingdom...

 monuments

  • pyramid
    Pyramid of Khendjer
    The Pyramid of Khendjer was built for the burial of Pharaoh Khendjer, who ruled Egypt during the 13th Dynasty.-Location:Located between the pyramid of Pepi II and the pyramid of Senusret III in South Saqqara, it was discovered by Gustave Jequier in 1929...

     of king Khendjer
    Khendjer
    Khendjer was an Egyptian king of the 13th Dynasty. The name Khendjer is poorly attested in Egyptian. Khendjer "has been interpreted as a foreign name hnzr and equated with the Semitic personal name hzr, [for] boar" according to the Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt...

     (Dynasty 13)
  • pyramid of an unknown king

New Kingdom


During the New Kingdom Memphis was an important administrative and military centre, second only to the capital. From the Eighteenth Dynasty
Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt
The eighteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt is perhaps the best known of all the dynasties of ancient Egypt...

 onwards many high officials built tombs at Saqqara. When still a general, Horemheb
Horemheb
Horemheb was the last Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty from either 1319 BC to late 1292 BC, or 1306 to late 1292 BC although he was not related to the preceding royal family and is believed to have been of common birth.Before he became pharaoh, Horemheb was the commander in chief...

 built a large tomb here, though he was later buried as Pharaoh in the Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings , less often called the Valley of the Gates of the Kings , is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom .The valley stands on the west bank of...

 at Thebes. Other important tombs belong to the vizier Aperel
Aperel
Aperel was a Vizier of Ancient Egypt. He served as vizier during the reigns of the 18th Dynasty kings Amenhotep III and Akhenaten. Besides being Vizier, Aperel was also a commander of chariots and had the title God's Father.-Family:Aperel's wife was named Tawosret. Aperel and Tawosret had at...

 and to Maia
Maia (nurse)
Maia was the wet-nurse of the Ancient Egyptian king Tutankhamun. She is known from her rock-cut tomb found at Saqqara. Her tomb was discovered in 1996 by the French Egyptologist Alain Zivie. Maia bears the titles wet nurse of the king, educator of the god's body and great one of the harim...

, the wet-nurse of Tutankhamun
Tutankhamun
Tutankhamun , Egyptian , ; approx. 1341 BC – 1323 BC) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty , during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom...

.

Many monuments from earlier periods were still standing, but dilapidated by this period. Prince Khaemweset
Khaemweset
Prince Khaemweset was the fourth son of Ramesses II, and the second son by his queen Isetnofret. He is by far the best known son of Ramesses II, and his contributions to Egyptian society were remembered for centuries after his death...

, son of Pharaoh Ramesses II
Ramesses II
Ramesses II , referred to as Ramesses the Great, was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire...

, made repairs to buildings at Saqqara. Among other things, he restored the Pyramid of Unas
Pyramid of Unas
The Pyramid Complex of Unas is located in the pyramid field at Saqqara, near Cairo in Egypt.The pyramid of Unas of the Fifth Dynasty is now ruined, and looks more like a small hill than a royal pyramid.It was investigated by Perring and then Lepsius, but it was Gaston Maspero who first gained...

 and added an inscription to its south face to commemorate the restoration. He enlarged the Serapeum, the burial site of the mummified Apis bulls
Apis (Egyptian mythology)
In Egyptian mythology, Apis or Hapis , was a bull-deity worshipped in the Memphis region.According to Manetho, his worship was instituted by Kaiechos of the Second Dynasty. Hape is named on very early monuments, but little is known of the divine animal before the New Kingdom...

, and was later buried in the catacombs. The Serapeum, containing one undisturbed interment of an Apis bull and the tomb of Khaemweset, were rediscovered by the French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette
Auguste Mariette
François Auguste Ferdinand Mariette was a French scholar, archaeologist and Egyptologist, the designer of the rebuilt Egyptian Museum under Maximilian of Austria orders when the later had gained control of the artifacts collected to that point.-Early career:Born at Boulogne-sur-Mer, Mariette...

.

New Kingdom monuments

  • Several clusters of tombs of high officials, among which the tombs of Horemheb
    Horemheb
    Horemheb was the last Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty from either 1319 BC to late 1292 BC, or 1306 to late 1292 BC although he was not related to the preceding royal family and is believed to have been of common birth.Before he became pharaoh, Horemheb was the commander in chief...

     and of Maya
    Maya (Egyptian)
    Maya was the Overseer of the Treasury during the reign of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, Ay and Horemheb of the eighteenth dynasty of Ancient Egypt. He was also an important official and was noted for restoring the burials of several earlier Pharaohs in the Royal Necropolis in the years following the deaths...

     and Merit. Reliefs and statues from these two tombs are on display in the National Museum of Antiquities
    Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
    The Rijksmuseum van Oudheden is the national archaeological museum of the Netherlands. It is located in Leiden. The Museum grew out of the collection of Leiden University and still closely co-operates with its Faculty of Archaeology...

     at Leiden, the Netherlands, and in the British Museum
    British Museum
    The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

    , London.

After the New Kingdom


In the periods after the New Kingdom, when several cities in the Delta
Nile Delta
The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers some 240 km of Mediterranean coastline—and is a rich...

 served as capital of Egypt, Saqqara remained in use as a burial ground for nobles. Moreover the area became an important destination for pilgrims to a number of cult centres. Activities sprang up around the Serapeum, and extensive underground galleries were cut into the rock as burial sites for large amounts of mummified ibises, baboons, cats, dogs, and falcons.

Monuments of the Late Period, the Graeco-Roman and later periods

  • Several shaft tombs of officials of the Late Period
    Late Period of Ancient Egypt
    The Late Period of Ancient Egypt refers to the last flowering of native Egyptian rulers after the Third Intermediate Period from the 26th Saite Dynasty into Persian conquests and ended with the death of Alexander the Great...

    .
  • Serapeum (the larger part dating to the Ptolemaeic Period
    Ptolemaic dynasty
    The Ptolemaic dynasty, was a Macedonian Greek royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC...

    )
  • The so-called 'Philosophers circle', a monument to important Greek
    Ancient Greece
    Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

     thinkers and poets, consisting of statues of Hesiod
    Hesiod
    Hesiod was a Greek oral poet generally thought by scholars to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer. His is the first European poetry in which the poet regards himself as a topic, an individual with a distinctive role to play. Ancient authors credited him and...

    , Homer
    Homer
    In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

    , Pindar
    Pindar
    Pindar , was an Ancient Greek lyric poet. Of the canonical nine lyric poets of ancient Greece, his work is the best preserved. Quintilian described him as "by far the greatest of the nine lyric poets, in virtue of his inspired magnificence, the beauty of his thoughts and figures, the rich...

    , Plato
    Plato
    Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

    , and others (Ptolemaeic)
  • Several Coptic monasteries, among which the Monastery of Apa Jeremias (Byzantine and Early Islamic
    Muslim conquest of Egypt
    At the commencement of the Muslims conquest of Egypt, Egypt was part of the Byzantine Empire with its capital in Constantinople. However, it had been occupied just a decade before by the Persian Empire under Khosrau II...

     Periods)

Site looting during 2011 protests


Saqqara and the surrounding areas of Abusir
Abusir
Abusir is the name given to an Egyptian archaeological locality – specifically, an extensive necropolis of the Old Kingdom period, together with later additions – in the vicinity of the modern capital Cairo...

 and Dahshur suffered damage by looters during the 2011 Egyptian protests. Store rooms were broken into; the monuments were mostly unharmed.

External links