Information about Sakkara Cairo, EGypt
Sakkara is a section of the great necropolis of Memphis. Memphis was the Old Kingdom capital. The kings of the first and second dynasties buried in this section of the Memphis necropolis. In fact, it has constant interest to Egyptology men. In fact, three major discoveries made at Sakkara. They are a prime minister’s tomb, a queen’s pyramid, and the tomb of the son of a dynasty founding king. Each discovery has a fascinating story. It is with many adventures for the archaeologists who revealed the secrets of the past. Sakkara is best known for Zoser Step Pyramid. In fact, it is the oldest known of Egypt’s 97 Pyramids. It built for King Djoser of the third dynasty. It was by the architect and genius Imhotep. Imhotep designed it and its surrounding complex.
In fact, Imhotep was the first to build stone tombs in honor of the king’s majesty. He has many titles such as Treasurer of the King of Lower Egypt and Administrator of the Great Palace. Moreover, Imhotep may also designed the pyramid of Djoser’s successor, Sekhemkhet. Kings such as Userkaf and Djedkare-Izezi built their Pyramids at Sakkara. In fact, they are from the fifth dynasty. Unas was the last king of fifth dynasty. He decorated his burial chamber with the famous ‘Pyramid Texts’. Moreover, he also dis with written spells. The spells were to help the king ascend to the heavens and descend again. which reveal the relationship of the king to the gods. Kings such Pepi I, Merenre and Pepi II built their Pyramids to the south of Sakkara. They were from the sixth dynasty.
Sakkara is also famous for its private Old Kingdom tombs. The tombs contain indeed beautiful and revealing scenes. The scenes like men force feeding geese, cattle crossing a canal and men dragging a statue on a sled to the tomb. In fact, the best known tombs are those of Ti, Kagemni and Ptahhotep. In fact, the most famous is that of Meruruka. During the New Kingdom, Memphis took second place to Thebes as Egypt’s capital. The government officials who ruled Upper Egypt lived in Memphis and buried at Sakkara. Here Geoffrey Martin found the famous tomb that Horemheb built for himself. In fact, it is before he becomes pharaoh. He was still the overseer of Tutankhamen’s army. Martin also found the tomb of Mava and Tutankhamen Treasurer.
The first of the recent discoveries at Sakkara dates back to the New Kingdom. This site developed by the French Alain Zivie. Zivie started work at a place in Sakkara called Abwab el-Qotat, ‘The Doors of the Cats’. It called because hundreds of cat mummies found here. Ancient Egyptians worshiped the cat goddess Bastet. The main place of worship was at Tel Basta near Zagazig in the east of the Delta. Sakkara sanctuary stood above a cliff in which some New Kingdom tombs cut. Some of them were re used much later for cat burials connected with the sanctuary. The Abwab El-Qotat site had neglected for many years. It was dangerous because the cliff was crumbling and the Tombs were falling apart.
The French archaeological team worked here for the last 14 years. The main focus of their work was the tomb of the Vizier Aperel or Aperia. Amenhotep III served as the prime minister of Lower Egypt. It was in the fourteenth century BC. His son was Amenhotep IV. In fact, he known as Akhenaten. Aperia’s tomb discovered in 1987. Zivie got the opportunity to clear a huge burial complex on four levels. The last level still contains a large part of the funerary treasure of Aperia. They were his wife Tauret, their son Huy and prominent general. The big surprise was indeed the discovery of the funerary chamber. In fact, it found hidden behind the stairway.
The remains of the Vizier, his wife and their son found in beautiful coffins. They were with canopic jars of alabaster, objects of daily and religious use and many jewels. Moreover, the gold transferred to the Cairo Museum and is on exhibit there. The beautiful rings and bracelets can compared only with those found at Thebes. Dr. Zivie’s report referring to the funerary chamber as the ‘chapel’. A late masonry was present almost everywhere at the first level of the tomb. It prevented investigation. Moreover, three cult niches revealed when they removed the masonry. Dry stones had blocked the entire chapel. The decoration on the main, central and niche remained in a good state of preservation. Furthermore, on the sides are paintings of the Vizier.
Each with his complete name, Aper-EI. He receiving offerings of flowers or purification from two sons unknown to us. In fact, their names and titles are present. The first one is Seny. He was a high official. The other one is Hatiay. He was a priest. The representations are important because they illustrate the art of the time of Akhenaton. Its aftermath not at Amarna or at Thebes, but rather at Memphis. Memphis remained the main city of the country. But also in some neighboring tombs. This masonry dates back to the beginning of the Ptolemaic (Greek) Period. The site then re used in cat burials at the sanctuary of Bastet above the cliff. It was necessary to remove the blocking (late masonry). it was to explore the chapel completely.
In fact, the operation provided the Mission with a chance discovery. Moreover, the larger part of the chapel of the tomb hidden by the masonry. The decoration well preserved behind the stones and mortar. The work took several months, but the chapel now completely cleared. In cat, now we have a complete picture of the first level of the tomb. The result is impressive. There were three square pillars. One unknown before. It was on the inner faces of which one can still discern representations of the Vizier and of his son. The fourth pillar is no longer present. A splendid ceiling decorated in brilliant colors. Moreover, it also almost completely preserved. The most important discovery in the chapel was indeed the back wall, side of the burial chamber.
Near the sarcophagus found the canopic chest of the king. It was with his viscera wrapped in bandages of fine linen. The expedition found small Pyramids of queens and others who may have been queens. It was during examining the high sand mounds on the south side of Pepi I’s pyramid. Pepi I married two sisters. They were the daughters of the Mayor of Abydos. It was the first recorded case of an Egyptian god king marrying a commoner. From the French team’s work we knew the queens for whom these Pyramids built. The first built for Queen Nwb-wnt. In 1995 they found the pyramid of Queen Meryt-it-is. We already knew this name as that of the wife of King Khufu (Cheops), builder of the Great Pyramid. She enjoyed the titles of ‘King’s Wife’ and ‘King’s Daughter’.
Her newly- found pyramid raises Egypt’s total of Pyramids with superstructures to 97. It expected that the expedition will find more 8th Dynasty Pyramids in this area. Sakkara was the burial place of those kings. They have already located the pyramid of King Iby. The third discovery at Sakkara made while excavating in the vicinity of Queen Iput I pyramid. She was a wife of Teti, first king of sixth dynasty. His reign was about 68 years. He married two queens, Iput and Khuit. The historian Manetho stated that King Teti assassinated by his bodyguard. Others believe that Teti’s eventual assassination motivated by resentment. The resentment at the eclipse of priestly authority.
Naguib Kanawati of Macquarie University, Sydney, has uncovered evidence to support the murder theory. The name of Teti’s pyramid was ‘The Pyramid Which Is Enduring Of Palaces’. Its original height was 52.5 meter. It was first opened in 1881 and found to resemble other 6th Dynasty Pyramids. Inside was a sarcophagus of gray basalt. Near it found Teti’s viscera. It was in a canopic chest like that of Pepi I . Queen Iput’s and Khuit’s Pyramids located about a ninety meters north of Teti’s. In 1897-99 V. Loret excavated it. He found a large limestone sarcophagus. It contains the cedar wood inner coffin of the Queen. Inside the coffin were her remains.
On the bones of her right arm found scattered remains of her necklace and a gold bracelet. When excavated around Queen Iput’s pyramid, it found most of the rooms of its funerary temple. It decorated with beautiful scenes. Also found in the temple was a monument dating from the third dynasty reign of Djoser. This monument resembles a pillar. The shape of its top called a Serelh, which means ‘palace facade’. On it written the name of Djoser. Above it is the falcon god Horus wearing the Double Crown on Upper and Lower Egypt.
Beneath Horus is a lion or lioness followed by a jackal. They arranged in 12 registers. It could be a part of an entrance gate for the pyramid complex of Djoser. On its top would have been a lintel with Djoser’s titles. There is major discovery near Queen Iput’s funerary temple. It was the tomb of Teti’s son Teti-ankh-km, which means ‘Teti-ankh the Black’. The false door of the tomb bears his name, the title of ‘King’s Son’. It also does his most important title of ‘Overseer of Upper Egypt’. The tomb contains beautiful scenes of daily and religious life. It includes ladies bringing offerings and the slaughtering of animals. It also includes the deceased standing with his wife, the lotus flower, and many other scenes.
The colors in the scenes are distinctive. The style is characteristic of Sakkara tombs during the Old Kingdom. During New Kingdom, most of Sakkara tombs display the same style and colors. The painting was partly defaced. The wall carved with a new and impressive representation. It is of Osiris flanked by the goddesses Isis and Nephthys. The figures used as cult representations, like statues. The smaller western niche found empty. The Ptolemaic masonry of the eastern niche contained the mummies of cats. They are most notable one in a limestone coffin with a superb cat mummy in linen wrappings. This was the first in situ cat burial found at Sakkara. It dedicated to Bastet . It was when the site blocked up and re-used, probably in the early Ptolemaic Period.
To protect the fragile parts of the cliff, the masonry from other tombs in the vicinity removed. Excavation work then concentrated on the tomb of Mery-Sekhmet. He lived in the 19th Dynasty. This tomb, was unknown before the Mission explore Sakkara site. It only partly preserved, but what left is quite exceptional. The stone masonry of the Ptolemaic Period removed. It was to reach and protect the original decorated walls of the tomb. The task was difficult and has proceeded over several years. The preserved walls of the chapel are now almost cleared and cleaned. They decorated with superb relieves. Moreover, they partly inspired by the mastabas (tombs) of the Old Kingdom.
Furthermore, they depict Mery-Sekhmet and his wife Iuy attending to agricultural work. They partly blackened by fire in ancient times. The reliefs and their color have been excellently cleaned and reinforced. The main surprise awaited the Mission at the back of the tomb. It is where the removal of the masonry led to the discovery of a walled niche. The high humidity led to fears that nothing preserved in this remote part of the tomb, but this was not the case. The niche was slowly and methodically cleared in January 1994 and the winter of 1995. It contains a pair of superb statues carved in the rock.
These are standing figures more than 3 feet high and still colored. They were of Iuy and Mery-Sekhmet. He holds a standard with small figures of Osiris and Re-Harakhte. This is the first time that such New Kingdom statues, carved into the rock, discovered at Sakkara. The faces of the man and woman are quite beautiful. Despite the fragility of the stone and the colors, the statues are well preserved. The second discovery at Sakkara made under the supervision of a French Egyptologist. He was Jean Leclant. This French expedition worked around Pepi I pyramid. He was the third king of the Old Kingdom’s 6th Dynasty. In his reign, Egypt reached a peak in art and culture.
One of the king’s courtiers was Weni. He recounts that Pepi I appointed him to investigate a conspiracy on the part of Queen Imtis. Weni didn’t say what she plotted against the king, nor what kind of punishment she suffered. Hieroglyphic inscriptions on the inner walls of Pepi I’s pyramid crumbled to the floor. The French team accomplished one of its most important tasks. They reconstructed the inscriptions by computer. It took them almost five years to complete this impressive achievement. In fact, there is now an museum with a special room dedicated to Jean-Phillippe Lauer’s work. It located in Sakkara. Moreover, it is with many other exhibits on this archaeological site. It named the Imhotep Museum.