Stepped Pyramid at Saqqara
The Stepped Pyramid
Initially constructed as a single raised, rectangular mastaba tomb, the architect Imhotep began to stack additional mastabas, constructing a pyramid-like stairway to heaven. The pyramid interior contains a subterranean maze in a palace-like layout that is too unstable for the public to enter.
The Festival Halls
The open court of pharaoh Djoser’s pyramid complex doubled as a proving ground for the Heb-Sed festival, a physically-gruelling ceremony of royal renewal. Flanked on either side by tall, stone halls, the enclosure was a multipurpose structure most renown for its advanced medical practices. Exploring the interiors of these structures is highly recommended, as preserved hieroglyphic remnants, ceremonial doorways and statuetes can be seen within.
Saqqara is Egypt’s most important Old Kingdom necropolis. It serves as a multigenerational resting place for ancient Egyptian royalty, nobility, and state officials. The remnants of Pepi’s pyramid lay north of the stepped pyramid complex, and can be reached on foot. Subject to ongoing conservation work, the pyramid interior can be entered.
The famous pyramid texts can be found within Unas’s burial chamber. This is ancient Egypt’s first example of any form of funerary hieroglyphics within a tomb-like structure. The pyramid is located South of the stepped pyramid complex, and still has its causeway partially intact, it is worth the detour as the site is extensive.
- Admission rates are in Egyptian pounds (EGP). Foreign currencies are not accepted by site authorities.
- Tickets can only be purchased with cash. Cheques, debit and credit cards are not accepted.
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