Abusir Necropolis




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Abusir Necropolis

Since 1989, in the area now known as Abusir South, which is just a little to the north-west of Saqqara, the Czech Institute of Egyptology have been investigating the private tombs of officials and priests of the Old Kingdom.

Some of these tombs had been visited by Lepsius in the mid-1800s, but have since fallen into a poor state of preservation. The Czech team are concentrating on gaining a deeper understanding of the development of the necropolis by studying not only the royal monuments but also Old Kingdom (Dynasty III-VI) and Saite-Persian (Dynasties XXVI-XXX) cemeteries

Location

Lower Egypt – 5 kilometer  north of Saqqara West bank of Nile, bordering the Sahara Desert

Nome

White fortress – the 1st Nome of Lower Egypt

Type of Settlement

Royal necropolis of the Old Kingdom’s 5th Dynasty

Local deity

Osiris

Ancient name

Egyptian Per-User “The house of Osiris “

Historical Development

Old Kingdom – The first Pharaoh to start building at Abusir was Userkaf, the founder of the 5th Dynasty, He built a unique sun temple. The presence of Abusir Lake made the site easily accessible by boat

Abu-Sir In Nutshell

  1. There are seven 5th Dynasty pyramids at this site.
  2. The quality of construction of the Abusir pyramids is inferior to those of the 4th Dynasty
  3. Abusir was the origin of the largest find of Old Kingdom papyri. The Abusir Papyri.
  4. The three major pyramids are those of Niuserre, Neferirkare and Sahure.
  5. The site is also home to the incomplete Pyramids of Neferefre and Shepseskare
  6. All of the major pyramids at Abusir were built as step pyramids
  7. The Pyramid of Neferirkare was built as a 6-step pyramid 52m high, and then later transformed into a “true” pyramid by having its steps filled in with loose masonry, and reached a height of 72m
  8. The Abusir Papyri – the largest find of Old Kingdom’s papyri to date