Alternative Egypt Travel Guide
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The Saqqara Pyramids

The Saqqara Pyramids

The Step Pyramid of Djeser (Zozer) and Complex

Aside from being the name of Egypt's national beer, Saqqara is also the lesser visited site of Egypt ’s oldest pyramid, the step pyramid of Djeser (Zozer). Located on the desert edge (a 40 minute cab ride from central cairo depending on traffic), the Saqqara Pyramid over looks Cairo and the Nile Valley, and on a clear day (a rarity) it is visible through the smog from the Great Pyramid at the Giza Plateau. If you also plan to visit the less crowded Pyamids of Dashur, it may be worth combining the two sites which are located just five kilometres from one another.

Saqqara was the most important necropolis or cemetery for the city of Memphis (the capital of ancient Egypt ) from the first to the sixth dynasty (3100 to 2180 BC). Non royal burials and the burials of sacred animals continued to take place here until Roman times.

Designed by the architect Imhotep, the step pyramid was the first pyramid made in Egypt and at 4700 years old it is one of the oldest monumental stone structures ever erected. It was originally built as a tomb for King Djeser and is comprised of six stages. Standing at sixty metres high it is built entirely from lime stone.

The complex also includes other sites and monuments including the Pyramid of King Titi, the Tomb of Merekuka, the Tomb of Kagimni, the Mastabe Tomb of Ti, and the Tomb of Ptah Hotep.

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