Saqqara is the name given both to a village 32 km to the south of the Egyptian capital of Cairo and (more particularly) to the ancient necropolis on the plateau above the Nile Valley, the location of tombs and pyramids dating to the Predynastic, Old Kingdom, New Kingdom and Late Periods of ancient Egyptian history.
The desert plateau above the modern village of Saqqara formed one of the main cemeteries of the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis for thousands of years. As such, it attracted a large number of royal and high prestige burials, the remains of which can be seen in pyramids and decorated tombs scattered across the area. The site of Saqqara is quite extensive, stretching 6 km north-south and 1.5 km across at its widest point.
By taxi / cab
Taxis can be hired from central Cairo to visit Saqqara. Negotiate with your driver for a daily rate.
Bus services do exist to Saqqara from central Cairo, but entail a lengthy journey and a long walk from the village up to the plateau.
The Saqqara Necropolis is open daily 8am-5pm, admission LE£35.
- the Step Pyramid of Djoser (also spelt Zoser) - this structure marks the transition between the bench-like mastaba style of burial and the true pyramid shape (first seen at Dahshur)
- the Pyramid of Teti I and the Teti Period Cemetery - the pyramid tomb of the first ruler of the 6th Dynasty, the Pyramid of Teti was quickly surrounded by the tombs of his nobles and officials upon its completion.
- the Tomb of Mereruka
- the Tomb of Kagemni
- the Tomb of Ankhmahor
- the Serapeum
- the Mastaba of Ti - a 'classic' Old Kingdom tomb of a high noble and one of the richest sources of information about life during that period, the mastaba tomb of Ti is one of the grandest and best-decorated examples of funerary architecture in Egypt.
- the Unas Causeway, leading to the Pyramid of Unas