The Necropolis of Saqqara
The legendary pharaoh Narmer, also known as Menes, unified Lower and Upper Egypt and founded his capital Memphis. The name derives from Men-nefer, meaning ‘Established and beautiful’ and beautiful it was, a city filled with palaces, temples and gardens. However, Memphis has almost completely vanished. All that remains today are a few clues of its grandeur at the small museum and a few statues in the garden.
Far more interesting is Saqqara, the necropolis of Memphis. This area is still under excavation and has revealed a great knowledge of the pharaohs and of the architect of the pyramids: Imhotep. The lovely new Museum, named after the deified Imhote0p, houses masterpieces of antiquities found in the area.
At Saqqara you find the world’s oldest big still standing structure, the Step Pyramid of King Djozer, which is part of a complex area of temples, chapels and courts. The nearby Pyramid of Teti has walls inscribed with Pyramid Texts. Opposite the Pyramid of Teti is the mastaba of Mereruka, Teti’s highest official, overseer of priests.
In the joint mastaba of Akhethotep & Ptahhotep are particularly beautiful painted reliefs portraying a wide range of animals and peculiar scenes out of the life of its owners.
Part of the necropolis is the impressive underground Serapeum of the Holy Bulls which is under renovation at the moment. We hope it will be re-opened to the public soon.