|Saqqara (Sakkara) pyramids Stepped Memphis Article And Information:
Some readers might be surprised to learn that only thirty percent of Egypt’s ancient monuments have been discovered up till now, as a remaining seventy percent of breathtaking wonders still lay beneath the gold desert plain awaiting exploration! It is possible that by the time you finish reading this article thrilling discoveries and unearthing of ancient treasures will have taken place, and the latter will most likely happen at one of Egypt’s richest archeological sites “Saqqara”.
Saqqara (Sakkara) developed as the royal burial necropolis for the Old Kingdom’s capital “Memphis”. Consequently, as Memphis grew, this impressive necropolis expanded to cover a total area of 7 Km- north to south- so, if you are visiting Egypt, Saqqara (Sakkara) should be on top of your travel check list. The latter is not only because its vast expanse embraces the world’s first stone pyramid, but also because it’s your gateway to discover a variety of impressive monuments spanning from 3,000 years ago! Grab your sun block and wear comfortable shoes, and you’ll be prepared to embark on a memorable journey of exploration of ancient Egyptian’s impressive burial structures.
Getting there and about:
From al-Haram Street take the Harraniya - Saqqara (Sakkara) Street, then turn right and continue straight until you’ll find the impressive plateau in front of you. Saqqara (Sakkara) lies 20 Km south of Giza, however, it is not recommended to combine both visits in the same day. Give yourself time to explore each site’s unique monuments, as there are many matchless details that require time. Ticket booths are found in front of the plateau and are open daily from 8am to 4pm. Adult tickets cost L.E.35, while students can explore the impressive plateau for only L.E.20.
Historical overview at a glance :
Founded about 3100 BC by
King Menes- who was responsible for the unity of Upper and Lower Egypt-, Memphis was the religious and commercial capital of not only the Old Kingdom, but also of most of the Pharaonic period with crucial importance for almost 4,000 years. The latter was due to its ideal location, as it is situated at the Nile Delta’s crown controlling crucial land and river routes. Renowned historical accounts like that of Herdotus described Memphis as a prosperous and cosmopolitan center, and even when Thebes-modern
Luxor- became the ceremonial center of Egypt, Memphis managed to retain its popularity and grandness.
Saqqara (Sakkara) was one of Memphis’s main burial necropolises, and visiting its plateau allows visitors to imagine how grand and prosperous Memphis must have once been. It is beneath its endless gold sand plain, where Kings and high ranking officials built their tombs to be buried during the First Dynasty. However, during the Old and New Kingdom, the site was used mainly for private tombs. Kings of the third, fifth and sixth dynasties also built their pyramids in Saqqara, which simply justifies why such a site is a tourist magnet worth exploring. For centuries to follow the site was abandoned and a lot of the monuments were buried under sand, until Auguste Mariette discovered the Serapeum in 1851, paving the way for other breakthrough discoveries to take place.
*The name Saqqara (Sakkara) comes from the hawk headed deity, representing fertility and agriculture named Sokar, whose cult was originally based at Memphis.
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