Archetypes of pyramids in Saqqara

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

Searching the archetype of pyramids at Saqqara had a reason. The first pyramids were built at the necropolis in Saqqara, so this had to be the location of buildings, from which pyramids evolved. The research of other necropolises indicated it as well. Nevertheless it brought a considerable surprise – tombs of several Kings of the first and second dynasty were discovered in Abydos (Abdju), including the tombs of Hor-Aha, Djer, Djet, Den and Qa’a. But tombs of these Kings were also discovered and securely identified at Saqqara.

How could be one man, even though he was a Pharaoh, buried in two places? And if he could be buried in only one place, why he had set up two costly tombs with a huge burial equipment? In which of them was he finally laid to rest then?

Egyptologists believe that the construction of two parallel tombs was one of the terms known as „duality of Egypt“. The Egyptian King was the ruler of the Upper and Lower country, the bearer of the Upper and Lower Egypt crown, and therefore he had to have a tomb in Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt as well. Others explain this situation as a desire of Egyptians to be buried near Osiris’ grave, which was located in Abydos (Abdju) according to myths. If they could not have a real tomb there, they let build a symbolic tomb – cenotaph (if they could afford it) or a tombstone with their name (stele) at least. In general they agree that these Kings were buried at Saqqara, on the necropolis of the unified Egypt capital and that they had only symbolic tombs in Abydos (Abdju).

How did a pyramid originate

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Pyramids are buildings from a fairly advanced stage of Egyptian society development, not from the first stage. Monumental architecture never arise „at the beginning of a culture“. Construction of such works requires centuries of experience, exploitation the traditions and their overcoming, creating the economic, technical, organizational and ideological preconditions.

At first scientific researchers for Egypt verify the claim of ancient authors that the pyramids are royal tombs. After that they began to investigate, how were the kings buried before. They didn’t believe for a moment that these tombs in the form of huge stone pyramids „suddenly emerged like volcanic islands out of the sea“ and „crystallized from the desert sand“ with their geometric shapes.

Vyse and Perring already sensed that the step pyramid is the „first stage“ of proper pyramid. Champollion and Rosellini notices numerous similarities between royal tombs and the other ones. They even tried to make an outline of a linking line between pyramids in Giza and rock tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Lepsius got even farther in this groundbreaking period, when he discovered the connection between the pyramids and the tombs of dignitaries located in their surroundings. Local Arabs called them mastabas, what was the same name for massive mud-bricks „benches“ with sloping walls in front of peasant houses with similar shape.

Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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