Sakkara (Arabic: سقارة) is a very rich area comprising a good number of Pharonic monuments. It's located in Giza, Egypt , next to the great Giza pyramids. Sakkara includes 11 pyramids , no other place in Egypt has such number of pyramids situated in one single area. It's uniqueness however is not just ralted to having an exceptional number of pyramids, for it has also got many mastabas and tombs, of both noblemen and workers, that have been discovered on different expedition missions. Egyptologists are said to be expecting the discovery of more tombs in the area.
How to get there?
From Haram st., on the direction to Giza, take the first turn on your left hand side , 4 Km, the ring road will be just over you , Al Mansoureya canal, will be on the left hand side all side long, after another 1 km, you have to cross the bridge on the left handside as it is a ,military area, then turn the following bridge to the right once again, this way the canal will be on the left hand side again.
Many small bridges will be on your right hand side, on almost the 10th KM , you will find a small sign on the right , pointing to Abu Seer pyramids, soon you will reach another cross roads ; a bridge on the right hand that leads to a narrow asphalt road which on its sides , walls made of pharonic stones. This is the way to Sakkara monuments. In less than 1 km you can find some police officers at a checking point slow down and cooperate, it is a routine and security work for registering vehicles entering the area, it takes a minute.
Follow the road and a sign will show you where to get the tickets, for entering Sakkara. Ticket office is in the area of the Emhotep meuseum , the ticket prices are :
4 LE Per person
2 LE for a car.
For Tourists / non Egyptians 60 LE / person.
1US$ = 5.56 LE January 2009.
The ticket is valid for every monuments , pyramid or tomb.
You have to keep the ticket, as it must be checked and shown at the entrance of each location.
What is in the there:
1- Emhotop museum.
2- Titi Pyramid:
3- Meriruka mastaba
4- Kagemny mastaba.
5- Ti mastaba
6- Betah hottop mastaba.
7-The statues of the philosophers.
a. Zoser pyramid / step pyramid.
b. Zoser complex
c. Furnery temple
d. Zoser limestone statue.
1. Emhotop museum.
Comparing to the Egyptian museum in Tahrir square, down town, Emhotep museum is very limited in contents, but not that crowded with hundreds if not thousands of pieces. Which is a good opportunity to notice , study details and still can’t cover them all.
The main theme for organizing the pieces is not clear, but still the display and the lighting system is good. The description of every piece is written in Arabic , English & French.
Though the name of the museum is Emhotep, but it is not restricted to him or his belongings, you will be able to find, Statues; small and big, with eyes that are made of either stone or glass. Mummies, and the wood box that contains the mummy, one of them is covered with cartonnage ( which looks like a very thin colored wood layer, that is stuck over the wood box.) kitchen & surgery utensils and cosmetic containers, with variety of colors, materials and sizes. even food; a container that is having cheese - is also in the museum- looks like the Qareesh cheese (white cheese made of skimmed milk made in Egyptian villages pressed by hasseer , (hasseer: straws that are tight to each other forming what resembles a carpet.), this technique to prepare cheese , is still being used in Egypt villages, till now.
A very interesting piece is a small limestone board that shows group of very skinny people who easily their ribs can be seen, it is a strange scene to have illustration that shows , poor people, and they are not Egyptians, - claimed that they could be Bedouins, or people living in the desert.
Some movies are being displayed, the one that was displayed at the visit time (Wednesday 11 :00am) was about the development of building in ancient Egypt.
A library is within the museum, books of French, English and Arabic are available.
Exploring other touristic monuments:Read, join a group led by a tour guide, or simply get the assistance of local guides, to get information about such places. Local guides, they wear galabeyya ( the traditional costume for villagers in Egypt) , they are in front of each touristic location , they are fluent in foreign languages and of course they are a good source for history of those places, what to pay for their service is negotiable.
2. Titi Pyramid
- Who is Titi?
Titi is the 1st king of the 6th dynasty. He succeeded King Unas and married his daughter Iput who is having a small pyramid next to the mastaba of Mereruka. Titi means : the most durable site.
(Where it is located?)
North Sakkara, its gate is facing the Kagmny mastaba.
If you don’t get panic in closed places , you are welcome to enter the pyramid. You have to bend in order to enter the pyramid as the entrance corridor is about 1 meter height, the corridor goes in a angle of about 30 degrees , you will walk over steps of steel fixed to a wood floor. This angle is about 20 meters, then followed by almost another horizontal 10 meter , which with no steps you will go till you finally can stand , it is a room with a door on the right and another to the left. , above the doors you will find writings in hieroglyphic, this is called the Pyramid text.
The right door will lead you to the room where the tomb was found, a huge black granite like box, which is of course empty , you have to look above , to the ceiling , here you will see beautiful stars all of the same size, engraved.
You can get more details and full description for the pyramids from the books.
- The illustrated guide to the Pyramids by Alberto Siliotti & Zahi Hawass.
- The complete pyramid by Mark Lehner.
Special thanks for Ms Dina Shehab , who provided those references