Abu Sir Pyramids

The City of the Dead Egypt and the Abusir Pyramids are located 1.2 miles north of Saqqara; although still some distance south of Giza. Its three main remaining pyramids may be observed from Horus Netjerkhet’s burial complex.


Userkaf’s Solar Temple was the first royal monument built in Abusir. Several kings of Userkaf’s dynasty would not only follow in his footsteps and construct their own Solar Temple at Abusir (despite the fact that only Userkaf’s and Niuserre’s have been discovered); but they would also use the location as a funeral monument. The existence of Abusir Lake, which made the site conveniently accessible by boat; must have played a significant part in the selection of this location. King Userkaf, the 5th Dynasty’s founder, chose this location for his sun temple. Several of his descendants would not only follow in his footsteps and construct their own sun temples; but they would also desire to be buried here.

Although the last sun temple was supposedly built by; Menkauhor near the end of the 5th Dynasty, it has yet to be discovered, it appears that the monarchs of Egypt lost interest in Abusir as a burial place with the construction of the last solar temple. The Memphite nobility, on the other hand; continued to use the site until the end of the pharaonic era.


The incomplete pyramid  of Abu sir did believe to have been initiated by Shepseskare halfway between Sahure’s pyramid and Userkaf’s Solar Temple; and the pyramid of Niuserre, which was implanted between Sahure’s and Neferirkare’s pyramids in such a manner that the incomplete causeway; and Valley Temple destined for Neferirkare’s monument were detoured to Niuserre’s. A small pyramid south of Neferirkare’s pyramid was likely intended to be his satellite pyramid; but construction was suspended, perhaps due to his death; and the little pyramid was later converted into a funeral monument for the queen-mother; Khentkaus II, complete with its own mortuary temple.

A closer look at two minor pyramids to the east and southeast of Neferefre’s pyramid is required. They are thought to be queen’s pyramids so far, although this isn’t confirmed, and even if they were, it’s unclear for whose queens they were built. Several senior courtiers followed their kings to the royal pyramids and had their mastabas constructed nearby. Ptah-shepses, the imperial hairdresser and vizier, whose mastaba is prominently displayed between Sahure’s and Neferirkare’s monuments, is the most notable example. Other mastabas were constructed to the east of Niuserre’s pyramid, compelling him to change the plan of his funerary temple, while others were constructed due east of Neferefre’s short and incomplete pyramid.

To the west of the pyramid field, there is a significant necropolis for the Memphite elite. Tombs dating from the 26th and 27th Dynasties were discovered here, indicating that Abusir maintained an important funeral place until the end of the pharaonic period.