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Saqqara Pyramids (Djoser’s Complex)

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Saqqara Pyramids (Djoser’s Complex)

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Saqqara (Sakkara) is the largest ancient site in Egypt, was one of the cemeteries of Memphis together with Dahshur, Abu Rawash, Abu Sir, and Giza. It accommodates the step pyramid of King Djoser with his complex, some other pyramids from the 5th and the 6th dynasties, and many Mastabas from the old kingdom. Visitors nowadays can see the museum of Imhotep ( the architect who built the step pyramid of King Djoser).

from Imhotep Museum at Saqqara

1. The step pyramid of king Djoser

Was built almost 4600 Years ago of limestone to be the northern tomb of king Djoser the founder of the 3rd dynasty.

The king gave his orders to his genius architect Imhotep to start the construction work in the northern cemetery, Imhotep had the idea of making a Mastaba for his beloved king (A Mastaba is the familiar design of a king’s tomb of mud-breaks in the old kingdom of Egypt which is designed as one square floor built entirely over the ground to remark its place divided into many chambers centered by the burial chamber of the king surrounded by many funeral chambers for his funeral objects).

The step pyramid of King Djoser at Saqqara

The pyramid was built first in the form of a Mastaba while, it was changed later into a step Mastaba by Imhotep when he caught the idea of adding more Mastabas above each other, and that was all because of the limestone, bearing in mind that this was the first time in history the limestone is used for the tombs. Imhotep added 5 Mastabas above the first one, each was 10 meters high, to form a pyramid of 60 meters high. King Djoser built for himself 2 Mastabas, the first one of mud-breaks at Biet Khalaf in upper Egypt, while the second Mastaba is the step pyramid at Sakkara. The complex of Djoser at Sakkara was an imitation of the king’s royal palace in terms of size, elements, and measurements. The tomb of a king was believed to be his palace in the afterlife!! Imhotep wanted to make his king’s palace of the afterlife to be the same as the royal palace of the king, but the palace is not strong enough to last for a long time of the other life. He decided to use the lime-stones for the new tomb of the north (the step pyramid complex).

Saqqara complex consists of

  1. the main tomb (the step pyramid)
  2. an enclosure wall of 520 meters from north to south, and 280 meters from east to west with 14 gates, among them 13 false gates (were just to imitate the palace) and one real gate.
  3. another tomb (Mastaba inside the complex) to the south for his non-physical parts (the spirit & the guardian spirit)
  4. two houses, the house of the north and the house of the south; were to accommodate high officials, officers, priests, etc, at the time of the Heb-Set festival
  5. the building of the Heb-Set festival )was to accommodate god’s statues and for dong the official ceremonies of the festival.
  6. the entrance to the step pyramid is to the northern side
  7. (Serdab room) a small chamber was found with a trap door (a little window on the side) and a life-size statue of King Djoser with two wholes in front of his eyes on the wall of the chamber to let him see the northern star.
  8. a funeral temple was built above the pyramid’s entrance to the northern side of the pyramid.
  9. two “B” shapes to the southern side of the pyramid were thought to be representing the 4 corners of the universe for the king to run around them during the Heb-Set festival. Also, they form the infinity symbol referring to the king to be the king of all people all the time.
  10. the entrance of the complex is on the southeast corner of the enclosure wall. It leads to a corridor with 22 engaged columns giving rooms in between once contained statues for king Djoser, god Soker, or both of them together (it is good to mention that Sakkara was named after the name of god Soker who was believed by the ancient Egyptian to be the guardian god of the necropolis.

Saqqara photo gallery

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Thank you Egypt Fun Tours for a most memorable trip. I admit I didn’t do any of the planning (it was all done by my boyfriend) but as you can read in the reviews below Hani (the owner of Egypt Fun Tours) is superbly organized and accommodating with scheduling.

My boyfriend and I, and our dearest mutual friend, booked the 7Days-6Nights tour. In short time, we visited Cairo, Aswan, and Luxor sailing down the down the Nile, pit stopping to see key sites at these location – and so much more!!! We got to know the ancient and modern egypt in depth thanks to Hani’s impressive knowledge. He also enlightened us on the people and their beliefs and went as far as showing us what a typical life looks like. I cannot express the level of personalized service Hani offered us. He was flexible to adapt to our requirements and added sites to our schedule that was not part of the tour simply to ensure we were 100% satisfied with our experience in Egypt.

I went to Egypt practically blind-folded, not knowing what to expect, especially considering the time we had decided to go (December 2020 – we were the first group that Hani met with after months of having to put his tour agency on hold considering the pandemic) yet he managed to surpass all of our expectations. I felt so incredibly lucky for us to have stumbled on Hani. I would recommend Egypt Fun Tours to anyone and everyone. It was truly, HANDS DOWN, the best cultural experience I’ve ever had. You’ll be in the best of hands.

This Review was posted on Tripadvisor

Nille cruise,Luxor and Aswan where amazing sites to see, specially when you have with you the best tour guide in Egypt .Hamada was absolutely fantastic, lots of information and some of them not spoken by others. This guy was not only a simple tour guide for us, he became a good friend also. Was a one in lifetime experience. Highly recommend Fun Tours. Really a great experience.

This Review was posted on Tripadvisor

Hamada was incredible! So knowledgeable and kind. He had information about every item, street corner, and relic we looked at. Any questions we had, he had answers! He even made sure to give us tips while walking through the crowds so that’s we would feel more comfortable when being approached by vendors. Oh and the food?! He took us to the best places! Delicious food!! We tried Egyptian fried chicken, falafel for the first time, the best shawarma in the city (we love food). We even got to meet his beautiful wife and children and try some “French” Egyptian coffee in their home! Truly made friends for life!! We’ve promised to host him and the family when they travel to America for the first time! Such an incredible experience, and Hamada (and family) made it that much more memorable and amazing!

This Review was posted on Tripadvisor

Excellent trip to historic sites with no one else around. We came to see Egypt while most places still had COVID19 fears. The staff at Egypt Fun Tours were professional, safe, and great to deal with. Very helpful, knowledgeable, and entertaining. I feel like I just got a a year of Egyptology in the last week and we had all the sites to ourselves due to COVID19. While people are shutting down and staying home you should feel safe to come explore with Egypt Fun Tours and have the place to yourself.
This Review was posted on Tripadvisor

Trip of a lifetime!! COVID SAFE!! Knowledgeable guide who loves to share the magic of Egypt with tourists. Friendly and accomodating. This company goes to the extreme to make clients feel welcome and help you. Family company who takes good care of their support staff. Must book the 7 night trip which gives you a great feel for all of the history in upper and lower Egypt. The guide is an expert photographer and historian. He knows so much about each site and the culture. You MUST take this guide to teach you all about Egypt!

This Review was posted on Tripadvisor

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