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Pyramid complex of Unas in Sakkara

nfr-swt-wnis (Beautiful are the [cult] Places of Unas)


base length:   57.75 m
slope 56o
height:   43 m
antechamber:   3.75 x 3.08 m
burial chamber:   7.3 x 3.08 m
lenght of causeway:   750 m
A - three magazines
B - antechamber
C - burial chamber
D - corridor chamber
E - cult pyramid
F - three portcullises
G - entrance chapel

Sarcophagus and south-west corner of the burial chamber The eastern wall of the burial chamber covered with Pyramid Texts

Pyramid Beautiful are the [cult] places of Unas is the smallest one of those built in times of Old Kingdom. Its eastern part is located over tomb of Hotepsekhemwi. The core consisted of six layers, built of rough blocks of local limestone that became gradually smaller as they neared the top of the pyramid. The casing was made, as usual, of carefully dressed blocks of fine white limestone. From the middle of northern wall descends 14,4 m long causeway leading to connecting chamber, next running 14,1 m  horizontally (with three traps) and finally ending in antechamber (3,8 m x 3,1 m). From the last, in eastern direction one can get to magazine while in western direction – to funerary chamber (3,1 m x 7,3 m) with basalt sarcophagus and alabaster casing. Its two-side sloped roof is decorated with stars. Pyramid of Unis was the first pyramid possessing walls covered with Pyramids Texts, the oldest sacred book in the history.


A - entrance chapel
B - sanctuary
C - five statue niches
D - cult pyramid
E - open court
F - entrance hall
G - causeway
H - causeway

Mortuary temple of Unas was decorated with reliefs and located on eastern side of the pyramid. It consists of vestibule, open-air courtyard with columns crowned with palm-shaped capitals, causeway running across and proper temple of posthumous cult. The last is composed of chamber with niches, antechamber, a hall of posthumous cult and magazines. Cult pyramid is placed south-east. A roofed, 720 m long ramp connects lower and upper mortuary temple and is decorated with scenes presenting making offerings of exotic animals and scenes describing craftsmen life.

ruins of pyramid casing blocks ritual causeway


Gallery tomb B of Hotepsekhemwi



Gallery-tomb B of Hotepsekhemwi, the ruler of dynasty II, with pyramid of Unas erected above it. The tomb is 120 m long and 40 m wide. It consisted over 70 chambers. Superstructure of the tomb has not survived until now but it is known that it resembled a long, massive mastaba (R.Stadelmann).

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