By Miroslav Verner

At the guts of the world-famous pyramid box of the Memphite necropolis there lies a gaggle of pyramids, temples, and tombs named after the within sight village of Abusir. lengthy overshadowed by way of the extra widespread pyramids at Giza and Saqqara, this region has still been the location, for the final 40 years, of an in depth operation to find its past.

This interesting new book—richly endowed with black-and-white old photos, colour plates of latest paintings, and informative illustrations—at final files the uncovering by way of a committed workforce of Czech archaeologists of a hitherto ignored wealth of historical continues to be relationship from the outdated country to the past due interval. this can be Abusir, realm of Osiris, God of the lifeless, and its tale is certainly one of either sleek archaeology and the long-buried mysteries that it seeks to discover.

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Fifth Dynasty. Saqqara (photo: Milan Zemina). The last Fifth Dynasty ruler Unas, like Userkaf, found a place for his tomb near Djoser’s pyramid, but at its opposite end. Although Unas’s pyramid is one of the smallest monuments of its type from the Old Kingdom, it represents a turning-point in Egyptian history. This is because on the walls of the pyramid’s underground chambers are the first recorded religious inscriptions which Egyptologists call the Pyramid Texts. These are groups of poems, litanies, hymns, and other writings, apparently dating from various periods, but linked into a single whole, and first transcribed in the pyramid of Unas.

Ruins of the Palace of Apries from the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. Mit Rahina (photo: Milan Zemina). The district of the Temple of Ptah constituted the southern center of Memphis. A second center, a few kilometers to the north, was later formed around the district of the Palace of Apries. Apries, the Egyptian equivalent of the Greek name pronounced “Haaibre,” was a relatively powerful pharaoh of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. He built a fort in Memphis that had a rectangular ground plan and a massive enclosure wall.

The portrait of Ankhmahor in sunk relief. Ankhmahor’s tomb. Sixth Dynasty. Saqqara (photo: Milan Zemina). The pyramid complex of Pepi I is located in South Saqqara, not far from that of Djedkare. Research there, carried out by a French archaeological expedition directed by Jean Leclant and Audran Labrousse, has recently made the surprising discovery in the area around the king’s pyramid of six small pyramid complexes of the wives of Pepi I. The possibility that still more remain to be discovered is not to be ruled out.

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Abusir. Realm of Osiris by Miroslav Verner


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