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By Miroslav Verner

At the heart of the world-famous pyramid box of the Memphite necropolis there lies a gaggle of pyramids, temples, and tombs named after the within reach village of Abusir. lengthy overshadowed through the extra generic pyramids at Giza and Saqqara, this region has still been the positioning, for the final 40 years, of an intensive operation to find its past.

This fascinating new book—richly endowed with black-and-white ancient pictures, colour plates of up to date paintings, and informative illustrations—at final files the uncovering by means of a committed workforce of Czech archaeologists of a hitherto overlooked wealth of historic continues to be courting from the outdated country to the overdue interval. this can be Abusir, realm of Osiris, God of the useless, and its tale is one among either sleek archaeology and the long-buried mysteries that it seeks to discover.

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Sahure’s pyramid. North–south sectional view and ground plan of the substructure (by L. Borchardt). The representation of the accretion layer-type structure of the pyramid’s core is probably not correct. A passage, which only the funerary priests could use, led from the five-niche chapel to the furthermost (and in cult terms, the most important) room in the whole temple—the shadowy offering hall. On an altar in front of the huge, possibly gold plated, ‘false door’ through which the pharaoh’s spirit could come from the other world, priests would make offerings and the prescribed rituals of the mortuary cult would be performed.

Djedkare’s pyramid complex, and a neighboring and comparatively large pyramid complex of the pharaoh’s wife, were built at Saqqara, roughly half way between Djoser’s pyramid and the Mastabat Fara’un. The complex, already severely damaged in preceding centuries, met with misfortune of a peculiar kind in the modern period. At the end of the 1940s and beginning of the 1950s two archaeological expeditions carried out excavations there. The results of the work were not, however, made public and a part of the documentation was lost, so this complex remains one of the least-understood of all royal funerary monuments of the Old Kingdom.

The technical, organizational, and administrative significance of this figure can be fully grasped only when we remember that in Sneferu’s time the whole of Egypt from the Mediterranean Sea to the first Nile cataract at Aswan had no more that one to one and a half million inhabitants. View of the pyramids at Giza from the southeast (photo: Milan Zemina). Whether because Dahshur was no longer a suitable place to build further great pyramids or because the local limestone quarries did not meet requirements, or for other reasons, Sneferu’s son Khufu (Gr.

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