Bookmark and Share

Abu Sir

Abu Sir

1. Neferirkare pyramid

2. Nyuserre pyramid

3. Sahure pyramid

4. Raneferef pyramid

5. Khentkawes pyramid

6. Lepsius' unknown


Open LookLex Encyclopaedia

Open the online Arabic language course

Pyramid of Sahure

Pyramid of Sahure, Abu Sir, Egypt

Pyramid of Sahure, Abu Sir, Egypt

The mortuary temple.

Sahure was a pharaoh of the 5th Dynasty and ruled for 13 years, from 2487 until 2475 BCE.
Sahure was the first pharaoh to build a pyramid complex at Abu Sir. The construction technique chosen was surprisingly close to that of the old step pyramids. The building of Sahure's pyramid involved building a simple and crude core, finishing off with standard casing of finely cut rocks. Today, with the casing long gone, what remains is a pyramid in bad shape. Even the steps are mainly gone, making it all look like a true pyramid, just far smaller than its original 47 metres height.
There is little to see inside the pyramid, most of it is damaged. The burial chamber itself is roofed by three tiers of limestone beams.
The main attraction with Sahure's pyramid lies with the mortuary temple halls and the causeway. As a matter of fact this is of great importance for the development of Egyptian temples. Many of the details here would become standard with the famous temples in later times.
The walls of the 235 metre long causeway are decorated by imagery intending to defend the inner sections of the temple from any evil power. The dominating motif are Egyptian gods taking Egypt's earthly enemies as prisoners. This would become a central element to temple entrances over the coming 2,500 years.
Equally important is the layout of the temple. It is considered to be the model of all other later temples of the Old Kingdom, a model which would be used as foundation for the many fantastic temples of the New Kingdom.
Pyramid of Sahure, Abu Sir, Egypt

On this lying column, you can see Sahure's cartouche (inside the oval frame).

By Tore Kjeilen