Saqqara - Unas Pyramid Complex
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Unas, the last king of the 5th Dynasty (ca. 2353 – 2323 BC), built his pyramid near the southwest corner of Djoser’s complex. This pyramid was the first to have subterranean chambers decorated with Pyramid Texts, spells that ensured the king’s transformation and rejuvenation in the afterlife. On the southern face of the pyramid is an inscription left by Khaemweset, a son of Ramesses II, regarding restoration work carried out on the pyramid during the 19th Dynasty (ca. 1295 – 1186 BC).
The remains of Unas’ mortuary temple are located on the eastern side of his pyramid. The temple was completed after the king's death by Teti, Unas’s successor. Underneath it runs a complex series of galleries and tunnels, which likely belonged to the funerary complex of Hetepsekhemwy, a king of the 2nd Dynasty (ca. 2750 BC). The superstructure of this 2nd Dynasty temple would have been crumbling by the end of the 5th Dynasty; thus, to create space for his own complex, Unas had it removed, leaving the foundation intact.

Leading away from Unas’s mortuary temple and pyramid is a causeway, decorated with reliefs showing important images from the reign of Unas: boats transporting granite columns from the quarries near Aswan to the building site; craftsmen working gold and copper; laborers gathering honey and figs; bearded Asiatics; starving Bedouins; and depictions of wild animals. The causeway connects to the Valley Temple and the ancient lake, once used as a harbor. South of the causeway, lying side by side, are two 45 meter-long boat graves lined with limestone.

Along the causeway are a number of private tombs, several of which are open to the public.

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The Pyramid of Unas (Julie Patenaude)

 

The Unas Causeway (Julie Patenaude)