Pyramid of Pepi I

Pyramid of Pepi IIn building his pyramid, king Pepi I returned to South Saqqara. The unimpressive hill that remains today was however the place where the Brugsch brothers discovered the first Pyramid Texts and as such the site has been extensively examined by French archaeologists. Inside, a descending corridor from the north led to a small chamber. After this, a further, horizontal corridor passed by three portcullises before entering the antechamber at the very heart of the pyramid. The walls of the corridor, the antechamber, and the burial chamber to the west were covered with the hieroglyphic Pyramid Texts, with green signs in vertical columns. These even extended on to the black basalt sarcophagus. Both the antechamber and the burial chamber featured a common saddle roof of three layers of massive limestone beams, which was beautifully decorated with yellow stars on a blue background in imitation of the vault of the heavens. To the east of the antechamber were located three magazines. Outside, only the satellite pyramid remains to any large extent, though it has been possible to reconstruct the ground plan of the mortuary temple, which was of the type which had by then become standard. Neither the causeway nor the valley temple or the pyramid town that probably surrounded it have been excavated. The name of the pyramid and its town, 'Men-nefer-Pepi' or ‘The Beauty of Pepi is established', later gave its name to (part of) the capital city in the valley further north and was the origin of its Greek name, Memphis. Recent excavations by the French mission have uncovered several pyramids of the queens of Pepi I.

The factfiles below are based on M. Lehner's 'The Complete Pyramids', London, 1997 and P.A. Clayton's 'Chronicle of the Pharaohs', London, 1994.

Pyramid
        Pepi I
   
               
Pharaoh
:
Pepi I
    Birth name
:
Pepi
Dynasty
:
6
    Throne name
:
Mery-re ('Beloved of Re')
Location
:
South Saqqara
         
Ancient name
:
'The Perfection of Pepi is Established'
    Father
:
Teti
          Mother
:
Iput
Base
:
c. 78.75 m
    Wives
:
Ankhnesmeryre I, Ankhnesmeryre II, Weret-Imtes
Height
:
c. 52.5 m
    Sons
:
Merenre, Pepi II
Volume (cu.m)
:
c. 107.835
    Daughter
:
Neith
               
          Burial
:
Pyramid, South Saqqara