Pyramid of Pepi II

Pyramid of Pepi IIPepi II had his pyramid built at South Saqqara, on the opposite side of a wadi south of the pyramids of Djedkare-Isesi and Merenre. As elsewhere, the core of the pyramid was constructed in five steps that were later filled in and provided with a smooth outer casing. A chapel at the middle of the northern face of the pyramid marked the entrance to the pyramid, a long corridor clad with granite. This first descended down to an outer chamber and then continued on horizontally, past three portcullises, towards the inner chambers. These consisted of the usual combination of antechamber, magazines and burial chamber, the former and the latter of which shared a common saddle roof of three layers of massive limestone beams. The walls of these chambers were decorated with the Pyramid Texts in vertical columns and the ceilings with representations of the stars. The black granite sarcophagus at the rear of the burial chamber featured the titles of the king and a pair of false doors. The mortuary complex was reached by means of an impressive valley temple and a long, winding causeway. The valley temple featured a wide façade with protrusions at each end containing staircases leading down to the quays as well as sets of ramps. A sole doorway, framed with red granite, in the middle of the front gave access to a small hall, the ceiling of which was borne by eight rectangular pillars. The walls were decorated with depictions of the gods receiving the king. Beyond, a pair of identical chambers, flanked by magazines and the like, led on to the causeway that entered the mortuary temple between two massive pylons. A long entrance hall led on to a court, surrounded by quartzite columns, which was flanked by sets of magazines. The walls of the court featured depictions of the king vanquishing human and animal foes, representing the forces of chaos. Here, as elsewhere in the complex, the artists have closely studied, used and sometimes even copied scenes as depicted in the mortuary complex of Sahure of the 5th Dynasty at Abusir. Beyond the long and narrow transverse hall, with representations of the Heb-Sed festival or royal jubilee, lay the inner apartments of the temple; a chamber with five cult niches followed by a square vestibule and the offering chapel itself, also surrounded by magazines. An unusually thick enclosure wall surrounded the whole complex: either an attempt at constructing the actual hieroglyph for ‘Pyramid', which features a flat base or an addition to the complex on the occasion of the royal jubilee, or a remedy for structural problems. Interestingly, three small pyramid complexes were constructed for the queens of Pepi II around his mortuary complex, each featuring its own pyramid, entrance chapel, mortuary temple and satellite pyramid.

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 II
   

Pharaoh
:
Pepi II
      Birth name
:
Pepi
Dynasty
:
6
      Throne name
:
Nefer-ka-re ('Beautiful is the Soul of Re')
Location
:
South Saqqara
           
Ancient name
:
'Pepi is Established and Living'
      Father
:
Pepi I
            Mother
:
Ankhenesmeryre
Base
:
78.75 m
      Wives
:
Neith (his sister), Ipwet (daughter of Merenre)
Height
:
52.5 m
      Son(s)
:
?
Volume (cu.m)
:
107.835
      Daughter(s)
:
?
                 
            Burial
:
Pyramid, South Saqqara