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The Pyramid complex of Userkaf, Saqqara, Egypt

May 14th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Pyramid complex of Userkaf is located in the pyramid field at Saqqara. Constructed in dressed stone, with a core of rubble, the pyramid now resembles a conical hill just to the north of the Step Pyramid of Djoser Netjerikhet.

The interior was first explored by John Shae Perring in 1839, though a robber's tunnel previously discovered by Orazio Marucchi in 1831. Perring thought the pyramid belonged to Djedkare. The pyramid was first correctly identified by Egyptologist Cecil Firth in 1928. The pyramid introduced several new changes from the previous dynasty. In comparison with the tombs of the Fourth dynasty, his pyramid was rather small measuring under 50 meters high with sides only 73 and 30 meters long. Still, small or not, unlike his predecessor on the throne, Shepseskaf, who chose to be buried in a simple mastaba, Userkaf was buried in a pyramid. Userkaf's increased focus, however, was put less on the pyramid itself than on the mortuary temple, which were more richly decorated than in the previous Fourth dynasty. In the temple courtyard, a colossal statue of the king was raised.

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