Necropolis of Teti

By the Editors of the Madain Project

The "necropolis of Teti" is a group of Sixth Dynasty pyramid complexes and mastaba-tombs belonging to various noble individuals directly related to Pharaoh Teti. Situated around and in the immediate vicinity of the funerary complex of the king this necropolis is one of the richest parts of the necropolis of Saqqara.

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The king, whose special destiny seems to have impressed his contemporaries, will be revered later as a divine mediator along with a few courtiers who have in some sense inherited it by reputation. The king was also accompanied by his two principal wives who each had a pyramid accompanied with a temple of worship.

Later on in the New Kingdom, other graves are arranged near the funerary complex of Teti, who is sometimes referred to as a true deity. Mose, a scribe, had his decorated tomb chapel here. Under the reign of Ramses II, Khaemwaset, the royal prince and High Priest of Ptah, would even restore the pyramid of the distant ruler, taking care to re-register his name on one side of his pyramid.

A large cemetery of the Teti’s officials is located to the north of the pyramid. Among the many tombs that form this necropolis of the Sixth Dynasty of Egypt include: pyramid complex of Teti, mastaba of Mereruka, mastaba of Kagemni, pyramid complex of Khuit II, pyramid complex of Iput, pyramid complex of Sesheshet I (the king's mother), mastaba of Tetiankhkem (royal prince, son of Teti and Khuit) and mastaba of Ankhmahor.

Partial List of Pyramids and Mastaba Tombs

circa 2300 BCE

Pyramid Complex of Teti
Dating back to the Sixth Dynasty (circa 2330 BCE), the funerary-pyramid complex of Teti consists of the main large pyramid, a smaller cult pyramid, a mortuary temple, and other sub-structures. In 1881 CE, Gaston Maspero entered the pyramid of King Teti, where he discovered the burial chamber with walls on which are inscribed hieroglyphic texts today known as the "Pyramid Texts". These are religious texts believed to help the deceased king towards resurrection and showing him how to join the sun-god Ra in the sky.

circa 2300 BCE

Tomb-Mastaba of Mereruka
The of tomb of Mereruka, vizier of King Teti, is one of the largest individual tombs and the most complete from the Old Kingdom in Saqqara. The tomb contains over 30 chambers, of which 21 are devoted to Mereruka, 5 to his wife Seshsechat and 5 to inscriptions and scenes, and others without decorations were used as stores.

In 1893 CE Jacques de Morgan discovered the wall-preserved tomb and its chambers, adorned with various scenes of daily life including scenes of farmin, hunting, fishing, jewelry manufacturing and depictions of royal everyday life. THere is also a rare scene showing Mereruka in the role of a senior judge delivering justice.

In 1920 Ce, the burial chamber of Mereruka was discovered at a depth of about twenty meters where his mummy was found in a huge limestone sarcophagus. The burial chamber of Mereruka is considered one of the most beautiful, most decorated and most fascinating burial chambers of senior officials or nobels in the SaqqaraNecropolis.

circa 2300 BCE

Tomb-Mastaba of Kagemni
The mastaba-tomb belongs to the Sixth Dynasty noble Kagemni who served as the Vizier of King Teti. Located just to the north of the Pyramid of Teti, it was discovered in 1843 CE by Karl Richard Lepsius. It consists of several chambers decorated with scenes of dancing, hunting, poultry fattening, presentation of offerings and shrubs. The decoration of one of the tomb's rooms in specially dedicated to the transportation of the seven sacred oils, which are absolutely necessary for the resurrection ritual, and their presentation to Kagemni.

circa 2300 BCE

Pyramid of Sesheshet
Sesheshet (the mother of King Teti and grandmother of King Pepi I Meryre) was entombed in a 4,300-year-old, topless pyramid at Saqqara that measures 5 metres (16 feet) tall. It has been speculated that this may be Saqqara's most complete subsidiary pyramid. The excavation started in 2006 CE and the pyramid structure was discovered and identified in 2008 CE. The structure originally reached 14 metres (46 feet) in height, with sides 22 metres (72 feet) long.

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