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Saqqara (سقارة), aslo spelled Sakkara or Saccara in English, is an ancient burial ground of Egyptian kings and royals, serving as the necropolis for the ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis.
The Saqqara necropolis contains numerous pyramids, including the world-famous Step pyramid of Djoser, sometimes referred to as the Step Tomb, and a number of mastaba tombs. Located some 30 km (19 mi) south of modern-day Cairo, Saqqara covers an area of around 7 by 1.5 kilometers (4.3 by 0.9 miles). Saqqara contains the oldest complete stone building complex known in history, the Pyramid of Djoser, built during the Third Dynasty.
The richly decorated tomb was discovered after digging 16 feet (five meters) beneath the sand at the archaeological site in Saqqara. The tomb, which contains four shafts, is covered in untouched painted hieroglyphic, sculptures, and inscriptions that date back to 4,400 years ago.
The inscriptions and carvings depict Wahtye himself who put his name in every corner, his wife Ptah-Weret, his mother, Merit-Meen, his four siblings, one daughter, and three sons. It also vividly depicts scenes of the other world; in particular, the production of food to sustain the dead for eternity, and the receipt of offerings.
This fragmentary but vivid scene of starving people depicts a famine; originally installed in the 750 meters long causeway running from the east side of Unas’ pyramid to his valley temple. This startling image of people starving, thought to be due to a famine during Unas’ reign, though some scholars suggest that it describes Unas’s aid to famished desert tribesmen.
It is believed to be the earliest depiction of a famine, occuring around 2650 BCE.