Saqqara, Burial Grounds Of Ancient Egypt
Ranked #3 in Great Pyramids of Egypt.
Ranked #8 in Egypt Tourism
To believe that Saqqara was once a huge cemetery of ancient Memphis is difficult because the first thing you’ll notice when you arrive is how pristine a desert region like Saqqara looks and with none of the creepiness. For more than 3500 years, this has been an active burial ground.
Another interesting fact to consider is that this is Egypt’s largest archaeological site. The influence of the Pharaohs is strong here, from the traditions behind the manner they were buried in to the artifacts that attest to that today. Saqqara is home to 11 important pyramids inside which rest pharaohs of note. The great necropolis hosts hundreds of smaller tombs wherein lie their subjects. It’s no wonder scholars assume the name ‘Saqqara’ is derived from ‘Sokar’, the Memphite god of the dead.
Many a discoveries came to light only recently, like the Step Pyramid that lay buried by the sands all this time until Auguste Mariette, a French Egyptologist, discovered it in the 19th century. He uncovered the Serapeum at this time as well. You can see both these finds here.
Check out the Step Pyramid’s huge funerary complex spreading beneath it. Discovered in 1924, this place is as vast as it is ancient and is still being restored. Two years later saw Jean-Philippe Lauer, a French architect, working on the restoration. He was involved in it for 75 years until he passed in 2001. It gives you an idea just how much there is to see about the place.
You may have heard the news in 2006/2007 about how they found a doctor, a Pharaonic butler and three royal dentists as mummies here in Saqqara. It attracted its fair share of media attention all over the globe.
Covering about 7km of the Western Desert, and set in the Cairo area, Saqqara is one of those awe-inspiring tourist destinations whose appeal lies in the wealth of her history.
To get a taste for some amazing Egyptian cuisine—you’re bound to get hungry here unlike the mummies—check out the Saqqara Nest. This restaurant will have you smacking your lips and easing that grumbling belly so you save all that attention for exploring the place.
Speaking of which, check out the Prestige Equestrian, which once used to house a thriving horse stable. Pay the pyramids of Zoser, Unas, Teti and others a visit. The ancient feel and well-maintained state of things sure could do with appreciation from tourists passionate about history.
You can tour the place on horseback. Just rent one from Ride Egypt and you’ll have enjoyed Saqqara like the ancient Egyptians must have done. There’s a lot to see here, so whether you’re a fan of Indiana Jones or simply want to bask in an ancient Egyptian aura, Saqqara is the place for you.