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HISTORY OF THE EXPLORATIONS (Primo paragrafo) Roberto Buongarzone

1A. North Saqqara in the last two centuries. The fascinating discovery of Saqqara crosses the whole history of Egyptian archaeology from the middle of the XVIII century, and yet it is far from being over. The exploration of Djoser’s step pyramid, by Von Minutoli and Segato in 1821, and Perring and Vyse in 1837, was the beginning of modern archaeological research in the Saqqara site. The German Egyptologist Richard Lepsius was the first to discover and

describe about thirty tombs in the area surrounding the pyramid (R. Lepsius 1849), and marked their positions in the first archaeological map of the necropolis, which also remained the most accurate until the one drawn by Smith in 1936 (W.S. Smith 1936). The sensational discovery of the Serapeum complex (SAC02) in 1850-’51 urged the French archaeologist Auguste Mariette, after he was appointed Director of the Egyptian Antiquities in 1858, to carry on the exploration of the Saqqara plateau, north of Djoser’s pyramid. His main purpose was to take the statues from the mastaba serdabs to fill the future museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo; but he was also wise enough to copy many inscriptions, especially those on the false doors, and to draw sketches of the plans of 115 mastabas (A. Mariette, 1885). Among his most important discoveries in Saqqara is Kaaper’s mastaba (NSP87), where he found the famous wooden statue representing its owner, known as Skeil el-beled, “Headman of the village”, which is presently kept at the Museum of Cairo. He also discovered Ty’s mastaba, one of the most beautiful ones in Saqqara and therefore included in phase 3 of our project (NSP109). Hesira’s mastaba too, with its magnificent carved and decorated wooden panels, was discovered by him. The results of his researches were published posthumously by his successor Gaston Maspero, under the title

Mastabas de l’Ancien Empire; this work was one of our bibles in order to gather information about the necropolis. Maspero chose to devote himself to the pyramids in South Saqqara, focusing on his sensational discovery of the Texts of the Pyramids (G. Maspero 1894). In 1893 it was Jacques de Morgan’s turn, immediately after he was appointed head of the Antiquities Department, to discover, north of Teti’s pyramid, the two stately mastabas of Mereruka and Kagemni, bordering on one another, which are still the most visited of Saqqara. We have included them among the ten tombs in our phase 2 (ATP18 and 17), in order, too, to take the anthropic impact on monuments which have been visited for more than a century. These two mastabas lay under some mud brick tombs dating back to the New Kingdom, which were in turn overtopped by the avenue of sphinxes of the Ptolemaic period joining the Serapeum and the Anubieion, at the borders of the cultivated land. We also owe to De Morgan the famous Carte de la nécropole memphite of 1897, a milestone in the archaeological cartography of Saqqara and of the other Memphite necropoles. All the monuments explored up until that moment, of some of which no traces are left, are reported in it, even though its cartographical landmarks may be incorrect. De Morgan’s successor, Victor Loret, in 1897-8 carried on the exploration of the area north-west of Teti. Under a level of tombs of the New Kingdom which he first documented before destroying it (ATP 44-46; V. Loret 1899), he discovered the pyramids of the queens Khuit and Iput (PS03 and 02), the latter being Teti’s wife. Loret also discovered one of the rare documented cemetery avenues of the necropolis (J. Capart 1907), which goes from the north-east corner of Teti’s pyramid to Khuit’s and Iput’s two pyramids. Many important tombs of the VI dynasty, in addition to Kagemni’s mastaba, overlook this avenue: among them, that of vizier Ankhmahor (ATP04), with its rare scenes of surgery and physiotherapy: circumcision and toe manipulation (J.F. Nunn 1996). In that same 1898, Norman de Garis Davies completed the exploration, which Mariette had just begun many years before, of the mastaba of Ptahhotep and

Akhethotep (WSP09), one of the most beautiful in Saqqara, and published its very refined reliefs in an exemplary way (N. de Garis Davies 1900 and 1901). Ptahhotep’s mastaba, included in phase 3 of our project, was monitored instrumentally, together with Unas’s pyramid and Ty’s mastaba. When Maspero returned to his appointment as General Director of Antiquities, after Loret, the exploration of the pyramids started off again, in search of new inscriptions on the walls of the funeral apartments. At the beginning of year 1900, the chambers of Unas’ pyramid, the first decorated with the Texts of the Pyramids, were already open to the public. It is an exceptional monument, which bears on the walls of its funeral apartments the first original version of a magical-religious text, and therefore the first literary text in the history of mankind. Only in 1996 was Unas’s pyramid closed to the public, and it is now in urgent need of interventions to slow down the deterioration of the once very bright colours embellishing its hieroglyphs and the palace-façade decoration of the western portion of the sarcophagus chamber, made from an alabaster triptych of three huge monoliths (about 20 tons each) surrounding the sarcophagus. The task of clearing the area surrounding the pyramid from the sand and of discovering the ruins of its funeral temple was entrusted by Maspero to Alexandre Barsanti. He brought back to light the little mastaba of Semnefer (V dynasty), at the pyramid’s north-west angle (A. Barsanti 1900a), and the three Saitic shaft tombs of Tjaiennahebu (A. Barsanti 1900b), Psamtek (A. Barsanti and G. Maspero 1900) and Padienisi (A. Barsanti 1900c), to the south of the pyramid. In 1901, in the yard located to the north of the funeral temple, Barsanti discovered an underground passage leading, at a depth of eight metres, to a long tunnel excavated in the rocks along the north-south axis, of the same length as the whole temple standing above it, from which other tunnels and many rooms and deposits branched off. The rich pottery which was found there dated back to the archaic period, and its seals confirmed a more accurate dating: the tunnels were the underground portion of the royal tomb of Hotepsekhemui or Raneb, respectively the first and second sovereign of the II dynasty (G. Maspero 1903). The superstructure had been apparently destroyed on a previous occasion, by Unas or one of his predecessors. It was a

sensational finding. And yet this tomb, like the similar tomb detected by Selim Hassan further south (see below), is still waiting for a thorough exploration and a publishing of its results. The period following the appointment of Quibell as chief inspector of Saqqara after Maspero’s indications was one of the most rich in findings (J.E. Quibell 1907; 1908; 1909). In 1906, to the south-west of the temple below Unas, the monastery of Apa Jeremias (BMS61) was found, a monument which is now almost entirely sanded up, although it deserves to be included in the necropolis’ visiting route (J.E. Quibell 1912). During two consecutive campaigns, from 1910 to 1912, Quibell brought to light a large part of the II and III dynasty necropolis, in the plateau north of Djoser’s pyramid towards the modern village of Abusir. Part of the tombs he found had already been explored by Mariette and had later got sanded up again, like that of Hesira (NSP13); but the others were actually new findings, like, among them, some tombs of the I dynasty, datable to Djer’s reign (J.E. Quibell 1913, 1923). The north plateau area, wedging itself towards Abusir’s pyramids, whose boundary is marked by the fertile plain with the village of Abusir to the east and by the desert valley joining Abusir and the Serapeum and the Djoser area to the west, and which was probably the main access to the necropolis, is archaeologically very rich: from the I to the VI dynasty, tombs were built there one next and over the other. The I dynasty chose the eastern part, overlooking the fertile valley and ancient Memphis, as a necropolis for Memphite dignitaries. The officers of the II dynasty were also buried there. But the building activity was especially boosted by the III dynasty, maybe because of the burial of Imhotep, the famous architect of Djoser, whose tomb is still searched for by archaeologists. This zone, hardly legible from the beginning because of the many burial places built in perishable mud bricks, became more and more so because of excavations searching for museum objects and reliefs and removable wall paintings, which were the main interest of Egyptologists between the XIX and the first half of the XX centuries. The mud brick tombs of the first three dynasties, seemingly poor, did not raise great interest.

discovering some mastabas of the V dynasty to the west of the walls (WSP1819). the entrance court and colonnade – persuaded Firth and Pierre Lacau. 1939. A third Saitic shaft.K. In 1924. Quibell brought to light 500 tombs and funeral shafts only in this area of the necropolis. in a period of only two years. more and more exceptional findings – the North and South Mansion (phase 2 of our project). 19591961.G. 24) dug in the temple area. After World War I.Between 1910 and 1912. carried on the exploration of the area north of Teti (C. the jubilee yard. even in comparison with those documenting the most recent excavations. After Firth’s death in 1931. Firth brought to light the remains of the funeral temple and the two satellite pyramids to that of Userkaf (PS04). to entrust the study of these monuments to young architect Jean Philippe Lauer. he moved his researches in the perimeter area of Djoser. Lauer 1936. . In 1926. Firth and B. was opened by Zaki Saad in 1941-42. The plans of the areas he explored in that zone are very accurate and detailed.E.-Ph. Lauer took on the direction of Djoser’s site and dedicated to it the rest of his life. Gunn 1926): he opened the funeral shafts of the mastabas of Mereruka and Kagemni. excavated the mastaba of Ikhekhi (ATP02) and reached the funeral chamber of Iput’s pyramid. he then explored the Saitic shafts of Neferibrasaneith and Uahibramen (ESP23. In 1928. Hayter 1927). and the great mastabas of Kairer (APU29) and Idut (APU10) to the south. Quibell. which had been covered up with sand until that moment. 1965). Cecil Firth. His most important discovery was the magnificent complex surrounding Djoser’s pyramid (PS05). with the tomb of Hor (ESP25). Quibell worked in the area to the north of Teti’s pyramid (J. bringing many parts of the complex back to their former state (J. appointed director of Saqqara. A. especially north-east of Kagemni (mastaba of Ptahshepses ATP08) and west of Mereruka (mastaba of Kaemheset ATP37). but could not manage to publish and document everything. Later on (1912-1914). who was then the general director of antiquities.

respectively Unas’s wife and.In the postwar period. discovering many tombs of the first dynasties. Goneim found the access to the underground apartments of a tomb of the II dynasty (APU02). the processional avenue and the temple below of Pharaoh Unas. Abdel-Salam Hussein carried on the work begun by Hassan and Goneim. The pottery and seals found there allowed to attribute it to king Ninetjer (S. In the aerial photographs and photogrammetries at our disposal we can clearly see the presence. the access to which was hidden by sand and drifts (among them. along the eastern border of the northern cliff. maybe. never studied nor published. Labrousse and J. Lauer 2000). the excavations were carried on by Zaki Saad.-Ph. recently. In 1937-38 the Egyptian Egyptologist Zakaria Goneim was entrusted from Selim Hassan the task to clear the area to the east of the funeral temple of Unas. During these works. Jean Leclant and Audran Labrousse worked on it. today in a deplorable state of preservation. of tombs. which will be useful for future interventions of excavation and restoration of the site. Cecil Firth resumed the work Quibell had interrupted twenty years earlier in the northern plateau. and then published the entire complex (A. Among his most significant findings there are the great Saitic shaft of Amontefnekhet (APU57). Iynefert and Unasankh are the most important). to the south of the causeway he discovered some rock-cut tombs. Lauer carried on the works at Userkaf’s temple. bringing to light a further stretch of Unas’s eastward causeway. Hassan 1938). From 1940 on. He thus discovered many mastabas. probably built under the I dynasty. At the foot of the southern wall of the mastaba of Nebkauhor. very similar to that discovered by Barsanti in 1901 to the west. who was then the general director of antiquities. His untimely death in 1931 prevented him from publishing the results of his last explorations. by direction of Etienne Drioton. From 1939 on. Their mention on the GIS is a unique documentation element. the great twin mastabas of queens Khenut and Nebet (APU17-18). the magnificent mastaba of Mehu (APU11) and other great mastabas (those of Haishtef. During the 1930-‘31 winter. those of Irukaptah APU42 and Akhethotep APU41) and two mastabas buried at the . mother.

excavations in the area north of Teti were carried on in 1942-43 by Zaki Y.-Ph. in three different periods: from 1936 to 1939. McFarlane 2000). Emery 1954.-Ph. Lauer 1966. which are still awaiting an accurate excavation. from 1952 to 1959 (W. was published again recently following excavations and restorations carried out by an Australian mission (A. working together with Zaki Y. After Abdel-Salam Hussein’s death in 1949. J. finding mastabas of minor officers of the VI dynasty (ATP09-16). 1958). locating the southern tomb and opening its funeral apartment. and then intersects at a right angle to the avenue discovered 45 years earlier by Loret. In 1950. which he deemed to be the tombs of . Irukaptah’s tomb. from 1946 to 1949 (W.foot of that same causeway (Iyka APU38 and Neferherenptah APU39). 1964). on the northern side of a cemetery avenue which skirts the mastabas of Mereruka and Kagemni.B. Emery. The necropolis of the I dynasty is associated to the excavations and publications of the archaeologist Walter B. After Firth’s death. Saad. Unas’s causeway was made object of occasional excavations. 1968). from the northern promontory overlooking the pyramids of Abusir to the modern inspectorate of antiquities. 1939). Basha) and to the restoration of Khaemwaset’s inscription on the southern face of Unas’s pyramid (A. Goneim 1957. He excavated the area to the north of Mereruka.B. in which the mummy of a two years old infant was found inside a wooden sarcophagus contemporary to the monument (J. Emery 1949).B. Emery 1938. which led to the discovery of Unas’s second pit for sacred boats (H. Lauer 1957). Goneim died in 1959. Zakaria Goneim found the unfinished funeral complex of Sekemkhet (PS06). which proved to be very similar in structure to that of his predecessor Djoser (M. Saad (W. on behalf of the Egypt Exploration Society. before he carried through the excavations of the northern and southern areas of the complex. with some unexplored shafts. Raslan on fragments found by Lauer in 1937.Z. In 1963 Lauer resumed the exploration. who systematically explored the western portion of the northern plateau. He was the first to thoroughly appreciate the importance of these fragile and stately monuments built in mud bricks.

One of these is the group of mastabas of the III dynasty which surrounds the great mastaba 3518 (NSP52) over the baboons’ catacomb. Another group belonging to the III dynasty stands further north. we are left with a doubt. 3075 (NSP228). maybe also excavated by Mariette) and 3077 (NSP231). Of other isolated mastabas in the area nothing is left today but Reisner’s map and some brief information: this is the case with the large mastabas of the IV dynasty 3074 (NSP227. according to Reisner dating back to Snefru’s period). In this entire area he unearthed many mastabas of the III dynasty. Despite its huge structure. 3076 (NSP69. the hawks and finally the Southern Catacombs of the ibis. Emery 1966). and . Martin (1981) . In the Sixties. Having followed on the excavation reports the fascinating adventures of the exploration of the northern plateau. and to which he dedicated his three brilliant volumes entitled Great Tombs of the First Dynasty and the monography The Tomb of Hemaka. from north to south. the 3050 (NSP177) (G. Martin 1979). The latter. which have never been published and of which only Emery’s general map is left . of the mastabas of the III dynasty 3073 (NSP57) and 3517 (NSP230). mastaba 3517 was completely lacking in clues which could make its attribution possible (W. with entrances to the west facing the desert valley. it was not inserted in the Porter & Moss Bibliography. those of the baboons. too.T. bringing to light the great complex (SAC03) which includes.and a brief description by Reisner (but only of two of them) in The Development of the Egyptian Tomb (1936).B.T. over the northern ibis catacombs and west of the larger mastaba. the largest mastaba of the III dynasty in Saqqara (56x25 m at the base). the Catacombs of the Mothers of Apis bulls. only plants and sections were published. generally clustered around major tombs and nowadays almost completely sanded up. which is actually almost a certainty: that some of the tombs which Mariette discovered.the first kings of Egypt. Emery carried on the exploration of the northern plateau. during his search for Imhotep’s tomb. was discovered in 1965 by Emery. As almost every structure of its period.later on redrawn by G. together with other mastabas datable to the IV-VI dynasties. the Northern Catacombs of the ibis. and the coeval group further east with the mastabas 3003-3020. Nectanebo II’s temple.

from the XVII to the beginning of the XIX centuries. the Northern Catacombs of the Ibis and the overhanging tombs have never been published to date. in our databases and maps we have two tombs S3518 (NSP52 and 52bis) and two tombs S3519 (NSP203 and 203bis). were later on excavated again and classified by Quibell. further south. Altenmüller . We know some of such cases: tomb 18 De Morgan (Mariette’s A1) was classified by Firth under the number 3076 (NSP69). The confusion is worsened by the fact that sometimes we don’t have an accurate publication of the findings. during two separate excavation campaigns assigned to two different mastabas discovered over the Catacombs of the Hawks the same numbers (3518 and 3519) which he had already assigned to two other mastabas. since their function is uncertain. carried through by G. So. started off by Emery in the 1964-6 and 1969-70 seasons and the well known Catacombs of the Ibis (which were. That same number 3073 was assigned by Firth to another tomb (NSP30). baboons and cows. which were added to our database under separate numbers (NSP239-44). Moussa and H.M.which later were left under the sand (he never left a detailed map of his findings). together with the shrines providing for their cult in the Late and Ptolemaic Period. and tomb 5 De Morgan (Mariette’s A2) was classified under the number 3073 (NSP57). From 1965 to 1967 the exploration of the Unas’s causeway was resumed. the major tourist attractions of Saqqara). excavated by himself. In some cases. in addition to the Northern Animal Necropolis (SAC03). While Martin published (1981) in full detail the excavations begun by Emery and carried on by himself in the southern area of the catacombs of the animals. Excavations in the southern sector (Sector 7). the already mentioned archaic tombs and Old Kingdom tombs.T. brought to light. for example. Firth and Emery under different numbers. burials of falcons. The most important findings were the mastaba “of the two brothers” Niakhkhnum and Khnumhotep (APU46). in the area of the southern catacombs of the ibis. the Ibis Courtyard. archaeologists have mixed up their own excavations: Emery. buried under the Unas’s causeway (A. Martin in the 1971-2 and 1972-3 seasons. first by Mounir Basta and a year later by Ahmed Moussa.

Jeffreys and H. Pabes BMS56. The area is still closed to tourism. Martin devoted himself to the necropolis of the New Kingdom to the south of Unas processional avenue. D. Smith 1988). the most remarkable among which are those of Irenkaptah (APU47). 1999. R.S.M. H. was included among the thirteen tombs examined in our project. Martin 1991). Martin 1993. Kay BMS55. G. and the recent Egyptian missions to the north and south (see below) of the AngloDutch excavation area. Moussa and H. Martin 1989).D. Tjaiennahebu and Padienisi (APU53 and 55). Schneider and G.D.G. Moussa and F. Researches in this area. 1977). a temple complex of the .J.J. Lepsius’s evidence. M.T. are still giving important results (H. etc.D. Schneider 1995.M. 2000). Nefer’s tomb. Raven 1991. Martin 1999. three shaft tombs of the Saitic-Persian period discovered in 1900 by Barsanti (E. the first scientific exploration of the area of the Anubieion (SAC 01. and especially Nefer’s tomb (APU43). From 1974 on. Maya BMS06.T. Bresciani et al. by M. Martin 1997. Junge 1975). Neferseshemptah and Sekhentiu (APU48). conducted by an Anglo-Dutch joint mission (led. and could become a strong point of the future visiting routes of the necropolis.T.T. Altenmüller 1971) is sumptuously decorated and very well preserved.1977). Tia and Tia BMS02. and many rock-cut tombs to the south of the causeway (A. (G. and between the end of the Seventies and the Nineties he brought to light some magnificent temple-tombs of the XVIII and XIX dynasties: Horemheb BMS04 (G. Schneider). van Walsem and G. From 1976 on. this rock-cut tomb (A. to the south of Unas’s pyramid. only open to particular visitors and scholars. Two of them. Buongarzone 2001).T. which in Padienisi’s case still retain their splendid original colours (R. and holds in one of its shafts a rare intact mummy of the V dynasty. as he was the first to explore this area. among others. R. Raven. van Walsem and H. on behalf of the Egypt Exploration Society. the archaeologists Smith and Jeffreys took up. prove that the entire area is packed with still undiscovered tombs of the New Kingdom. In the early Seventies. the team directed by Edda Bresciani from Pisa worked on the so-called “Persian shaft”. Iniuia BMS59. were included among the thirteen in our project because of the beauty of their inscriptions and pictures.

In 1900 Alexandre Barsanti had explored the remains of the pyramid which was given the number XXIX by Lepsius and was already in ruins by that time. had been explored for the first time by Mariette. it has recently been attributed to Merykara. with some uncertainty (J. Firth wanted his house. Quibell first 1905-7 (J. to be built in the northern part of the northern wall.L.G. who. Leclant 1972). 14). cleared by an unknown hand at an uncertain date and still scientifically unexplored to date. 725). the first settlement of the Antiquities Organization Complex. Smith 1997). L. Jeffreys and H. Mariette 1857. a Saitic and Ptolemaic Central Temple (Areas 12-14) . in order to explore the area of Teti’s funeral temple. 1B.-Ph. Es-Sign Yusuf. J. funded by the Egypt Exploration Society (D. The excavations also located the Serapeum Way in the northern wall and a Christian village (Areas 12. In the Fifties Sainte Fare Garnot. a settlement west of the main sanctuaries (Area 5) with administrative functions. with a Chapel of Bes and Bes Chambers. on whose eastern remains the Anubieion had been built. had discovered this area and called it “Serapéum grec”. Recent explorations and works in progress . to the north of the northern wall. covering with the excavation ribble the southern part of the northern wall (J. Smith 1988.and a Ptolemaic South Temple (Areas 15. Lauer and Leclant worked again on Teti’s temple. The following excavations. Lauer and J. believing it to be an appendix of the Serapeum itself (A. Berlandini 1979). 17). the “jail of Joseph” (such was the name given in the XIX century by the inhabitants of Abusir to the two large mud brick walls overlooking the cultivated plain to the east of Teti’s pyramid).E. Malek 1994. inside a complex stratigraphy going from Teti’s period to the Christian period. pp. two catacombs of mummified dogs. following the sphinx avenue from the Serapeum. Davies and H. a North Temple (Area 11). Giddy 1992) led to locate. Quibell 1907) and then Firth 1922-4 worked in that area.S. De Morgan’s map (1897) reports.late period which appeared to be coeval and under some aspects similar to the temple complex of the Northern Animal Necropolis (S.today almost entirely beneath the village of the Antiquities .S. The pyramid (PS09) stood on the south-western angle of the southern wall.

Zivie 1988. Among these we may mention the Royal Chancellor Nehesy (ATP92). 2000). which resumed working in 1993 (T. 1995. the Royal Singer at Amenophis III’s and IV’s time. between 1994 and 1997. today. a mastaba of the Old Kingdom (BMS52) and other surrounding mud brick structures (M. The Ramesside necropolis covers a series of tombs and shafts of the Old Kingdom. a mission of the Egyptian Antiquities Department brought to light. about thirty rock-cut tombs were found. the excavations brought to light many tombs of the New Kingdom. 2000). 1999. among which that of Ramesses II’s vizier Neferrenpet (BMS14) and that of the same king’s royal Scribe Ameneminet (BMS24 – S. and finally Maya (ATP96). in the Bubasteion cliff facing the wadi where once the causeway of Userkaf ran and where. Since 1974 the magnificent Saitic tomb of Bakenrenef (ESP28) has been object of study and restoration (E. Giammarusti. whose tomb (ATP94) is a hemispeos of the Ramesside era with an outer pillared court. most are monuments of great significance sited in large cemetery contexts in some areas of the necropolis (J. In addition to the above mentioned group of tombs unearthed by Martin and later by a joint mission of the Egypt Exploration Fund and of the University of Leiden. who probably organized Queen Hatshepsut’s expedition to Punt. Between 1984 and 1988. Handoussa 1998). as shown by the surveys carried out by the Egytpian mission. About 200 m south of the area of the Anglo-Dutch mission. Netjerwymes. 1997. and it was possible to identify the owners of 11 of them. M. Seth (ATP93). these excavations brought to light about twenty temple-tombs and as many funeral shafts of the Ramesside period (BMS14-51 – S. just below the antiquities guesthouse. La Torre . Only a few of them are isolated tombs. 1990. on the eastern angle of the cliff. The first he found was that of vizier Aperia (ATP60). Tutankhamun’s Royal Nurse. Zivie 1988. el-Ghandour 1997). the French Egyptologist Alain Zivie discovered many rock-cut tombs of the New Kingdom (A. the modern road turns west to get into the necropolis. a period previously little documented in Saqqara. Later on. Tawfik 1991). Betrò. Gohary 1991).Over the last twenty years. From 1979 on. Bresciani. A. we must not forget the important excavation by the University of the Cairo on the plateau border south of the Unas causeway. the Chief of the Double Granary Meysekhmet (ATP91). C. whose tomb contains reliefs of exceptional artistic worth. van Dijk 1988.

Quibell. 1980. the portal of the last of which bears inscriptions of important solar texts (M. north of Mereruka’s and Kagemni’s mastabas (W. 1981. The mission both cleaned and restored tombs discovered in the first half of the last century by Loret.B. turns near the Boubasteion and then divides and reaches today’s most visited monuments. el-Naggar. Lloyd et alii 1990). using the information technology as well. 1983. Goudsmit and D. the Pisan mission discovered three minor rockcut tombs (BN1. S. 2001. Firth and Saad. and up until today. F. S. The more than three thousand blocks forming a part of the tomb’s impressive decorative cycle. 1990. Near Bakenrenef’s tomb. Betrò 1990). regularly frequented for several centuries starting from the Saitic period (E. 2000b. 1991-1992. 31 and 29). Sowada et alii 1999). Bresciani. when vizier Bakenrenef had his underground temple-tomb built there. Buongarzone 1990. skirting the eastern cliff. 1996. From 1992 on the Egyptian-Dutch Research Project on ancient DNA. At the half of the Seventies. 1996). A.1988) by the Italian mission directed by Edda Bresciani (E. in collaboration with the Leiden Museum and the Egypt Exploration Society. focused on the evolution of monkey and ape species by examining the exemplars of the Northern Animal Necropolis (J. pillaged by antiquities thieves for more than a hundred years from the half of the XIX century on. 1993. Bresciani 1978. The tomb overlooks the road which. Davies et alii 1984. 1997. Pernigotti 1985) to Saitic formulae (R. 2000a. later on. The writings embellishing the walls of the six decorated internal rooms range from the Texts of the Pyramids to the funerary books of the New Kingdom (S. a mission of the Egypt Exploration Society and of the British Museum studied a group of mastabas of the VI dynasty in the cemetery area of Teti. BS1 and BN2 – ESP32. . and brought to light for the first time many tombs of officers of the VI dynasty. Publications were significant and numerous (N. The excavation works led to discover a real rock-cut funeral palace. 1998. Silvano 1983). Pernigotti.C. this area has been made object of systematic exploration by a mission of the Australian Centre for Egyptology. Kanawati et alii 1984. directed by Naguib Kanawati together with some well-known Egyptian archaeologists. were recomposed virtually in reconstructive plates.V. 1995. K. BrandonJones 1999). 19911992).

many modest burials of the late period (XXVI-XXX dynasties) and layers of Coptic settlements related to the nearby monastery of Apa Jeremias (C. an area where. restoring order in an area of extremely complex stratigraphy.P. directed by P. Silverman 2000). . Silverman 1997). sold to France in 1903 and now exposed in the Louvre. The mission’s initial purpose was to find the exact place of the mastaba of Akhethotep (APU36). Loret. Munro. on the eastern side of the funeral temple. Over the last twenty years several missions have been working at the Unas causeway. Boston (D. between the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX centuries. Quibell. The mission later unearthed Khuit’s pyramid (PS03) and explored its burial chamber. An epigraphic and topographical survey of the area surrounding Teti pyramid has been directed since 1992 by David P. Hawass undug for the first time the entire funeral temple of the queen and discovered the tomb of Tetiankhkem.In the same year. a mission from the universities of Hannover and Berlin. Hawass 2000) cleaned around the site of the mortuary temple of Queen Iput I (PS02). Munro 1993). Since 1991 a mission of the Louvre Museum. All over the Eighties. Firth and Gunn had been working. in conjunction with an art historical survey of Rita Freed of the Museum of Fine Arts. directed by Christiane Ziegler. an Egyptian mission directed by Zahi Hawass (Z.P. Silverman and Josef Wegner of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology. 2000). The Middle Kingdom tombs of Sekhweskhet and Sahathoipy were re-excavated by the Pennsylvania-Boston expedition in 1997 (D. one of Teti’s sons. messed up by too many cursory explorations (P. just next the south-east angle of Djoser’s wall. near the funeral temple. and brought to light two other mastabas of the Old Kingdom (APU61. has been working in the area immediately to the north of the Unas causeway. Ziegler 1997. investigated the area north-west of the Unas causeway. 62). The excavations went far beyond that.

about 25x22 m) were also discovered in the western part of the outcrop. Takamiya. Following a geophysical survey of the area (1987). Yoshimura. Attached to this stone monument of Khaemwaset. In 1997 vizier Merefnebef’s tomb was found (WSP32). I.H. a stone structure (NSP236. inner rooms and a portico to the east. overtopped by burials of the Ptolemaic period. The most interesting results are actually about the . hewn into the rock. 2000): on the summit of a prominent limestone outcrop about one km north-west of the Serapeum. dating back to the beginning of the VI dynasty. from the National Museums of Scotland. K. a mission of the university of Warsaw has been working since 1996 in an area east of Djoser’s walls. no trace of any activity between the Old Kingdom and the Ptolemaic period was found. Tavares 1994. the Japanese team unearthed. the first ones carried out from De Morgan’s times. 1999. Surprisingly. 25x30m ca. Mc Farlane 2000). about 120 m from the pyramid’s western edge (K. The entire zone contained structures of the archaic period. Ian Mathieson. over annual campaigns since 1991. 1997. In the last years. Stelae bearing names and figures of Tuthmosis IV suggest that it was a royal resthouse. The foundations of a large mud brick structure (NSP237. 1999. Mathieson 1997.In 1998-9 a mission of the Australian Centre for Egyptology surveyed some unexplored shafts in the tomb of Irukaptah (APU42). We owe to a team of Tokyo’s Waseda University one of most interesting findings of the last years (S. 2000). with a richly decorated cult chapel. a mud brick house (NSP236) was found. perhaps for hunting of animals. at the base) built by Khaemwaset. Jeffreys and A. south of Unas causeway (A. the area stretching in the desert west of Djoser’s complex was the object of some scientific researches. 2000. Kuraszkiewicz 2000). In 1990. started off a geophysical mapping project of the valley stretching from the Gisr el-Mudir Sekhemkhet ridge in the south to the Abusir West Saqqara Wadi in the north (I. The remains of the refined internal reliefs and of a limestone false-door prove that the building was constructed specifically for the prince. the fourth son of Ramesses II. with an outer wall. D. in cooperation with the Egypt Exploration Society. Myliwiec 1998.

Open problems A lot is still to be discovered. which are maybe to be connected to the archaic enclosures of Abydos and Hierakompolis. two enclosures which are clearly visible in the aerial photos and which almost all scholars attribute to sovereigns of the II dynasty. but a lot more about Saqqara’s and Memphis’ history may be revealed by future excavations. even because of the enormous amount of royal pottery of the I dynasty found inside the tunnels along the northern and western walls of Djoser’s complex. not far from Abusir. Mathieson’s survey detected several brick mastabas buried on the northern side of the valley and a likely mastaba field starting at the tomb of Ty in the west and stretching down to the Sacred Animal necropolis in the east. about 4. Smith 1997). Davies and H. They could be areas where the funeral cult of archaic sovereigns was performed. some scholars still do not admit the idea that there are no royal burials of the I dynasty in Saqqara. instead. the L-shape enclosure’s walls were made of mud bricks. 1C. 1985). Maybe the “cult area of Den” (according to Kaiser’s hypothesis in MDAIK 41. maybe inside structures in perishable materials of which nothing is left.Gisr el-Mudir area (PS07) and the nearby L-shape enclosure (WSP34). probably a mastaba. The recently discovered vast cemetery areas of the New Kingdom are discrediting the cliché of a necropolis leaving to Thebes the undisputed supremacy after having had its golden age. during the Old Kingdom. In case this structure . then.5 m high and 33. North of the two enclosures. In the area sited to the north-west of the wadi. along the valley leading to the ancient lake of Abusir. and the Abusir West Saqqara wadi has just begun to reveal significant hints of its frequentation in the archaic period (S. with the other Memphite necropoles.S. the Japanese researchers of the Waseda University in Tokyo have just found (September 2002) the remains of an impressive stepped limestone structure. In the Gisr el-Mudir. surveys revealed the presence of limestone walls forming an enormous stone-walled enclosure measuring 600x300 m (twice the size of the Step Pyramid complex). north of the Serapeum. nevertheless. was not isolated.5 m long. The remote sensing techniques did not detect any coeval building inside the two enclosures.

whereas the specialists of the GIS consider maps as related to the whole system. A fascinating task for the archaeologists of the present and of the future is to investigate the organization of the necropolis through the ages (cfr. The archaeological documentation and the Egyptological database (secondo paragrafo) Roberto Buongarzone 2A. architects and specialists of the GIS.everywhere in this huge necropolis. the architects aim to synthesize cartographical data and to represent them clearly on maps. it would be an exceptional discovery. 2. the credit of which is due to Antonio Giammarusti. Assembling the different archaeological maps into the already existent and more detailed map of Saqqara was a hard task. in my opinion. and different mentalities as well. While the Egyptologists tend to analyze archaeological data and are mainly interested in historical issues. with three millennia in a few meters . an exemplary model of team working between people with different trainings. The Egyptologists often had to play the role of exegetes of archaeological . to correct them with the help of data measured in situ with GPS or simply by means of a survey with maps in hand. as exceptional as the discovery of the limestone walls of the Gisr el-Mudir. who had to digitize in Autocad maps which were often discordant or inaccurate (a common fault among archaeologists).proved to be more ancient than Djoser’s pyramid (2650 BC ca). Thus the new discoveries of the last years stretch our view of Saqqara from the Old Kingdom towards the Archaic Period on one side and from the New Kingdom towards the Late Period on the other. Archaeological maps The study of archaeological maps has been one of the most interesting tasks for Egyptologists. and aim to their utilization in data processing. A. It was. which is considered the most ancient stone building in the history of humankind.paraphrasing an interesting text of Lisa L. Giddy 1997 . Macy Roth 1988) and to reveal the richness and value of the Saqqara site as a whole.

especially with the tombs discovered by Mariette. It is the first modern map of Saqqara. which made it almost impossible to identify them with the known monuments.maps. As far as the missing ones are concerned. is not such that it allows to locate them with certainty: the radius of probability is of many metres. which were likely to be still visible above ground at De Morgan’s time. the position of the buried mastabas reconstructed by W. Smith from available records and surface indications. it reports many tombs without indicating their names.S. The De Morgan map (1897). helping to interpret what the archaeologists of the late XIX or the early XX century meant with their maps which might not distinguish graphically. for instance. topographically accurate and based on the map of the visible monuments drawn by the Survey of Egypt 1932. It reports. Almost all the monuments explored by Lepsius in Saqqara were brought back to light during the most recent explorations. the stratigraphical levels or the height of the door lintels. the map’s accuracy. for istance. the only one to report the entire route of the Serapeum way. in some cases (like that of the south plateau necropolis of the New Kingdom) even of 50 m. many mastabas of the north plateau discovered by Firth shortly before he died and never published. in addition. The Lepsius map (1849).1 General archaeological maps of Saqqara Such maps cover a lapse of time from the half of the XIX century to year 1980. This precious map reports accurately Saqqara’s situation in a period when the great excavations by Quibell and Firth had just finished. This map has however some undeniable merits: it is. in particular. and also many mastabas . 2A. It is the most ancient map of Saqqara and reports the tombs and pyramids explored by the German Egyptologist. unexplored in modern times. the Anubieion before Martin’s excavations and the catacombs of the jackals. Very detailed. For reasons of graphical space. even the most recent maps do not report all the monuments’ positions. The Smith map (1936). even though remarkable for that time. with. but also topographically very inaccurate.

to the scale of 1 to 2500. was the topographical base on which the archaeological data were inserted. of the Civil Survey Authority. . The aerophotogrammetry. and proves that at Smith’s time the Serapeum way was already totally sanded up. based on a 1977 aerial survey.2 Non-archaeological maps. integrate the Smith map as far as modern installations are concerned. I. Six cadastral planimetries of year 1932. produced by the Consortium SFS. and an aerophotogrammetry (aerial survey). 33. H22. but has the great merit of reviewing the intricate situation of the most ancient discoveries in the north plateau. Bl. It is less accurate than its model from the topographical point of view. 34. they do not report all the locatable tombs.IGN (France). Berlin 1849. 32. but topographically inaccurate. The maps of the famous Bibliography are extremely precious for Egyptologists. Firth and Emery) and also correcting some of the recent mistakes (for instance W. General maps of the site in order of publication • R. Denkmaeler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien. sheets H23. Mariette. The topographical marks of the positions of the tombs discovered by Leipsius and Mariette east of Djoser’s complex and south of Userkaf is also extremely useful. The Porter & Moss maps (1978-80). It updates Smith’s map using the first edition of the Porter & Moss Bibliography as well. 2A. Quibell.discovered by Mariette and no more traceable on the ground. Emery’s two tombs 3518). Besides. which provides the aerial photo-interpretation of the ground structures and gives indications about monuments buried underground too. The Spencer map (1974). Abth. since nowadays the area is occupied by a parking lot for tourist coaches. De Morgan. Lepsius.B. This map shows the evolution of modern routes of access and visit to the necropolis compared to De Morgan’s times. rearranging the six different notation systems (Lepsius. to the scale of 1 to 5000.

Dahchour. Paris 1857. Maspero. 43 (1974). 1-11 and Tab I. Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts. Carte de la nécropole memphite. Smith in G. Porter. Oxford 1981.B. Saqqara to Dahshur. A. W. A. Part 2. were integrated from time to time with maps of the single archaeological sites. R. Or even. Ptahhetep and Akhethetep. Davies. allowed Antonio Giammarusti to report correctly these important monuments on the map. De Morgan. Researches on the Topography of North Saqqara. Reliefs. London 1900. published in 1923. the aerial photo and the survey on the site. This was the case with the area north of Teti. where the trace of the buried walls is still visible on the sand covering them. where the plans of the recent excavations by Kanawati at times did not correspond with the old but accurate plans by Firth and Gunn (1926) and by Quibell and Hayter (1927). Partial archaeological maps of the site in order of publication. This is the case too for Martin’s map (1981) of the area of the north plateau with the Northern Animal Necropolis and the nearby tombs. N. Le Sérapéum de Memphis. III2.L. prepared by archaeologists themselves or by the missions’ architects. Sakkarah. 2A.A. which omits some details in comparison to Quibell’s map. B. Second Edition revised and augmented by PhDr. Sometimes it was not easy to make different data from successive excavations on the same site coincide. and Paintings. Jaromír Málek. Mariette. still as far as the north plateau is concerned. Orientalia N. The Development of the Egyptian Tomb down to the Accession of Cheops. p.S. the aerophotogrammetry. Moss. • • G. Part I. the position of the mastabas of the I dynasty given by Emery in his splendid treatises Great Tombs of the I Dynasty proved to be completely inexact.S.• • • • J. Spencer. 1897. Map 2. pp.J. 3 Fascicles. London 1936.de G.20 (1883-84). Abou-Sir. Luckily. Reisner. transferred on the cartographical base. .3 Partial archaeological maps of Saqqara The data of the general maps. "Trois années de fouilles" in MMAF I.

J. Teti Pyramid Cemeteries. A. Altenmüller. A. A. Munro.E. Two Tombs of Craftsmen. J. Notizie sulle piramidi di Zedefrâ. Le Caire 1972. "Die Königsgräber der 2. BdÉ 51. H. Quibell. Emery. BdÉ 97/2 (1975). F.P. Firth. Quibell. C. Lauer. Archaic Mastabas. The Mastaba of Neb-Kaw-Her. Maragioglio.K. Leclant.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • J. London 1958. BdÉ 73 (1977).B. Mastabas of Princess Hemet-ra and others. V. W. H. La tomba di Ciennehebu. Mélanges Gamal Eddin Mokhtar. Excavations at Saqqara. Pernigotti. Cairo 1975. U. Giangeri Silvis. Moussa. Hassan. Le tombeau d’Akhti-hotep à Saqqara. Hölscher. 51. C. Hassan. V. Labrousse.M. Le Caire 1927.M. W. Leclant. London 1954. S. Moussa. Turin 1962. Mainz am Rhein 1977. Ph. S. Cairo 1926. Le temple haut du complexe funéraire du roi Unas. Ph. Mainz am Rhein 1971. des Nianchchnum und . E. J. Le temple haut du complexe funéraire du roi Teti. Bresciani. Excavations at Saqqara I. Mainz am Rhein 1975. Gunn. L’architettura delle Piramidi Menfite. II. Pisa 1977. „Der Unas-Friedhof in Saqqara 2. Rinaldi. Excavations at Saqqara III (1937-38). Excavations at Saqqara VI (1912-14).G. AV 9.B. SAK 3 (1975). Vorbericht über die Arbeiten der Gruppe Hannover im Früjahr 1974". A. Abd El-Hamid Zayed. "Preliminary Report on the Excavations at North Saqqara 1965-6". Zedkarâ Isesi. Stadelmann. Das Grab Chnumhotep. B. II-VII. Pl. P. C. Maragioglio.Junge.A.M. M.M. Lauer. Le Caire 1923. S. Cairo 1975. Hayter. Great Tombs of the First Dynasty I. The Tomb of Nefer and Ka-hay. Turin 1963-70. ASAE LV (1958). capo della flotta del re. J. JEA 52 (1966). Teti. Rinaldi. Dynastie in Sakkara". Altenmüller. Teti Pyramid. Moussa. Vol. A. II. North Side. AV 21. J. III.E. Cairo 1949. R. Emery.

The Temple Furniture from the Sacred Animal Necopolis at North Saqqara. A. Silvano. Die Ägyptischen Pyramiden Weltwunder. EES London 1979. Spencer.M. G. The Tomb of Hetepka and Other Reliefs and Inscriptions from the Sacred Animal Necropolis. S. Martin. Saqqara Nord.C. N. KAW 30. La Torre. La tomba di Bakenrenef (L. "The Tomb of Maya and Meryt: Preliminary Report on the Saqqara Excavations 1990-1". Insley Green. La galleria di Padineit. A. Découverte à Saqqarah Le vizir oublié. C. A. The southern Dependencies of the Main Complex. Martin. Mc Farlane. Lloyd. E. Martin. R.T. Bresciani.B. north-west of Teti’s Pyramid. A. Pisa 1988. Labrousse.V. El-Khouli. Martin. JEA 77 (1991).T.T. el-Naggar. Le temple d’accueil du complexe funéraire du roi Ounas. EES London 1992. M. Giammarusti. North Saqqara 1964-1973. Le Caire 1996. EES London 1989. EES London 1990. The Memphite Tomb of Horemheb. Moussa.D. A. et alii. N. Kanawati. "Recently excavated ramesside tombs at Saqqara. A. A.V. The Mastabas of Mereri and Wernu. El-Khouli. F. Saqqara 4. I. Lloyd. EES London 1984. Labrousse. . G. S. Giddy. G. Stadelmann. Bresciani. L. W. Sidney 1984. Tawfik. BdÉ 114/1-2. Zivie. EES London 1981. The mastabas of Meru. EES London 1987. L’architecture des pyramides à textes. The sacred animal Necropolis at North Saqqâra. II. Tomba di Boccori. Reliefs.J. S. 1964-76.T. Pisa 1980. visir di Nectanebo I. The Cemeteries. Davies. Saqqara I. The Anubieion at Saqqâra II.T. Paris 1990. H. "The Saqqâra New Kingdom Necropolis Excavations 1986: Preliminary Report". JEA 73 (1987). Mainz am Rhein 1985. Le Caire 1996. A. L. Semdenti.B. 1: Architecture".• G. G. Inscriptions and Commentary. Martin. A. J. A. El-Khouli. BdÉ 111. Khui and others. Commander-in-chief of Tutankhamun I. A. Excavations at Saqqara. A.Spencer. Betrò. vom Ziegelbau zum • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • A. A. 24): attività del Cantiere Scuola 1985-1987. Pernigotti. E. MDAIK 47 (1991). Maksoud. Schneider.

Z.. K. Zivie. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 2B.. IV. Vol. in M. Bárta. S. Yoshimura. 413-444. Warminster 1998. A. V. Vol. Warminster 2000. "Fieldwork 1997-8.. Praha 2000. The choice of the monuments for phases 2 and 3. van Walsem. Raymond Johnson. A. Ziegler. The Tety Cemetery at Saqqara. III. el-Ghandour. Pls. Minor Burials and other Materials. Waseda University excavations at North Saqqara from 1991 to 1999. Reports 1998 (1999). pp. "La mission archéologique du musée du Louvre à Saqqara. The tomb of Nikauisesi. Kanawati. OMRO 79 (1999). Vol. Bárta.. J. Ziegler et alii. J. "Recherches sur Saqqara au musée du Louvre: bilan et perspectives". 1996. BIFAO 97 (1997). "Preliminary Report on the Saqqara Excavations. Abder-Raziq. Ph. 2. Figs. The Tombs of Neferseshemre and Seankhuiptah. The Tety Cemetery at Saqqara. Kanawati. JEA 84 (1998). J. "Mummies of Olive Baboons and Barbary Macaques in the Baboon Catacomb of the Sacred Animal Necropolis at North Saqqara". Bárta. Praha 2000. Brandon-Jones. Sowada. Bárta. The tomb of Hesi. Abusir and Saqqara in the year 2000. pp.T. N. Callaghan. Krejcí eds. D. M. D. Martin et al. "Report on work at Saqqara south of the New Kingdom cemetery: Seasons 1994. Abder-Raziq. "La resurrection des hypogées du Nouvel Empire à Saqqara". Labrousse. GM 161 (1997). J. Season 1999". Jeffreys. C. N. J. 42. Krejcí eds. The Tety Cemetery at Saqqara. G. Bourriau. Excavations 1998". Abusir and Saqqara in the year 2000. P. J. in M. Vol. I. T. 1997". Le Caire 2000. Krejcí eds. PAM 10. VI. Warminster 1999. N. Goudsmit. J. K. R. Takamiya. Hawass. 161-172. M. M. Abder-Raziq. Abusir and Saqqara in the year 2000. H. in M. Praha 2000. Bentley. M. Les complexes funéraires d’Ouserkaf et de Néferhétepès. Kanawati. The Tety Cemetery at Saqqara. "Recent discoveries in the pyramid complex of Teti at Saqqara". W. 383. Krejcí eds. JEA 85 (1999). Abusir and Saqqara in the year 2000. Praha 2000. 1. . Memphis 1997". Résultats de quatre campagnes de fouilles de 1993 à 1996". Mysliewic "Saqqara.. BdÉ 130/2.• C. Lauer. in M. Warminster 2000.

before the official start of the project. It would certainly have been interesting to include a mastaba of the III dynasty of the north plateau. The mastaba of Ty. those which could best represent a significant sample of the entire site in period. the general conditions of which do not allow the access to the funeral apartment. on the basis of the abovementioned criteria and also considering the monuments’ accessibility at that time (year 2000). for the first two years phase. with the first version of the Texts of the Pyramids carved on their walls. typology. were visited for almost a century and are today in very poor condition. anthropic frequentation and environmental risk. The three tombs of phase 3 – the only ones subjected to instrumental monitoring -. too. even though they have been closed to public for six years. and still is. the pyramid of Unas and the mastabas of Ty and Ptahhotep. among the most visited in Saqqara: its decorated reliefs were unrivalled in delicacy in that period. Serapeum included. The funerary chambers of the pyramid of Unas. the choice of 13 monuments for an analysis of the environmental risk representative of the entire site.Our project involved. or one of the necropoles of sacred animals. These three monuments are sited along the central axis of north Saqqara. among more than 600 main monuments. were chosen by the Supreme Council of Antiquities in May 2000. state of preservation. has been for a century. They are the most known and important monuments in north Saqqara. even though the temporary closing of the Serapeum (now opened again) brought less visitors to it. has been subjected to anthropic impact for 125 years. between the imaginary prolongation southwards. Our task was not the . north-westwards and northwards of the western side of Djoser’s complex. position. We had the task to choose the other ten monuments. The mastaba of Ptahhotep. which contains reliefs with scenes as precious in quality and repertory. save for Djoser’s pyramid. But almost all the tombs of the north plateau are now sanded up. due to consolidation works. and all the necropolis of the animals were inaccessible at that time. The matter was to choose.

Martin’s detailed publication (1989) and the photos of its discovery in the archives of Saqqara were a very good basis to evaluate the decay of its delicate painted reliefs. Unas valley Rockcut tomb excellent Limited access Low High Kagemni VI Serapeu limesto Bad Open since Medium High . they had to be well documented at the moment of their discovery and. Horemheb was an almost unavoidable choice. The best example of starting documentation was the tomb of Ty. 1939 (Épron and Daumas).T. Monuments perio Area d typolog y preservati Anthropic on on Environmen Historical -artistic value High High frequentati tal risk S3507 I dyn. As far as the New Kingdom was concerned. also through the years. North Plateau mud brick mastab a Bad Closed since its discovery Djoser North South Buildings Nefer III and dyn. Central plateau limesto ne building s decent Open since Medium its discovery High V dyn. as it was the first tomb of that historical period to be unearthed in Saqqara not too recently (1975). 1953 and 1966 (Wild). with photographs and publications. if possible. G. Another important requirement for our choice was the possibility to evaluate the evolution of the monuments’ decay.archaeological research. they had to be known since at least twenty years. therefore. with its publications made in 1913 (Steindorff). Besides. whose splendid photographs show the progression of the monument’s state of preservation. but the construction of a risk manual from available data.

the GIS. Serapeu pyramid decent m valley Open since Medium its discovery High Horemheb XVIII dyn. Serapeu limesto m valley ne mastab a lacking Open since Medium its discovery High Idut VI dyn. Unas valley limesto ne mastab a lacking Open since Medium its discovery until the Nineties High Teti VI dyn.dyn. A system of selection and organization of archaeological data One of the biggest problems faced by the Egyptological team in the initial phase of the organization of the GIS was the creation a system of archaeological data compatible with an advanced computer system. requiring a standardization of pieces of information which somehow forces the .lacking tomb Closed since its discovery High High Tjaiennahe XXVI bu dyn. South plateau Temple. m way ne mastab a its discovery valley Mereruka VI dyn. Unas valley Shaft tomb Good Closed since the Nineties Medium Medium 2C. Unas valley Shaft tomb Good Closed since the Nineties Medium Medium Padienisi XXVI dyn.

different building materials. which we adopted. we updated the Bibliography’s data both with recent excavations and with all the information we got in two years of work. all to merge in the GIS. Teti and Sekhemkhet. The computer experts Renzo Carlucci and Emanuele Brienza prepared an ACCESS database with different levels of information. it refers instead to the natural reference monuments for every Egyptologist: the pyramids of Djoser. Thus. even about old excavations and particularly the poorly documented ones in the north plateau. and because our work did not have the ambition to replace the use of the Bibliography. that was to be unique and updated with all the monuments of Saqqara. IDENTIFICATION DATA (MAIN DATABASE)  No. Unas. etc. tomb of the project. In the first level database we decided to input the following basic data: 2C1. This fundamental work has been at the roots of our job. Obviously. our notation proceeds with the following partitions: PS = Pyramid-Field of Saqqara NSP = North of the Step Pyramid ATP = Around Teti Pyramid ESP = East of the Step Pyramid WSP = West of the Step Pyramid APU = Around the pyramid-complex of Unas . We decided to preserve this subdivision in our database for reasons of convenience. doesn’t take into account the sites’ topography. mixed typologies of tombs. assigned following the classification of the Porter & Moss Bibliography. The Bibliography’s subdivision into areas.nuances peculiar to archaeological data: uncertain or multiple dating of some monuments. but was meant to relate its data to a map.

inserted. and M. which in our opinion was a medium point between tradition and innovation and between the different national schools’ conventions. Mariette and De Morgan).BMS = Between the Monastery of Apa Jeremias and the enclosure of Sekhemkhet TPU = Tombs of position unknown The order of notation follows the Bibliography’s list. The owner’s name. no number).  P. monitored tombs (3). all the remaining tombs. like the tomb of Herimeru-Merery . to report the numbers given by archaeologists to the discovered tombs (for instance. Hannig 1995. Double numbers.. Initially. BN1.  Owner.1. tombs object of environmental analysis (10). 1. It denotes the project phase: 3. there is the abbreviation nn. when possible. 2. it seemed easy to distinguish. It is the tomb number given by the Porter & Moss Bibliography (if lacking. which is the same number assigned by archaeologists who worked on the site. Bresciani N. In Saqqara there are many tombs which could be ascribed to at least two different typologies. otherwise in order of discovery.  Typology. for instance. between mastabas and rock-cut tombs. For the new entries we adopted the same system as Porter & Moss: that is. 1999. and then goes on with the new entries. transcribed in international characters according to the model of Hannig Lexica (R. 2000). but actually we had to admit that in different cases such names (especially the traditional mastaba) are arbitrary. No. refer to the notation given by different archaeologists (for instance. with the second one in brackets. MAFP for the tombs of the French mission of the Bubasteion).  Level. in an area’s north-south order.

 Period. We tried.  Main building material. OTHER DATA OF THE MAIN DATABASE  Discoverer and discovery year. The notion of shaft tomb itself is debatable. Martin 1981). The scientific definition of the Egyptian tombs’ typologies will have surely to be reviewed in the future. .(APU22). yet it is missing in the Porter & Moss Bibliography. Though it is almost always reductive. It allows the direct visualization. which was settled in the Annotations instead. to be more accurate than the Porter & Moss Bibliography. especially between Architects and Egyptologists. at least in this phase of the project. partly built in limestone and mud bricks. It is an important piece of information. had some kind of superstructure. a building made mainly of mud bricks is likely to be more at risk than a limestone one. partly cut in the living rock. as it is almost certain that all tombs of this kind. Reflections upon typologies have occupied a great deal of our debates. it is nevertheless useful for the GIS classifications and for the evaluation of architectural and environmental risk: for instance. 2C2. to input in this entry the dating by sovereigns.  Location. There are also the nonfunerary. of the history of the exploration in Saqqara. thanks to the GIS system. All the dynasties and the longest periods have been considered. like the mud brick “blocks” (NSP239-44) discovered by Martin south-west of the main temple of the Northern sacred Animal Complex (G. non-templar buildings. We chose to avoid.T. at least a little chapel with a false-door stela. using a larger number of landmarks. in every period. when possible. This entry was added on request by the experts in preservation.

enrolling for that purpose some consultants: our competent assistant Hebat Allah and Annalisa Malaguti. We added instead. in particular. Annalisa. the latest and the existing bibliographies about the many monuments added to the bibliography. We took into consideration. Egyptologist Ehmad Khater made personally an inquiry asking Saqqara’s senior inspectors. collapsed rooms) or by the walling of the doors using authority. we reported the year of closing. when possible. especially when Italian experts could not be there.  Annotations. which makes them actually inaccessible without a SCA authorities decree. in addition to the opening and closing to the public. significant On details of about the the owner or the Edda monument’s usurpation. either completely or in such a way that access is averted. In order to obtain such information. an Egyptologist and collaborator of the archaeological attachée of the Italian Embassy Maria Casini. making herself very useful. Accessibility. nor that about the finds discovered in the tombs. As for closed tombs.  Bibliography. which the inspector’s office often did not have. Under this entry we input the exact dating by kingdom. in order not to burden the database. materials. where possible. about the typology and the building request scientific director . We input the monuments’ general bibliography taken from the Porter & Moss Bibliography. the inaccessible tombs are those whose entrance is prevented by structural conditions (for instance. the use of tombs as storehouses as well. We did not input the bibliography about each decorated surface. The re-buried tombs are those buried again by sand and drifts. collaborated occasionally also in collecting archaeological data and in surveying in Saqqara.

there often are interventions of restoration.  New general photos. surveys and graphic reconstructions of the elevations taken from publications.  Relatives. The photos shot over the last two years by our photographers. These are the photos taken from the archives of Saqqara’s inspectorate. Generally. only relatives whose names are included in the tombs’ text are reported. though. As for the monuments already accounted for in the Bibliography. We realized. As for the new entries. . we only transcribed the main titles reported by Porter and Moss. Among the excavations carried out after the discovery of a monument.  Excavations. sometimes translating in English the entries originally in Egyptian transcription. and sometimes from the publications. 2C.  Old general photos.  General Drawings. in order to offer a more complete description of the monument’s history. we later input the finds preserved in museums and already accounted for on the Bibliography. we chose ourselves the most significant titles. which in Egypt is almost always traditionally entrusted to archaeologists.Bresciani. that if we had more time it would have been better to input titles transcribing them from the hieroglyphs.3 THE SECONDARY DATABASE  Titles of the Owner. Plants. in order to avoid different interpretations and thus have useful archives for all scholars to understand the officers’ allocations in homogeneous areas of the necropolis. Carlos de la Fuente and Kirols Barsum.

The general description includes an interesting implication for scholars. with entries divided by architectural items and decoration items. that is how many internal rooms it has got. inserted in the original flooring of the rooms. The entries denote whether basic architectural and decorative items are present. are inaccessible. This entry is dedicated to the thirteen monuments of phases 2 and 3. General Description. if there are a sarcophagus in situ and architectural ornaments of great value. which many publications do not even  Detailed Description. . with the essential purpose to serve as caption for the walls’ pictures and especially for the photomosaics prepared by Carlos de la Fuente and Paola Galli. like for instance the famous statue in Ty’s pillared room. in order to estimate the risk coefficient. since the most part of the monuments mention. The offering tables too are meant as non removable offering platforms. It was not always possible to check personally. so as to make the computer (and therefore the automatic) evaluation of the monument’s “worth” possible. as it allows to search for characteristic architectural items in Saqqara. the presence of original floorings and ceilings. We are of course speaking of quantitative value indexes: the size of a certain tomb. like false-door stelae and statues. how many of its rooms are decorated. such as the subsidiary pyramids of the temple-tombs of the New Kingdom. It is a perfectible computerization system of the monuments’ basic data. or the presence of colonnades. hypostyle rooms and serdab. still inside the tomb. The latter are meant as statues which are integral part of the architecture.

191-202. we least of all). 203bis. we have then 35 tombs discovered by Firth. which. in the same area there is a mud brick shrine discovered by Martin in 1971 (NSP239) and two tombs of the III dynasty discovered by Smith and Jeffreys in 1975-6 (NSP215-6). two De Morgan’s (the archaic walls WSP33-34) and two Bresciani’s (ESP31-2). probably the Bibliography’s authors were faced with an almost complete lack of documents. As far as the tombs discovered by Firth are concerned. And the exclusion of the “destroyed pyramid” Lepsius XXIX (PS09) appears to be a mistake (nobody’s immune. 231-34). If we separate monuments by the archaeologists who discovered them. besides. 227-8. 240-4). the monastery of Apa Jeremias. some of which are well documented in the volumes of the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 219-26. 230. were not inserted. We chose to insert at least the most . 229. 99). is understandable. 204-5. and all the others on the north plateau (NSP171-85. 217bis. Most of them are monuments of the north plateau. 235). the 13 new entries discovered by Emery are all on the north plateau (NSP52bis. In other areas of the necropolis. we have: 26 of them discovered by Quibell. all of them mud brick mastabas of the north plateau (NSP186-90. two of which are in the area around Teti pyramid (ATP88. 203. The new records Of the 169 new entries of the database added to the 442 already there in the Porter & Moss Bibliography. While the exclusion of a non-pharaonic monument.2D. has a quite troubled excavation history. therefore to tombs which could be inserted in the last edition of the Bibliography. except for the monastery of Apa Jeremias (BMS61). choosing the best documented and the most important monuments. as I said many times. 206-14. 83 refer to excavations prior to 1976. there are then two Lepsius tombs (PS09 and ATP104). The Bibliography’s authors decided not to insert these monuments certainly in order to make a selection (this is definitely the case with the about 500 Quibell’s tombs). the fact remains that the tombs discovered by Emery at the end of the Sixties. 217-8.

161-188. 262-281. ibidem. ASAE I (1900). The 86 monuments discovered in the last twenty years bear witness to a remarkable enthusiasm in excavating a site which has still many secrets to reveal. 150160. the New Kingdom was underestimated to date in Saqqara. “Le mastaba de Samnofir”. Barsanti A. The modern archaeology’s historical sense will be able to give in the future a much more complete picture of Saqqara’s three thousand years of history. (1900a). our purpose was to create a database related to a map.remarkable structures. We chose to be “looser” about Quibell too. . Barsanti A. It is certain that during the less recent excavations the Coptic layers. with a few exceptions. like Loret’s excavations between 1897 and 1899 just in the area north-east of Teti (V. pp. And even a detailed map such as ours could not include thousands of “minor” burials. 2000). Ziegler 1997. Bibliography • • • • Barsanti A. especially if the archaeological research will be planned in relation to the general historical view of the archaeological site. even because of the old habit to knock down the later structures to reach the Old Kingdom layers. Together with the Late and the Coptic period. pp. pp. thus proving that this period is the less represented in the modern research on the site. “Les tombeaux de Psammétique et de Setariban”. (1900b). (1900c). ibidem. 230-261. like those of the late period and even of the New Kingdom – it is the case of the area north of Teti – were destroyed without documenting them. most of all. and Maspero G.. re-examined and summarily described by W. ASAE I (1900). Christiane Ziegler’s recent excavations north of the Unas causeway testify the presence also in that area of Coptic settlements over the Old Kingdom structures (C. Nevertheless. pp. but we had no time in this first phase. we would have liked to input every single documented or somehow signalled funerary shaft. No less than 59 among the new discoveries date back to the New Kingdom. inserting tombs which we thought to be worthy of mention in size and findings. and.S Smith in 1932 (Reisner 1936). Loret 1899). Barsanti A.

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