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Pyramid of Pepy II in Saqqarah

The Pyramid of Pepy II is located in the southern section of the Necropolis of Saqqara. King Pepi II ruled the country for about 94 years, longer than any pharaoh. His pyramid has a complex with a mortuary temple, a causeway and a valley temple. Some of the depictions of these temples manifest multiple scenes of making offerings, of some daily life activities, of the Sed-Festival celebration, of war and of courtiers bringing tribute. Pepi II’s pyramid is built much like those of his predecessors, using small pieces of limestone secured with a clay mortar for the five-step core and fine white limestone for the casing. The reason why the pyramid itself was enlarged remains unfixed. After the casing was laid and the north chapel built, a band of brick of nearly 7 m wide was added around the pyramid at the level of the third layer of core blocks. In order to complete this work, the north chapel and enclosure wall were both torn down, though the wall was built back a little farther from the pyramid. This mud-brick work did not rise above the height of the perimeter wall. Edwards suggested that this addition might have been to strengthen the pyramid after it was damaged by an earthquake, but the mud-brick was really not strong enough to be used for this purpose. It may have been added in order to strengthen the lower levels of the casing. Others have suggested that the builders wanted the pyramid to resemble the Hieroglyph for “pyramid”, with a band across the base, or even that it may have symbolized one of the Sed-festivals. Measuring 52 m, the pyramid was built of small pieces of limestone. Inside the pyramid, Pepi II’s burial chamber has a black granite sarcophagus. The ceiling of the chamber is painted with stars; and the walls are carved with some Pyramid Texts.

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