Abu Sir

Abu Sir.jpg

Necropolis dating from the 5th Dynasty, forming part of the extensive necropolis of Memphis. Abu Sir is situated between Giza and Saqqara. The pyramid complexes of Sahure, Neferirkare, Nyuserre, Neferefre (Raneferef), and another as yet unidentified ruler of the 5th Dynasty (possibly Shepseskare) are located here. Further, there are a few tombs belonging to members of the court, including the pyramid complex of Queen Khentkaues, the mother of Sahure and Neferirkare, and the mastaba of the vizier Ptahshepses, a relative of Nyuserre. There are also some shaft tombs dating from the 30th Dynasty. Of the pyramids, that belonging to Sahure, with its valley temple, mortuary temple and processional way, is the best preserved. Part of the complex is a courtyard with a basalt floor and sixteen red granite columns. On the limestone walls were beautiful, painted reliefs (now in the Egyptian Museums in Cairo and Berlin). One of the corridors in the complex was used in the New Kingdom as a sanctuary for a local form of the goddess Sakhmet. One remarkable feature is that Nyuserre usurped Neferirkare's processional way for his own monument. A large number of Old Kingdom papyri were found in Neferirkare's pyramid complex, now referred to as the Abu Sir papyri. They contain information on how the mortuary cult of the king was run at that time. Near Abu Sir there are two sun temples, one built by Userkaf, the founder of the 5th Dynasty, and the other by Nyuserre at Abu Ghurab.