"Headless Pyramid"

The Headless Pyramid was discovered in 1842 by the German archaeologist Karl Lepsius, during his excavations at Saqqara. This Pyramid was called as the "Headless Pyramid" because of the the absence of its exterior.

Time passed and the Pyramid gradually sank under the desert sands. The attempts of archaeologists to find it once again - appeared in vain. Luck faced only to the archeology team of Dr. Zahi Hawass in 2008. A year and a half was spent on removing a seven-meter layer of sand, until the Pyramid was found again, 166 years later after Karl Lepsius' discovery.

After studying the available material, concerning this discovery, our group went to Saqqara. The greatest interest was paid to the grey sandstone lid of the sarcophagus, which was sharply contrasting against the background of the surrounding landscape.

Let's look at the "Headless Pyramid" in general.

(Click on the panorama image to get the picture in a high resolution.)

The remains of the interior of the Pyramid.

Everything, that remains from the ever towering over the Saqqara Pyramid - are the completely destroyed Descending Passage with granite blocks, damaged by erosion, and the "Burial Chamber" with the grey sandstone lid, which ever covered the sarcophagus. The splitters of the sarcophagus are placed in a heap near the lid. The main part of the sarcophagus was not found.

The following pictures are showing a general view of the interior of the Pyramid. The Descending Passage with granite blocks are shown on the last picture in the first row.


The pictures below are showing the Descending Passage in details. The basement is formed by the limestone blocks. Granite elements and portcullis are badly damaged by erosion. Some granite units have remained in their original places. In some places the pink cement holds granit blocks with a limestone foundation. Some of the granite blocks were removed from their original places and standing aside the main Passage.









The lid of the sarcofagus.

3D programming by Alexey Kruzer © avalon















The fragments of the sarcophagus.

The number of survived fragments of the sarcophagus is very small, but enough to understand the mechanism of the lock of the lid.

The lid moved along the groves, located at the top surface of the sarcophagus. The fragments of this sarcofagus part with the lock groves, are shown in the first row.







The pictures below, are showing the locking angle of the lid - "positive angle", while the sarcophagus - has a sharp "negative angle". This combination provides a strong vertical fixation of the lid against the sarcofagus. Horizontal fixation of the lid was provided by the two vertical rods. The fragments of sarcophagus with two holes are not found yet, but we can assume, the lock worked as follows: the cover slid into the horizontal grooves of the sarcophagus while the rods were inside the vertical holes of the lid, and their length was the same as the height of the holes for them. The sarcophagus had a matching vertical holes, but their depth was half-height of the holes in the lid, which contained the locking rods. When the holes of the lid coincid with the holes in the sarcofagus, the rods fell down halfway, thus fixing the cover forever.

3D programming by Alexey Kruzer © avalon


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