The funerary complex of Hotepsehemui

(Underground labyrinth of Saqqara)

Hetepsehemui - the first Pharaoh of II Dynasty II of the Old Kingdom, who reigned after 2890 BC. e. The name "Hetepsehemui" can be translated as the "Double power of the World." Pharaoh Hetepsehemui is considered to be the founder of the II Dynasty of Egyptian pharaohs. Inscription of the name "Hotepsehemui" was found near mastaba of Kaa in Abydos. According to the official version, the Pharaoh was buried in Saqqara in the underground labyrinth, which is partially located under the Pyramid of Unas.

So, welcome to the underground labyrinths of Saqqara!


Labyrinth is represented by the main Central Gallery, located in a few meters from the Pyramid of Unas, along it's eastern side. The Gallery has many perpendicular passages, which, in their turn, have secondary passages, and etc. In the south-east of the Pyramid of Unas, there are two pits. These pits are the result of the collapse of the Central gallery ceiling (the first three pictures in the first row). The entrance to the labyrinth is located on the north-east of the Pyramid of Unas (the last two photos of the first row.)


The following pictures are showing the Central Gallery. Lets pay attention to th perfectly straight walls, created in the native limestone rocks of the Saqqara plateau. The ceiling of the Gallery is made of limestone blocks, which can keep the weight of sand and gravel of 4 meters of thickness.







Two first pictures below are showing the sector with collapsed ceiling. On the second picture we see the material, which fills the space between the ceiling level of the Central Gallery and the level of the Saqqara plateau. Thus, it is possible to make a clear conclusion that the Central Gallery of the labyrinth was created by trenching technology. Then the ceiling blocks were put on the desired heigh of the digged trench, after what the four-meter backfill was laid along its entire length, filling the space from the ceiling blocks up to the last geological layers of the vertical section of the plateau.

But if we turn aside, we immediately notice the change of technology. The walls of the latheral passages are not parallel to each other. Ttogether with the ceiling and the floor they are making a trapezoid form, diverging towards the ceiling. Lets note that a similar tunnel construction technology
was used in Giza.

In contrast to the ceiling of the Central Gallery, ceilings of the latheral passages do not have ceiling blocks. They and their secondary rooms are cut in the rock.






The last two pictures of the upper row showing the portcullis down (two of four). The passage is cut through the fallen portcullis. The whole Central Gallery has been divided into 5 parts by four limestone portcullis.

Following further to the south along the Central Gallery, towards the rooms (b) and (c), according to the scheme, we see the second collapse of the ceiling, which is shown in the first and second row of the pictures below.





The areas of ​​sector (b, c) are filled with sand and impossible for getting inside.




Whether the labyrinth has it's continuation beyond the perimeter, shown on the scheme in the beginning of the chapter - is unclear. But lets note, that there is a gully in the north of the Pyramid of Unas, which is very likely the Central Gallery of the labyrinth.


There is an assumption, that this labyrinth is connected with the so-called "Persian tombs" - underground galleries, located in the south of the Pyramid of Unas.


<< Bact to Saqqara

Discuss >>



© Copyright 2013 of ISIDA Project. All rights reserved.