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Serapeum in Saqqara


Serapeum in Saqqara located northwest of the step pyramid of King Djoser, it was discovered by the Egyptologist (August Mariette) in 1848.

Serapeum in Saqqara


Serapeum is the name given to every temple, or religious structure dedicated to the worship of the god Serapis, asthe calves were sacred worshiped in ancient Egypt, during the Ptolemaic period, it was mummified like kings, and the most luxurious jewels were placed with them in the burial, there are many Serapeum in Egypt, Italy,  Saqqara, Alexandria, and in Rome, Serapeum in Saqqara is the most important and complex in its rare engineering.

Serapeum in Saqqara

Serapeum in Saqqara

 Serapeum plan

It is a tomb in the form of an underground cellar,as It consists of a group of tunnels, they are 400 meters long, it was carved in the heart of the rock of the Saqqara plateau and not in the sand, which requires double effort, making believing that it was done by using only a human hand in carving it, a very difficult thing, however, the tunnel was excavated with unparalleled precision and craftsmanship.

Serapeum in Saqqara

Serapeum in Saqqara

These tunnel descends with a step staircase, it has only one door, which is considered to be the entrance and exit at the same time, then, it begins with a straight main corridor, it's about 136 meters long, with wooden floors, but glass which is in the floor now, to preserve the original wooden floor of the corridors, on either side of the corridor, there are 24 vaulted burial chambers carved into the rock, these burial chambers do not face each other, but they were dug alternately so, as not to put pressure on the soil on which they are dug.

Serapeum of Saqqara black box

Serapeum in Saqqara

Each burial chamber contains a huge sarcophagus, made from high hardness rocks such as (red granite - black granite - basalt - quartz), These types of stones came from quarries located in the south of the country, such as (Luxor, Aswan, Sudan, Sinai, the Red Sea, and Fayoum), these types of solid rocks can only be dealt by diamond cutters, which was not available at that time, although all the internals and external angles of the sarcophagus are 90 degrees, as it was carved with complete precision, we have to know that, the sarcophagus inside are polished, shiny, and reflecting the light of lamps, despite the thousands of years since they have been carved.

They are 26 very well-done sarcophaguses, the body weight of the coffin is 70 tons, its cover weighs about 30 tons, a while the height of the sarcophagus ranges between 3 and 4 meters, its width reaches 2.5 meters, and its length is 3 meters, these means that it needs approximately 500 men, to move each sarcophagus, all of the sarcophagus were found empty and closed, with an exception for one sarcophagus.

Historical studies in Saqqara

Historical studies in saqqara indicate that the first calf which was buried in Serapeum Saqqara was during the reign of King Amenhotep III, but unfortunately this cemetery was stolen since early ages, and it contained many wall paintings that shows the degree of respect and reverence for the calf by all people in ancient Egypt.

It should be noted that King Farouk tried to move one of the coffins from the tunnel, he used many workers and mules, but they could not move it from its place with an exception a few meters, so they left it in the same place until now.

Statues of Greek poets and philosophers

Statues of Greek poets and philosophers located In front of the entrance, such  as (Socrates, Aristotle and Plato), they were found in a semi-circular building.

Serapeum in Saqqara

The restoration processed  of Serapeum in Saqqara lasted ten years, at a cost of 12.5 million pounds.

Entrance Fee Of  Serapeum 

  • Entrance Fee Of Serapeum is 150 LE for foreigners, 75 LE for foreigners student, 20 LE for Egyptian, and 5 LE for the Egyptian student.


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Asmaa Ahmed

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