Pyramid of Unas

Old Kingdom, Dynasty IV; 2494-2345 BCE




Unas was the last of a line of Vth Dynasty kings whose small pyramid (originally only about 18 1/2 meters high) is typical of the diminished size of later pyamids. His pyramid lies in ruins but its importance can not be underestimated for in its underground burial chambers are the earliest Egyptian funerary texts, carved in long columns of hieroglyphs on the walls. These are known as the Pyramid Texts, originally a literature reserved for kings but after the fall of the Old Kingdom, the texts began to appear on the coffins of noblemen and high officials as well .
 

From the northeast

Near the eastern face a small mortuary temple once stood. The pyramid is entered by a passage in the north face.
 
A causeway leads from the ruined mortuary temple to a valley temple, also in ruins. Some sections have been reconstructed. Two dummy boats were also excavated from pits near the causeway. (See the "solar boat" at Giza.)
The roof was cleverly designed with a central angled slit in order that indirect light could shine on the walls, which were originally inscribed and painted. The angled slit also prevented rain from harming the decoration.




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© 2001 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. (I would appreciate being told if you find them useful.) They are not available for commercial purposes without my explicit permission.

Page maintained by Mary Ann Sullivan, sullivanm@bluffton.edu