Qakare Ibi

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Qakare Ibi was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, third ruler of the 8th Dynasty during the first intermediary period. The name Qa-ka-Re means "mighty / strong is the soul of Re". Qakare Ibi's main residence was in Memphis[1] and he probably did not hold power over all of Egypt.

His existence was established by the discovery of his small pyramid in South Saqqara which also continues the late Old Kingdom tradition of listing pyramid texts in his tomb. His name is mentioned in both line 53 of the Abydos King List and by the Turin Canon.[2] The Turin Canon assigns him a short reign lasting "4 years, 2 months and 1 day".[3][4]

Pyramid complex[edit]

Qakare Ibi was buried in a small pyramid at Saqqara-South. It was discovered by Karl Richard Lepsius in the 19th century and excavated during the 1930s by Gustave Jéquier. Ibi's pyramid is the last ever built in Saqqara, located to the northeast of Shepseskaf's tomb and near the causeway of the pyramid of Pepi II.[5] It is very similar in plan, dimensions and decorations to the pyramids of the queens of Pepi II, the last great pharaoh of the Old Kingdom. Consequently it was proposed that the pyramid was originally that of Ankhnespepi IV (ˁnḫ-n=s ppj, "Pepi lives for her") a wife of Pepi II, and was only later appropriated by Ibi.[6] Adjacent to the pyramid is a small chapel where the funerary cult took place. No trace of a causeway nor of a valley temple has been found to this day, and it is likely that there never was any.

Pyramid complex of Qakare Ibi, Saqqara.

The pyramid[edit]

Ibi's pyramid is not oriented to any cardinal point, being rather on a northwest–southeast axis. The edifice would have been around 31.5 metres (103 ft) large and 21 metres (69 ft) high with a slope of 53°7′ at the time of its construction. The core of the pyramid was built with limestone blocks of local origin, most of which are now gone, probably reused in later constructions. As a result, the monument appears today as a 3m high heap of mud and limestone chips in the sands of Saqqara. On some of the remaining blocks, inscriptions in red ink were found mentioning a chief of the Libyans, the meaning of which is unclear. Interestingly, it seems that even though the foundations for the outer casing of the pyramid were led, the casing itself was never mounted.

Internal structures[edit]

On the north side of the edifice, Jéquier found a 8 metres (26 ft) long limestone-clad corridor leading down with an inclination of 25° to a large granite portcullis.[7] Behind this portcullis lay the king's burial chamber. Both the corridor and the walls of the burial chamber were inscribed with the last known instance of the Pyramid Texts. The texts seem to have been directly inscribed for Ibi rather than appropriated by him. Jéquier judged the quality of the inscriptions as "very average".[7] Furthermore, the placement of the utterances appears relatively indiscriminate.[6] The burial chamber's ceiling was flat and decorated with stars. It was probably made of a single 5 metres (16 ft) long block of Tura limestone[7] now missing. Today a large block of concrete protects the chamber.

On the west side of the burial chamber is a false door and a huge granite block on which once stood the sarcophagus of the king. On the east side there is a serdab for the statue of the Ka of the deceased.


Adjacent to the east side of the pyramid is a small mudbrick chapel which served as temple for the cult of the dead king. The entrance of the chapel is located on its north side. Inside the temple, immediately against the pyramid wall is an offering hall where Jequier found a stone washbasin as well as stele or a false door of which only the foundations remain. An alabaster tray and obsidian mortars tools were also discovered there.

The south part of the chapel is occupied by magazine rooms.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ian Shaw The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt p.107
  2. ^ J. von Beckerath, The Date of the End of the Old Kingdom, JNES 21 (1962), p. 143
  3. ^ Column 4, row 11,
  4. ^ von Beckerath, p. 143
  5. ^ "Saqqara, City of the Dead: The Pyramid of Ibi" The Ancient Egypt Site
  6. ^ a b Rainer Stadelmann: The Egyptian pyramids. From brick to the wonders of the world. 3rd edition of Saverne, Mainz, 1997, ISBN 3-8053-1142-7, pp. 203-204.
  7. ^ a b c Gustave Jéquier, La pyramide d'Aba, 1935
  • Mark Lehner. The secret of the pyramids of Egypt, Orbis, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-572-01039-X, p. 164
  • Christopher Theis: The Pyramids of the First Intermediate Period. After philological and archaeological sources (= studies of ancient Egyptian culture. Vol 39, 2010). pp. 321–339.
  • Miroslav Verner. The Pyramids Universe Books, New 1998, ISBN 3-499-60890-1, pp. 415–416.
Preceded by
Neferkamin Anu
Pharaoh of Egypt
Eighth Dynasty?
Succeeded by
Neferkaure II