Pyramid of Djedkare Isesi

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Haram el-Shawaf
(The Sentinel)
Pyramide Djedkare elevation.jpg
Djedkare Isesi
Coordinates 29°51′04″N 31°13′15″E / 29.85111°N 31.22083°E / 29.85111; 31.22083Coordinates: 29°51′04″N 31°13′15″E / 29.85111°N 31.22083°E / 29.85111; 31.22083
Ancient name Beautiful is Djedkare Isesi
Constructed 5th Dynasty
Type True pyramid (ruined)
Height 100 cubits (52.5 m)
Base 78.60 metres (150 cubits)
Slope 52°
Pyramid of Djedkare, Saqqara, 1990s
Reconstruction of Djedkare's pyramid complex

The pyramid of Egyptian pharaoh Djedkare Isesi was built at South Saqqara in the fifth dynasty. The translation of its ancient Egyptian name is Beautiful is Djedkare.[1] The pyramid was the first one to be built south of the main Saquara necropolis. Today, the pyramid is referred to as 'The Sentinel' (el-Shawaf) by the locals.[2]


Palmiform column from the pyramid complex

The complex includes the main pyramid, a satellite pyramid and an associated pyramid which is probably that of his unnamed consort, and is hence known as The Pyramid of the Unknown Queen.[3]

The core of the pyramid was composed of six steps of irregularly shaped limestone blocks.[2] Its original height was around 52 m. The angle of inclination was 52° and it has a base length of 78.75 m.[4]

Despite extensive counter measures which included three huge portcullises slabs, plunderers were still able to penetrate to the burial chamber.[2]

Modern excavation[edit]

The pyramid was first explored in 1880 by Gaston Maspero. In the 1940s the pyramid was excavated by Abdel Salam Hussein (his work on the site was never published).[2]

Upon entrance of the burial chamber a smashed dark grey basalt sarcophagus was discovered, a mummy estimated to belong to a fifty-year-old man was found amongst the debris. This discovery indicated that Djedkare-Isesi must have been very young when he ascended the throne given his 32+ year reign.[2]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Pyramid Complex of Djedkare-Isesi".
  2. ^ a b c d e " Pyramid & Mortuary Complex of Djedkare-Isesi".
  3. ^ The Pyramid of Dejedkare-Isesi
  4. ^ Lehner, Mark. (1997). The Complete Pyramids. (London:Thames and Hudson Ltd.) ISBN 0-500-05084-8. pg. 53.