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)
Base 78.60 metres
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.