Pyramid of Teti
The pyramid of Teti is a smooth-sided pyramid situated in the pyramid field at Saqqara in Egypt. It is the second known pyramid containing pyramid texts. Excavations have revealed a satellite pyramid, two pyramids of queens accompanied by cult structures, and a funerary temple. The pyramid was opened by Gaston Maspero in 1882 and the complex explored during several campaigns ranging from 1907 to 1965. It was originally called Teti’s Places Are Enduring. The preservation above ground is very poor, and it now resembles a small hill. Below ground the chambers and corridors are very well preserved.
The funerary complex
The pyramid complex of Teti follows a model established during the reign of Djedkare Isesi, the arrangement of which is inherited from the funerary complexes of Abusir. A valley temple, now lost, was probably destroyed in antiquity due to the place of an Old Kingdom temple dedicated to Anubis constructed there. A better-known funerary temple, revealed by James Edward Quibell in 1906, is connected to the valley temple by a causeway. The plan of the temple of Teti is also comparable to that of Unas, its immediate predecessor. Teti’s temple has a somewhat special plan, however, due to a deviation of the floor which traditionally should have been located in the axis of the temple but here is moved south. It then accesses the temple through a hallway of the north–south facade joining the east–west axis of the monument. Followed in this main axis is a second hall. The thickness of the walls suggests a vaulted cover. It was probably the “Room of the Greats”, on the walls of which the royal family and influential members of the court were to be represented assisting and accompanying the eternal journey of their sovereign.
The orientation of the pyramid is not aligned with the four cardinal points. However, the proportions and plan of the pyramid follow exactly the same pattern as that of the pyramid of Djedkare Isesi. The internal dimensions and slope are the same and it is otherwise very similar. Access to the burial chambers are located inside the adjoining chapel against the north face of the pyramid. The entrance hallway leads to a long descent of eighteen hundred and twenty-three metres. The entrance was once blocked by a plug of granite now lost. The descending passage was probably clogged along its length by large blocks of limestone that thieves have broken up. The debris still littered the passage at the time of discovery. In the descending corridor is a successive horizontal hallway, a vestibule, another hallway, a bedroom with harrows, a final corridor, and a final granite passage which opens into the funerary apartments of the King.