Pyramid of Sekhemkhet

Monument in Saqqara, Memphis & Dahshur

Closed to the public because of its dangerous condition, the unfinished pyramid of Zoser’s successor Sekhemkhet (2648–2640 BC) is a short distance west of the ruined Monastery St Jeremiah. The project was abandoned for unknown reasons when the great limestone enclosure wall was only 3m high, despite the fact that the architects had already constructed the underground chambers in the rock beneath the pyramid as well as the deep shaft of the south tomb.

An unused travertine sarcophagus was found in the sealed burial chamber, and a quantity of gold and jewellery and a child’s body were discovered in the south tomb. Recent surveys have also revealed another mysterious large complex to the west of Sekhemkhet’s enclosure, but this remains unexcavated.