Monuments and Sites of Ancient Egypt

- The Pyramid Complex of Pepi I -

  Saqqara Pyramid of Pepi I:   Pepi I
  Pyramid of Pepi I   Location and Structure    
        Mortuary Temple    


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Pepi I was the first king of the 6th Dynasty have built his pyramid complex in Saqqara-South. His two immediate predecessors, Unas and Teti, had chosen the vicinity of the Step Pyramid complex of Djoser in Saqqara-North as their last resting place.

Pepi chose the high desert to the northwest of the pyramid of Djedkare, of the 5th Dynasty. His pyramid is the northernmost royal monument of Saqqara-South.

The name of this complex , mn-nfr, "the beautiful monument" would later be used for the city that lay to the east, and would be rendered in Greek as Memphis.


The Pyramid Complex of Pepi I comprises all the elements that by the 6th Dynasty had already become standard: a pyramid with to the east of it, a mortuary temple and a satellite pyramid and further to the east a causeway that lead towards a valley temple.

Pyramid Mortuary Temple


Location of the tomb

Map of Saqqara, highlighting the location of the pyramid of Pepi I.

Clickable map of part of the pyramid complex of Pepi I.
Source: Lehner, Complete Pyramids, p. 158

In the late 1980's, an enormous mound of debris and rubble located to the south of the main pyramid was examined by a French team of archaeologists. They found four or possibly even five smaller pyramids with adjourning mortuary temples that once belonged to Pepi I's queens. The queen for whom the eastern most of these pyramids was built was called Nebwenet. She bore the titles 'beloved wife of the king'. The queen of the second pyramid bore the name Inenek/Inti and the third queen, whose name is not (yet) known bore the titles 'eldest daughter of the king'. A stela inscribed with the name of Meritites, 'daughter of the king and wife of the king' has led to the discovery of a fourth pyramid and even a fifth queen's pyramid has been found.