Friday, May 18, 2012

I love Saqqara

What amazed me about Saqqara was actually not the pyramids rather it was the villages of Saqqara(go figure) and the villas.  There are the greenest palm trees, grass, and wheat fields amongst Spring flowers and dirt roads with donkeys(Egypt loves to get around with the donkeys), kids playing, and locals biking around(boy I am repetitive sorry friends).  What is amazing is the architecture and structure of the homes that is very unique to Egypt with cryptic designs and heart shaped doors.
In Saqqara, there are some of the oldest schools for the craft of carpet making.  There are also many locals specializing in pottery(sculpting pots on the streets).  There are a few different "Art villages," which I missed but want to come back to revisit.  The private villas are so nice and luxurious-I really want to have my own villa one day. 

The pyramids were nice(no tourists and pretty empty).  My favorite part was the Ihotep Museum, which was small but quite interesting with nice pieces.  I did not see Dhoser's step pyramid because my friend said you need to take a sand buggy to get there, but this really is the highlight of Saqqara-oh well. 

Here is some better information on Saqqara:

Saqqara[pronunciation?] (or Sakkara, Saqqarah; Arabic: سقارة‎) is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, serving as the necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis. Saqqara features numerous pyramids, including the world famous Step pyramid of Djoser, sometimes referred to as the Step Tomb due to its rectangular base, as well as a number of mastabas (Arabic word meaning 'bench'). Located some 30 km (19 mi) south of modern-day Cairo, Saqqara covers an area of around 7 by 1.5 km (4.3 by 0.93 mi).
At Saqqara, the oldest complete stone building complex known in history was built: Djoser's step pyramid, built during the third dynasty. Another 16 Egyptian kings built pyramids at Saqqara, which are now in various states of preservation or dilapidation. High officials added private funeral monuments to this necropolis during the entire pharaonic period. It remained an important complex for non-royal burials and cult ceremonies for more than 3,000 years, well into Ptolemaic and Roman times.
North of the area known as Saqqara lies Abusir; south lies Dahshur. The area running from Giza to Dahshur has been used as necropolis by the inhabitants of Memphis at different times, and it has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.[1]

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