Photographer's Note

As I was visiting the ruins of Saqqara (Sakkara), Egypt, suddenly I saw that little girl carrying water for her family. She was going on the back her donkey through the ruins. At the background a guard on his camel inspecting the visitors.

Saqqara was a funerary area in Egypt, 20 km south of Cairo and Giza. The entire area covers 7 kmē. This was the necropolis for the first pharaohs, at the same time as Memphis was the capital, and has therefore the oldest pyramids of all. The tombs erected for Pharaohs at Saqqara belong to a period stretching from the 27th century to the 24th BCE, but the area was used for graves for millenniums after this time.

The most famous structure of Saqqara is the Step Pyramid of Zoser, which was built under control of the architect Imhotep. This belongs to the middle of the 27th century BCE, and was at its time the largest stone structure ever erected. It was originally constructed as a mastaba, a simple mud-brick structure, built over a tomb. Under Imhotep it was rebuilt 5 times. Eventually it rose 62 metres above ground, consisting of 6 steps, and was covered in white limestone. The excavations of Saqqara belongs mainly to this century, and the mortuary complex around the Step Pyramid of Zoser was not reclaimed from the sand until 1924.

Saqqara remains the main centre for Egyptian archaeology right now, and many tombs are still undiscovered.

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Additional Photos by Michael Pilitsis (Olympos) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 98 W: 24 N: 199] (1037)
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