Pyramid Complex of Unas



The last king of the 5th Dynasty, Unas, built his pyramid complex close to the south-western corner of the enclosure wall surrounding complex of Netjerikhet at Saqqara
This pyramid complex is thus located at the opposite corner of
Netjerikhet’s complex as the complex built by Userkaf, the first king of the 5th Dynasty, and between the complexes of Djoser and Sekhemkhet, both of the 3rd Dynasty, as part of the diagonal between the pyramid of Sekhemkhet in the southwest and the pyramid of Teti, which was to be built later, in the northeast.

Unas with others in the background (97-3929-25)

The Pyramid of Unas, with Netjerikhet’s Step Pyramid and Userkaf’s Pyramid in the background.

The mortuary temple of this complex, which traditionally extends to the east of the main pyramid, was built on top of the substructure of the 2nd dynasty tomb assigned to Hotepsekhemwi. It is very likely that almost nothing subsisted of this older tomb’s superstructure at the time Unas had his monument built.

The name of this funerary complex was name of the pyramid nfr-s.wt, “the (most) beautiful of places”.


The complex consists of all the standard elements: a main pyramid, to the east of which are located a mortuary temple and a small satellite pyramid. 
A long causeway connects the mortuary temple to a valley temple, at some distance to the southeast of the pyramid. Parts of the valley temple are still preserved.

Interactive map of the funerary complex of Unas at Saqqara, with the Valley Temple (top right) and the Mortuary Temple and Pyramid (below). Click the little circles to learn more.
Source: Lehner, Complete Pyramids, p. 154.

A Queen’s pyramid has never been found, which suggests that Unas does not appear to have had a pyramid built for his queen(s)

Click the thumbnails below to learn more about Unas’ funerary complex.

© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017