Pepi I was the first king of the 6th Dynasty have built his pyramid complex in Saqqara South. Two of his predecessors, Unas and Teti, had chosen the vicinity of the Step Pyramid complex of Netjerikhet 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
- to the east of the pyramid, a mortuary temple and a satellite pyramid
- a causeway that connected the mortuary temple to the valley temple further east.
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.
Click on the thumbnails below to learn more about Pepi I’s funerary monument.