Pyramid of Teti


The pyramid of Teti measured 78.5 metres to a side. With its slope of 53°7'48" it rose to a height of 52.5 metres. Its dimensions and slope were thus similar to those of the pyramids of Teti’s predecessors and successors. 
Even in the way it was built, it followed the example of Unas and Djedkare: the core masonry was made of accreted blocks of stone, encased in fine limestone. 

Some of the blocks of the outer casing are still in place on the east side of the pyramid, but the rest has been carried away over the centuries by stone-robbers, causing the core masonry to be exposed and crumble down into the rounded mound of stones seen today. 

The core masonry of the pyramid collapsed over time when the outer casing was removed over the centuries by stone robbers.

The core masonry of the pyramid collapsed over time when the outer casing was removed over the centuries by stone robbers.

The pyramid is entered from the north side. The entrance is located at ground level, along the central axis. It was covered simply with some flagstones. A small rectangular entrance chapel was built directly above the entrance. The painted reliefs on its side walls showed the usual offerings bearers. A false door of black basalt was built against the back wall of the chapel. The roof of the chapel was made of a single limestone slab, decorated with a pattern of stars. The remaining pivot sockets indicate that wooden doors once closed the entrance chapel.

The substructure of Teti's pyramid is similar to Unas', be it that it is slightly larger. The walls of the descending passage are covered with granite. This passage opens into a small corridor chamber, followed by a horizontal passage. Three portcullises were intended to block the passage and prevent robbers from desecrating the burial.

The horizontal passage opens into the antechamber, that is located under the centre of the pyramid. To the east is a room with three niches, that perhaps contained some statues of the king. Opposite the three niches, to the west of the antechamber, the burial chamber can be found. But for its lid, which has been broken by tomb robbers, the basalt sarcophagus is very well preserved. It is the first to have had an inscription: a single band of the Pyramid Texts.

A view inside Teti’s Burial Chamber.

As was the case with Unas' pyramid, the wall's of the burial chamber, the antechamber and part of the horizontal passage are inscribed with Pyramid Texts. The texts are far more damaged than Unas', which is due to the poorer state of preservation of the pyramid's substructure.

© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017