The Saqqara Necropolis through the New Kingdom

Biography of an Ancient Egyptian Cultural Landscape


This book is the first comprehensive monographic treatment of the New Kingdom (1539–1078 BCE) necropolis at Saqqara, the burial ground of the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis, and addresses questions fundamental to understanding the site’s development through time. For example, why were certain areas of the necropolis selected for burial in certain time periods; what were the tombs’ spatial relations to contemporaneous and older monuments; and what effect did earlier structures have on the positioning of tombs and structuring of the necropolis in later times? This study adopts landscape biography as a conceptual tool to study the long-time interaction between people and landscapes.
Open Access
Download PDF

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Nico Staring, DPhil (2016), Macquarie University, Sydney, is a postdoctoral researcher (Chargé de recherches) of the F.R.S.–FNRS at the University of Liège. He has published numerous journal articles and book chapters about Ancient Egyptian funerary archaeology and tomb iconography.
List of Figures, Plates and Tables

1 A Quiet and Desolate Plateau, Once Bustling with Life
 1.1 Introduction
 1.2 The ‘Walking Dead’ at Saqqara
 1.3 Problems and Research Questions
 1.4 A Few Notes on Landscape Archaeology
 1.5 Landscape Biography
 1.6 Structure of This Study

2 Exploring Landscape: Layerdness, Temporality, Authorship
 2.1 The Layered Landscape
 2.2 Landscape and Temporality
 2.3 Landscape’s Temporal Paradox
 2.4 The Landscape Connecting Moments in Time
 2.5 Landscape Authorship
 2.6 Pitfalls of Desired Life-Paths
 2.7 Landscape, Temporality, and Heritage Practices
 2.8 Landscape and Social Norms

3 The Memphite Necropolis at Saqqara in the New Kingdom
 3.1 Topography of the North Saqqara Plateau and Its Eastern Escarpment
 3.2 The North Saqqara Wadi’s: A Network of Desert Roads
 3.3 The River Nile and Its Changing Floodplain
 3.4 A Scattered Cemetery?
 3.5 The Necropolis as a Space Inhabited by the Living and the Dead
 3.6 A Myriad of Tomb Numbering Systems (and Their Absence)
 3.7 Introducing a New Tomb Numbering System for the Saqqara New Kingdom Necropolis
 3.8 Memphite Tombs and Tomb Clusters Not Included in This Study

4 The Unas South Cemetery
 4.1 Extent of the Cemetery
 4.2 History of Excavation
 4.3 Notes on the Site before the New Kingdom
 4.4 The New Kingdom before the Amarna Period
 4.5 The Expanding Cemetery in the Reign of Amenhotep III
 4.6 The Amarna Period
 4.7 Post-Amarna Period: Reign of Tutankhamun
 4.8 Excursus: The Memphite Tomb of Horemheb
 4.9 Transition of the 18th to the 19th Dynasty
 4.10 The Cemetery’s Lateral Growth in the Early 19th Dynasty
 4.11 Reign of Ramesses II, First Half
 4.12 Reign of Ramesses II, Second Half
 4.13 The ‘Labyrinth’ at Its Most Complex: Towards the End of the New Kingdom

5 The Teti Pyramid Cemetery and the Cliff of Ankhtawy
 5.1 Setting the Scene
 5.2 A New Kingdom Cemetery Founded on the Remains of the Old Kingdom
 5.3 Methodological Problems with Virtually Recreating a Largely Lost Cemetery
 5.4 Notes on the Extent of the Cemetery
 5.5 A Cemetery of Pit-Burials
 5.6 Evidence for Above-ground Markers of Pit-Burials
 5.7 The Earliest Evidence for Tomb Chapels: Reign of Amenhotep III
 5.8 Late 18th Dynasty: Amarna and Post-Amarna Period
 5.9 Ramesside Period
 5.10 Rock-Cut Tombs in the Cliff of Ankhtawy

6 The Dead and the Living in the Memphite Cultural Landscape
 6.1 The Place of the Tomb in the Memphite Cultural Landscape
 6.2 The Sokar Festival at Memphis
 6.3 From Object to Landscape: The Sokar Festival and the Stela of Ptahmose (mma 67.3)
 6.4 The Cemetery En Route to the Serapeum
 6.5 Temples of Millions of Years and Their Relationship to the Necropolis
 6.6 On Wadi’s and Pyramid Causeways: Accessing the Teti Pyramid Cemetery
 6.7 Closing Note on the Landscape of the Living East of the Teti Pyramid Cemetery and the Cliff of Ankhtawy

7 Saqqara through the New Kingdom: Synthesis and Final Thoughts
 7.1 A Cultural Landscape Forever in the Making
 7.2 Unas South Cemetery
 7.3 Teti Pyramid Cemetery and the Cliff of Ankhtawy

Catalogue of New Kingdom Tombs at Saqqara

This book is of interest to students and scholars, libraries, and institutes of Egyptology, archaeology, cultural anthropology, and cultural geography; in particular those interested in landscape archaeology and mortuary studies.
  • Collapse
  • Expand