Abusir Site Background

Justin James has compiled a short backgroud on Abusir for anybody unfamiliar with the site.  As things progress, we may develop this over the coming weeks, but things are a bit pushed right now!

  • Located in Lower Egypt near modern Cairo
  • Ancient Egyptian pr wsir (House or Temple of Osiris), Greek Busiris
  • North of Saqqara, served as an elite cemetery for officials based in Memphis, though whether Saqqara and Abusir were regarded as separate localities by the ancient Egyptians is debatable
  • Particularly active in the Old Kingdom, especially from reign of Userkaf onward
  • Royal pyramids of the 5th Dynasty and several smaller pyramids (like Queen Khentkhawes)
  • Kings:
    • Sahure
    • Niuserre
    • Neferirkare
      • Abusir Papyri from the mortuary complex serve as a vital source of information on the administration of royal mortuary complexes, temple endowments, etc.
      • Pyramid town grew up within the mortuary complex
  • Sun temples of the 5th Dynasty (probable location, not confirmed)

Online resources:

Wikipedia (including useful map):  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abusir

Map of necropolis:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/98/Abusir_map.png

Waseda University excavation:  http://www.waseda.jp/prj-egypt/sites/Abusir-E.html


Tour Egypt:  http://www.touregypt.net/abusir.htm

Ancient Egypt Site:  http://www.ancient-egypt.org/index.html

Czech excavations:  http://egypt.cuni.cz/excavations.htm


D. Arnold. Royal Cult Complexes of the Old and Middle Kingdoms in Temples in Ancient Egypt, ed.  B ShaeferCornell University Press, Ithaca,  N.Y., 1997.
M. Verner “Remarks on the Pyramid of Neferirikare” MDAIK 1991

© Justine James, 2011

Last modified: February 2nd, 2011

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