Pyramid of Unas

Also found in the region of Saqqara is the Pyramid of Unas. Erected in the 24th century BC, the Pyramid of Unas was built for the Pharaoh Unas, who served as the final ruler in the Fifth Dynasty. Although the Pyramid of Unas was originally 43 meters (141 feet) tall, the pyramid is largely ruined today.

Photo credit: Phil

Photo credit: Phil

The Pyramid of Unas is significant in large part because it was the first of its kind to include what is now known as Pyramid Texts. The pharaoh had magical texts carved right into the walls that were designed to protect him in the afterlife. Several pharaohs after Unas did the same thing, starting a common trend among Egyptian kings. In fact, it is believed that the Pyramid Texts were the inspiration for the later Coffin Texts and the Book of the Dead.

Made of limestone, the Pyramid of Unas was rediscovered by Western explorers in the 19th century, and a mummy was found in the tomb at that time. However, historians can’t be sure that the remains were in fact Unas, as they could have been from a later noble.