Builder: King Djedkare-Isesi
Constructed: 2414–2375 BC
Height: 52 meters
Location: South Saqqara
Djedkare-Isesi ruled for more than 32 years during the fifth dynasty. Information about his father, and mother are not yet confirmed by historians, but he is believed to be a close relative to Menkauhor. King Djedkar moved about 3 and a half miles from Abusir to build the first pyramid in Saqqara, which was relatively a new ground except for a mastaba that belongs to Shepseskaf.
The original name of Djedkare’s pyramid was “the beautiful of Isesi”. Now the pyramid is called al-sawaf which means the sentinel, because it was built on a high hill overlooking the village of Saqqara. The pyramid was badly damaged in antiquity, and it was excavated by archeologist Abdel-Salam Hussein who passed away before publishing his work. The entrance to the pyramid of Djedkare was at ground level, to the east of the pyramid’s north side. Traces of small limestone entrance chapel were discovered near the entrance for the first time, except for the place near the bent pyramid. From the entrance, a granite-lined passage descended to an almost horizontal corridor-chamber decorated with limestone. Followed by 3 gliding door slots. Beyond was another passage leading to an antechamber. Opening off the antechamber on the east side was the oblong burial chamber. To the east side were three magazines. The main burial chamber was constructed in an open shaft twenty night feet deep. The roof of the burial chamber was constructed of three layers of massive gabled limestone rafters. Pieces of alabaster and a faience bead on a gold filament were discovered in the burial chamber. Among the debris a 50 years old man mummy was discovered, as well as enough pieces of the dark grey basalt sarcophagus to have it reconstructed. It was sunk into the floor, as was a niche for the canopic chest, originally concealed by a slab.