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Pyramid of Teti


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The pyramid of Teti, the first pharaoh of the 6th Dynasty, suffered enormous damage from quarrymen who removed not only the covering and a good part of the blocks of granite in the adjacent funerary temple, but also the limestone slabs within the monument.  The access passage which opens on the north side leads into a vestibule and then to the burial chamber.  The walls of the inner chambers are decorated, as in the 5th Dynasty pyramid of Unas, with hieroglyphic inscriptions, a good portion of which were smashed by stone quarrymen.   Only in recent times have they been restored.

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Vestibule leading into Burial Chamber The burial chamber, vestibule and entrance corridor of the pyramid of Teti are inscribed with the Egyptian funerary texts known as the Pyramid Texts following the example set by Unas.   The Pyramid Texts are the rituals and hymns that were said during the burial.  The spells were intended to help the pharaoh's soul to find Re, the sun god, in the afterworld.   Before the 5th Dynasty, nothing was engraved on the walls of the pyramids.

 

Detail of Pyramid TextsDetail of the pyramid texts in the pyramid of Teti.  His cartouche is easy to pick out amongst the hieroglyphs.   The texts, elegantly carved in vertical columns on the walls, contain formulae and invocations designed to ensure the survival of the pharaoh.  The decorations in these rooms were never completed, perhaps because of Teti's premature death.  According to the Greek historian Manetho, Teti was assassinated by his guards.

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All pictures are Copyright 1998 - 2001 Grisel Gonzalez

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