Saqqara, Egypt has recently been in the news owing to the discovery of another pyramid. The Pyramid is thought to belong to Sesheshet, mother of king Teti, the first King of the Sixth Dynasty whose pyramid is also located at Saqqara.
This brings the number of discovered pyramids in Egypt to 138, the last one being that of Menkauhor, which was rediscovered about five months ago in Saqqara.
The Saqqara plateau is a vast, ancient burial ground located on the west bank of the river Nile some 30 kilometres south of Cairo and covers an area of around 7 kilometres by 1.5 kilometres and features the oldest standing step pyramid in the world. This step pyramid was designed by Imhotep for King Djoser (c.2667-2648 BC). It is the oldest complete hewn-stone building complex known in history. It is also the location of the Imhotep Museum which opened in 2006. It is also where the tomb of King Menes, the first pharaoh of Egypt lies.
During the period when Memphis was the capital of Ancient Egypt, Saqqara served as its necropolis. Although it was eclipsed as the burial ground of royalty by Giza and later by the Valley of the Kings and Queens in Thebes, modern-day Luxor, it remained an important complex for minor burials and cult ceremonies for more than 3,000 years, well into Ptolemaic and Roman times.
The plateau forms the very edge of the great Sahara desert, in which the river Nile has scooped out its bed. The escarpment rises about 30 m above the valley; it consists of limestone cliffs alternating with sandy slopes and interrupted by a number of wadis or dry river beds. On the west, the Saqqara plateau is cut off from the high desert by another, less conspicuous wadi.
At a casual glance, no one would expect that this barren landscape could support any living thing. But in the dry river beds there are the occasional tiny source of water which is enough for a small bush to cling to survival. I saw a total of five and around each were the foot prints of feral dogs and birds.
Pictures are in the Middle East gallery but be patience I'm having problems uploading!