Ancient Egypt - Pharaoh Userkaf

Updated: Nov 5, 2020


Userkaf, the first of the 5th Dynasty Sun Kings, was the grandson of Djedefre who built a pyramid just outside the northeast corner of Djoser's enclosure wall. Userkaf's pyramid is part of a larger mortuary complex comprising of a mortuary temple, an offering chapel and a cult pyramid as well as a separate pyramid and mortuary temple for Userkaf's Queen. The entire pyramid complex is terribly ruined and the interior of the pyramid is inaccessible.


The Pyramid of Userkaf

The pyramid was originally around 161 ft high with an inclination of 53° identical to that of Khufu's great pyramid. The core of the pyramid was built of small, roughly-hewn blocks of local limestone disposed in horizontal layers. This meant a considerable saving of labor as compared to the large and more accurately-hewn stone cores of 4th Dynasty pyramids. However, as the outer casing of Userkaf's

pyramid fell victim to stone robbers throughout the millennia, the loosely assembled core material was progressively exposed and fared much worse over time than that of the older pyramids. This explains the current ruined state of the pyramid.