Pyramid of Unas
Pyramid of Unas.
The Pyramid of Unas is a smooth-sided pyramid built in the 24th century BC for the Egyptian pharaoh Unas, the ninth and final king of the Fifth Dynasty. Although Unas reigned for around 30 to 33 years, his pyramid is the smallest from the Old Kingdom. It was built between the complexes of Sekhemket and Djoser in North Saqqara. The pyramid’s underground chambers remained unexplored until the Egyptologist Gaston Maspero gained entry in 1881. Inside, Pyramid Texts containing 283 spells for the king’s afterlife were found incised into the walls of the subterranean chambers; they constitute the oldest and best-preserved corpus of religious writing from the Old Kingdom. Unas’s pyramid is the oldest one in which these funerary texts have been found. Unlike the later Coffin Texts and Book of the Dead, the Pyramid Texts were reserved for pharaohs and were not illustrated. Their function was to guide the ruler into eternal life.