The tomb of king Nynetjer (c. 2785-2742 BCE) is located in the necropolis of Saqqara (Egypt) and is one of the four known royal tombs of the 2nd Dynasty. This labyrinth-like underground complex extends over an area of ca 77 x 50.5 m and is divided into 192 rooms, corridors, and small chambers. Numerous well-preserved pottery vessels, jars with seal impressions, stone vessels, stone knives, blades, wooden staffs, and baskets were found from the original tomb inventory.
The king’s tomb was discovered in 1937 by the Egyptian archaeologist Selim Hassan. The first systematic excavations, however, were only carried out by the DAI Cairo between 2003 and 2010. An architectural investigation provided, for the first time, an interpretation for the labyrinthine layout. Besides some storage space in its northern part, the layout imitates parts of a royal palace, a cult place, and a model residence with streets and house entrances.
The tomb’s structure was heavily disturbed by later burials. The entire tomb of the king and its immediate surroundings were used as a collective burial for over 3,500 years (until early Christian times).
Learn more about this fascinating royal tomb in our 2019-magazine (articles by C. M. Lacher-Raschdorff and K. Stövesand)