home | travelogue | itinerary | photos | history | books
Previous Kingdon Next Kingdon
Previous Dynasty Next Dynasty


Titulary what's this?
Horus Name

Neb-khau  "Horus, the Lord of Apparitions

Nebty Name

Neb-khau-nebty  "Nebti, the Lord of Apparitions

Golden Horus Name Netjery-num, "THe Two Golden Falcons"
Praenomen Sahure, "He Who Is Close to Re"
Nomen Sahure, "He Who is Close to Re"
Manetho Sephris
King Lists Sahure
Alternate Names Sahura, Sahure, Sahoure, Sahoura
Dates what's this?
manetho reigned 13 years
turin canon reigned 12 years
piccione 2517--2505 BCE
egyptsite 2456--2446 BCE
  2487--2475 BCE
krauss 2490-2475
von beckerath 2471-2458
malek 2447-2435
redford 2506-2493
dodson 2464-2452
allen 2458-2446
Predecessor Father Userkaf
Successor Brother Neferirkare
Co-regent Possibly Mother Khentkawes
Associated People
Father Userkaf
Mother Khentkawes I
Brother Neferirkare
Burial Place
Pyramid Complex in Abu Sir
Pyramid Complex at Abu Sir, Kha-ba-Sahure
Sun Temple, Sekhet-Re, unknown location
Palace Uetjesneferusahure, "Sahure's Splendor Soars Up to Heaven", unknown location

Sahure is fairly well attested -- with a pyramid complex built at Abu-Sir. He is the pharaoh who established the Egyptian Navy -- his pyramid has extensive carvings of the fleets, and he had a diorite quarry near Abu Simbel. Militarily, however, he is shown only fighting against the Libyans, and there is some discussion that the inscriptions and carvings are only ritualistic, not historic. He had contact with the Near East, probably diplomatic, and is shown with a fleet returning from Byblos. Other inscriptions say that Sahure is responsible for expeditions to Punt and far into Nubia.

His biography was found in the tomb of Perisen at Saqqara and on the false door of the tomb of Niankhsakhmen at Saqqara. According to the Turin king list, Sahure ruled for 12 years, which is corroborated by the Palermo stone (which notes 7 cattle counts).

Most likely, Sahure's father was Userkaf, and his mother, Khentkawes, is later titled, "Mother of Two Kings" -- both Sahure and his brother Neferirkare ruled Egypt. Because his brother succeeded him, it is assumed that he had no children to carry on after him. No wife or children are attributed to Sahure.

Sahure also built a Sun Temple, called Sekhet-re ("Fields of Re"), and although it is well described, it has not yet been found and some have assumed that he did not build his own tempe, he modified his father's and renamed it. A palace -- called Uetjesneferusahure, "Sahure's Splendor Soars up to Heaven" -- is also known from the inscriptions, but it has not been found.

In addition to the reputed Sun Temple, he also built a pyramid complex at Abu Sir, just a bit north of Saqqara. He probably built in Abu Sir because his father had already built there. When the pyramid complex was excavated in the early 1900s, the quality of the reliefs found had never been seen before. Some of the red-granite pieces are still on the site, and are considered masterpieces of Egyptian art.

The pyramid itself, however, was certainly not built to the same standards. The inner core was roughly hewn stone, held together with mud mortar in many areas, and when the casing stones were removed, it collapsed, like Userkaf's pyramid before it. The burial chamber was dug out separately and covered over by stone blocks and debris. The structure of this pyramid is much like those of the Third Dynasty, and ignored the well-learned lessons of the fourth Dynasty pyramid builders, Cheops, Chephren, and Menkaure.

Today, only a bit of the inner structure remains in the pile of rubble. It is unstable, and cannot be accessed today. From earlier descriptions, however, inside the north entrance is a short corridor lined with red granite and the gabled-roof burial chambers. A fragment of a sarcophagus was found inside when the pyramid was first entered in the early 19th century.




Neferirkare (Kakai)


Pyramid, Abu Sir
Sun Temple
Tomb of Ptah-Shepses