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There was a short period of confusion after the death of Unas. He left no acknowledged heir, so it was his son-in-law Teti who took the throne. He married Unas' daughter Iput (also spelled Ipwet) to legitimize his reign. (Remember that royalty was a female trait and all pharaohs had to marry a royal woman to be considered legitimate). His daughter, Sesheshet (alto called Watet-khet-her) married his vizier, Mereruka and their fabulously decorated mastaba tomb is in Saqqara. It was the first "Egyptian Tomb" we visited on our trip.
Not only is Teti's rise to the throne problematic, so is the length of his reign. In the turin list, the n umber of years he reigned is unreadable, and the last year we can attribute to him was the year of the sixth cattle count (which means roughly 11 years). Manetho says more than thirty, which is pretty much considered unreliable. Most egyptologists agree that 10-12 years is closer to the truth. From his statue, found near the pyr armid and now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, he was a middle-aged man while he ruled.
Not surprisingly, many of the officials and administrators from Unas' reign remained during the rule of Teti. With the earlier reign of Djedkare, the administrators of the different regions had gained more and more power. Teti seemed intent on stabilizing the central government again. Nothing is shown about military campaigns or tirade agreements, although it is assumed that the diplomatic contacts to the north and south remained. He quarried in the south and imported timbered for building from Syria.
Teti granted lands to Abydos by decree, and he is also the first known pharaoh with links tot he cult of Hathor in Dendara. In Abydos, reliefs show that he exempted the area from taxes, probably because of a bard harvest or inundation. Even as late as the Middle Kingdom and the 19th Dynasty, he was honored as "Teti, Beloved of Ptah".
His pyramid, called "The Pyramid which is enduring of places" is a small one, built in the southern area of Saqqara, about a hundred meters from Djoser's complex. Like his predecessor, Unas', pyramid, the burial chamber is decorated with the Pyramid Texts. Inside the burial chamber was found an undecorated sarcophagus containing the arm nd shoulder of a mummy, presumably his.
The pyramid is much ruined -- only a small hill remains in the middle of the complex. It was discovered by Perry in 1839 and has been excavated many times in the recent century. It was excavated in the 1850s by Marriette, but it was engulfed by sand soon after. It i currently the only pyramid at Saqqara open to visitors, despite the fact that part of the burial chamber is collapsing.
Near his pyramid lie several well-preserved satellite, or subsidiary, pyramids. The py armid of his wife, Khuit was discovered in 2898 and was originally though to be a mastaba tomb. His wife, Iput' pyramid was only discovered in the beginning of the 20th century.
The valley temple and causeway for his pyramid complex have not been excavated, although outside of the main pyramid complex are the tombs and small pyramids of his consorts, wives, and viziers. Mereruka and Kagemni are well-known tourists sites, with excellent reliefs. Mereruka's tomb is the largest in Saqqara, with 32 rooms for himself, his wife, and his son, Meri-teti.