Sakkara (säkäˈrä) [key], necropolis (burial place) of ancient Memphis, Egypt, 3 mi (5 km) from the Nile and on the border of the Libyan desert. Zoser had his famous step-pyramid, a precursor of the familiar straight-sided pyramid, built there in the III dynasty, and on the grounds are many pyramids that date from the V and VI dynasties. The Serapeum, burial place of the Apis bulls, dates from the later period. The oldest dated papyrus (VI dynasty) was discovered there in 1893.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.