Lepsius list of pyramids

For a modern list of Egyptian pyramids see List of Egyptian pyramids

The Lepsius list of pyramids is a list of sixty-seven ancient Egyptian pyramids established in 1842–1843 by Karl Richard Lepsius (1810–1884), an Egyptologist and leader of the "Prussian expedition to Egypt" from 1842 until 1846.

Members of the Prussian expedition to Egypt celebrate Frederick William IV's birthday on the summit of the Great Pyramid of Giza

The Lepsius list of pyramid is the first attempt at systematically listing all the Egyptian pyramids, and as such, is a pioneering effort of early modern Egyptology. The list was published together with the results of the expedition in Lepsius work Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien (1849–1859).



Karl Richard Lepsius

Following the success of the Franco-Tuscan Expedition to Egypt under the leadership of Jean-François Champollion, the Prussian scientists Alexander von Humboldt and Robert Wilhelm Bunsen and the minister of instruction Johann Eichhorn recommended to king Frederick William IV that an expedition be sent to Egypt. Karl Richard Lepsius, who had learned of Champollion's method to decipher the hieroglyphs and had met Ippolito Rosellini of the Franco-Tuscan Expedition, was chosen to lead it.[1] The main aim of the expedition was to explore and record the remains of the ancient Egyptian civilization as well as to gather materials for the Egyptian Museum of Berlin.

The Prussian expedition assembled in Alexandria in 1842 and quickly departed for Giza, which was reached in November that same year. Proceeding north to south, Lepsius's men then explored the pyramids field of Abusir, Saqqara, Dahshur and, in 1843, Hawara. Lepsius and team stayed for 6 months in total at these locations, as the Prussian expedition was the first study and record Old Kingdom material in depth.[1]

In total, Lepsius and his men uncovered a total of 67 pyramids and 130 tombs.[1] The pyramids, dating from the Third Dynasty (c. 2686–2613 BCE) until the Thirteenth Dynasty (c. 1800–1650 BCE), were given Roman numerals from north to south, starting from Abu Rawash in the north. Although a few of the structures reported by Lepsius are now known to have been mastabas and other monumental structures (highlighted on the list below in light gray), the Lepsius list of pyramids is still considered a pioneering achievement of modern Egyptology. Lepsius' numerals have remained the standard designation for some of the pyramids.

The results of the Prussian expedition to Egypt, comprising the list of pyramids, were published in the Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien.[2]


Lepsius Number Location Modern identification Image
I Abu Rawash Pyramid Lepsius I  
II Abu Rawash Pyramid of Djedefre  
III Abu Rawash Pyramid complex of Djedefre, subsidiary pyramid
IV Giza Great Pyramid of Giza  
V Giza North subsidiary pyramid of Khufu's, G-Ia  
VI Giza Middle subsidiary pyramid of Khufu's, G-Ib  
VII Giza South subsidiary pyramid of Khufu's, G-Ic  
VIII Giza Pyramid of Khafre  
IX Giza Pyramid of Menkaure  
X Giza West subsidiary pyramid of Menkaure's, G-IIIc  
XI Giza Middle subsidiary pyramid of Menkaure's, G-IIIb  
XII Giza East subsidiary pyramid of Menkaure's, G-IIIa  
XIII Zawyet el'Aryan Unfinished Northern Pyramid of Zawyet el'Aryan  
XIV Zawyet el'Aryan Layer Pyramid  
XV Abu Gorab Sun temple of Nyuserre Ini  
XVI Abusir Unidentified brick pyramid
XVII Abusir Sun temple of Userkaf
XVIII Abusir Pyramid of Sahure  
XIX Abusir Mastaba of vizier Ptahshepses  
XX Abusir Pyramid of Nyuserre  
XXI Abusir Pyramid of Neferirkare  
XXII Abusir Small satellite pyramid
XXIII Abusir Small satellite pyramid
XXIV Abusir Pyramid Lepsius XXIV, queen of Nyuserre Ini  
XXV Abusir Double Pyramid, queen of Nyuserre Ini or Neferefre, could be a double mastaba  
XXVI Abusir Pyramid of Neferefre  
XXVII Abusir Completely destroyed, only an outline is visible
XXVIII Abusir Unfinished pyramid or a natural structure
XXIX Saqqara Headless Pyramid of Menkauhor Kaiu
XXX Saqqara Pyramid of Teti  
XXXI Saqqara Pyramid of Userkaf  
XXXII Saqqara Pyramid of Djoser  
XXXIII Saqqara North pavillon of Djoser's pyramid complex
XXXIV Saqqara South pavillon of Djoser's pyramid complex  
XXXV Saqqara Pyramid of Unas  
XXXVI Saqqara Pyramid of Pepi I
XXXVII Saqqara Pyramid of Djedkare-Isesi  
XXXVIII Saqqara Subsidiary pyramid to Djedkare's, unknown queen
XXXIX Saqqara Pyramid of Merenre  
XL Saqqara Pyramid of Ibi  
XLI Saqqara Pyramid of Pepi II  
XLII Saqqara Subsidiary pyramid of Pepi II's for his queen Wedjebten
XLIII Saqqara Mastabat al-Fir'aun of Shepseskaf  
XLIV Saqqara Pyramid of Khendjer  
XLV Saqqara 13th Dynasty structure
XLVI Saqqara Southern South Saqqara pyramid  
XLVII Dahshur Pyramid of Senusret III  
XLVIII Dahshur Mastaba, unknown owner
XLIX Dahshur Red Pyramid  
L Dahshur Lepsius-L Pyramid
LI Dahshur Pyramid of Amenemhat II
LII Dahshur Pylon of the temple of the pyramid of Amenemhat II
LIII Dahshur Pylon of the temple of the pyramid of Amenemhat II
LIV Dahshur Central Dahshur pyramid
LV Dahshur Mastaba of vizier Siese
LVI Dahshur Bent Pyramid  
LVII Dahshur Subsidiary pyramid of the bent pyramid  
LVIII Dahshur Pyramid of Amenemhat III  
LIX Dahshur Northern Mazghuna pyramid
LX El-Lisht Pyramid of Amenemhat I  
LXI El-Lisht Pyramid of Senusret I  
LXII El-Lisht Mastaba, unknown owner
LXIII El-Lisht Mastaba of Senewosret-Ankh[3]
LXIV El-Lisht Mastaba, possibly belonging to a private individual named Senusret[4]
LXV Meidum Pyramid of Meidum  
LXVI El-Lahun Pyramid of Senusret II  
LXVII Hawara Pyramid of Hawara, of Amenemhat III. Situated north of "The Labyrinth"  

Lepsius' mapsEdit

Lepsius drew maps of the locations his expedition visited and which regroup the pyramid listed above. They are presented below, from north to south.


  1. ^ a b c Peck 2001, p. 289.
  2. ^ Lepsius Denkmaler 2016.
  3. ^ Arnold 2008, pp. 13–24, pls. 2–7, 9–25, pls. 62–92, pl. 129–133..
  4. ^ Arnold 2008, pp. 24–26, pls. 26–31, pls. 62–92, pl. 129–133.


Arnold, Dieter (2008). Middle Kingdom Tomb Architecture at Lisht. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 978-0-300-12344-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
"Carl Richard Lepsius "DENKMÄLER AUS AEGYPTEN UND AETHIOPIEN"". Retrieved 8 May 2016.
Peck, William H. (2001). "Lepsius, Karl Richard". In Redford, Donald B. (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Volume 2. Oxford University Press. pp. 289–290. ISBN 978-0-19-510234-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)