Memphis and Saqqara
Your driver and guide will collect you from your hotel and take you 24 kilometres south of Cairo to visit the site of ancient Memphis, first capital of the unified Upper and Lower Egypt (3,200 BC). Little remains of the original mud-built city, but some impressive statues can be seen, including the giant alabaster sphinx and a limestone Colossus of Ramses II, laid on its side in a specially-built concrete shelter (pictured below). Continue to the extensive funerary complex of King Zoser at Saqqara, including the superb Step Pyramid, raised in the 27th century B.C., described by one historian as the “beginning of architecture”. Saqqara is today the largest archaeological site in Egypt. Your visit will concentrate on the northern containing the Step Pyramid and its vast funerary complex; you will also have the opportunity of visiting (including a camel ride if preferred) the exquisite Mastaba of Ti, discovered by Auguste Mariette in 1865. The reliefs inside this small tomb are wonderfully preserved and have provided us with much information about life in the Old Kingdom (see example below).