From watching the UnchartedX videos, this is a place I really wanted to see, the ultra-precision boxes at the Serapeum. Supposedly pronounced: se-RAP-ee-um. The big mystery is how were these massive stone blocks moved here, hollowed out to such perfection, and placed in underground alcoves
They say this was a place to bury the sacred Apis bulls, but no bulls were ever found there and the boxes are strangely super precise on the inside. There was an older area nearby where they found Apis bulls buried in wooden coffins.
Wed, Oct 27: Saqqara, Egypt
How Old Are The Serapeum Boxes?
Mainstream Egyptologists date the boxes based on graffiti scratched on one of them to around 3000BC. The odd part is that the box construction shows that they had tools that could cut granite perfectly well. But why then are the carvings scratched in so crudely? Could the boxes at the Serapeum be relics from an older civilization that had the tools to create and move them, then someone later on scratched the outside?
TIP: When you visit the Serapeum, go straight to the end of the tunnel to the alcove with steps to the box that is accessible for close inspection. You should have some time there by yourself while everyone else is busy looking at the earlier boxes which are all roped off to discourage touching.
How I Was Struck Down by the Curse of the Serapeum
There’s a pesky “security guard” aka tip magnet, that works in the Serapeum. They tend to hang out at the end of the tunnel near the publicly accessible box. In the alcove across from there, is a roped-off set of stairs to visit another box. If you tip accordingly, you’re invited down to see the another box. All the other boxes have a simple low rope to suggest that you not enter any other alcove.
While the guards are busy taking tips, there’s an opportunity to visit other boxes on your own. In the midst of trying to take a selfie inside one of the other boxes, disaster struck! I didn’t let it get me down and tried again with a different box – success!
2023 UPDATE: My injured shoulder was a nagging injury for a year before I tried Red Light Therapy which fixed it 100%. Amazing.
Come Inside the Tomb of Ty at Saqqara
Located nearby the Serapeum, The Tomb of Ty at Saqqara dates back to the 5th dynasty. Ty was a court official who held such titles as “Overseer of the Building Sites” and “Priest of the Pyramids of Kng Neferirkare and Niuserre”. There are some details reliefs depicting fishing, farming, hunting, and crafs.
The tomb is a traditional mastaba structure with several underground rooms. There is a sarcophagus there, but the rest of the tomb was looted in antiquity.
What is Special About Saqqara?
The massive, 100 ton Serapeum granite boxes are one of the most unique features about Saqqara. But it doesn’t stop there. there is the Step Pyramid an amazing structure itself. Under the step pyramid was found some 40,000 precision crafted stone jars and bowls. And all this was associated with the oldest generation of the dynastic Egyptians?
If you think those scoop marks on the Serapeum box lids were weird, check out the Unfinished Obelisk scoop marks in the Aswan quarry.
What do you think about these massive boxes in the Serapeum? Who built them? Let us know in the comments.
More info on the Serapeum is available in Ben’s UnchartedX five part Serapeum video. Or if you want to see more of Ty’s Tomb, checkout this Matterport virtual tour of the Tomb of Ti in Saqqara.
Part of the Ben UnchartedX Egypt Tour