The Pyramid Texts of UNAS

by Wim van den Dungen

Burial-Chamber l Passage-way l Antechamber l Serdab

introduction l English text l plan of the tomb l commentary


ca. 2.75m x 2.08m


Sethe's Edition l Translation l Central Plan

Overall textual distributions :

The 9 texts in the corridor read from South to North, as it were away from the tomb chambers, going out. They consist of two sequences running on opposite walls arranged in such a way that both have exactely 20 lines of text. Although often called "entrance", this corridor is more like an "exit" by means of which the king finally leaves the pyramid and ascends to the Northern Stars, his ultimate abode.

Structural parts :


1. The Bolt of Babi

King Unas opens the double doors of the sky and gains power over water and the fertility throughout Egypt. Babi is a guardian of the threshold between our world and that of the deities. Babi draws back the bolt and Unas identifies with him to ascend. Finally, he is identified with Horus and then with Sobek, the crocodile god, associated with the coming of the Nile flood.


2. Companionship with Re

Unas has realized himself and has power over Earth & sky. He unites the Two Lands and is the cause of the rising of plants. The mercy and peace on the back of Osiris are brought to him and with them he rises to the sky, so that "King Unas may escort Re in the sky".

Comments :

These last texts connect the ascension of the divine king with fertility. Indeed, by ascending to the sky, the king assures the coming of the vital inundation. If deceased and as a companion of Re, he intercedes on behalf of his son Horus, the new king. If his reign is acknowledged by the pantheon, a "good" Nile will be the outcome and the royal cycle may start all over again.

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initiated : 18 VI 2006 - 14 XII 2010 - version n°3

© Wim van den Dungen