Not far to the south of Giza is the huge necropolis of Saqqara, which lies within an ancient city called Inbu-Hedj (the White Fortress). Saqqara does not have Egypt’s largest pyramids, however it has some of the most ancient tombs and pyramids including the Step Pyramid of Djoser which is often considered the first true pyramid. Saqqara has more royal pyramids than Giza and within these ancient pyramids are the first known inscriptions of the “Pyramid Texts.” Many of the tombs at Saqqara date to more than 5000 years ago.
The Pyramid Texts are believed to be the oldest collection of magical and religious spells from ancient Egypt. This collection forms the basis of much of the later religious theology and literature of ancient Egypt. The writings were eventually separated and categorized evolving into the Book of the Dead.
The Utterances of the Pyramid Texts are vast; containing various topics, some complex and some simple. The following is a rather charming prayer to recite while smudging or lighting incense:
The fire is laid, the fire shines;
The incense is laid on the fire, the incense shines.
Your perfume comes to me, O Incense;
May my perfume come to you, O Incense.
Your perfume comes to me, you gods;
May my perfume come to you, you gods.
May I be with you, you gods;
May you be with me, you gods.
May I live with you, you gods;
May you live with me, you gods.
I love you, you gods;
May you love me, you gods!
Pyramid Texts: Utterance 269