Sakkara is part of the necropolis of the ancient capital of Memphis, about fifteen miles southwest of modern Cairo, where the pharaohs of the 3rd, 5th and 6th dynasties are buried.
It seems surprising that, having got this close, Girault de Prangey did not make more photographs of the pyramids. Possibly others were made which have survived unknown outside the archive, or perhaps there were difficulties which discouraged the photographer from further efforts here. His predecessor, Goupil-Fesquet, certainly encountered problems which would test anyone's patience. Sylvie Aubenas quotes from his own account of his attempts thus:
"Il me paraissait bien humiliant de rentrer au Caire sans ramener aucun souvenir des monuments les plus célèbres du monde, en dépit des dènigrements de mes compagnons qui menaçaient de jeter le daguerréotype au Nil, comme un baggage de sucroît; j'ai la patience, et à moi seul il est vrai, de préparer encore une dizaine de planches que je polis tant bien que mal et avec toute la rapidité possible; je m'avise de faire le contraire des prescriptions de M. Daguerre et, grace à cet expedient, j'obtiens successivement quatre et cinq épreuves tant du sphinx que des pyramides, en laissant les images exposées pendant quinze minutes au soleil."
This view shows the Pyramid of Unas, the last king of the 5th dynasty. Located to the south of the more famous Djoser, or Stepped Pyramid, it looks rather like a pile of rubble. However it is the first one to have the Pyramid Texts carved into its internal walls. These valued texts described the rituals which enabled the Pharoah to ascend to the starry heavens.
This is the only photograph of a pyramid in the archive of Girault de Prangey.