The complex of the Archaic Tombs was built on the edge of the Saqqara plateau during the 1st Dynasty. It was used and extended during the Old Kingdom, with most of the oldest mastabas closest to the Archaic Tombs. The large majority of these mastabas are dated to the 5th and 6th Dynasty and only a few to the 4th. This can be explained by the fact that during the larger part of the 4th Dynasty, Giza was the main burial place and by the fact that there appear to have been fewer high officials during this 4th Dynasty.
To the West of the Old Kingdom necropolis are located several cemeteries for the embalmed remains of the sacred animals.