Saqqara Step Pyramid “The Pyramid of Djoser”
The evolution of Saqqara Step Pyramid began with an astonishing monument built for one king and designed by a skilled architect.
Saqqara Step Pyramid is an archeological remain in the Saqqara necropolis that is located northwest of the city of Memphis in Egypt and was built 4700 years ago. It was built in the 27th century during the third dynasty of the pharaoh Djoser. It was the first Egyptian Pyramid to be built, it consists of 6 mastabas, and it is 60 m high. It is one of the most enigmatic structures built outside of the Giza Plateau. This magnificent tomb was designed and built by Djoser’s great architect Imhotep. It consists of six steps which makes it similar to the ziggurats of the ancient Mesopotamian city-states.
Facts About the Step Pyramid of Djoser
- Saqqara Step Pyramid is the only pyramid from the old kingdom that 11 of the king’s daughters were buried inside.
- It is considered to be an experimental structure in ancient Egypt.
- This pyramid was initially a mastaba tomb but some expansions happened and its structure evolved six layers built upon each other.
- A lot of people don’t know that there are tunnels beneath the pyramid stretching across a labyrinth of 5.5 kilometers in length.
- It was totally built from limestone.
The Inner Description of the Pyramid
The pyramid has four sides. The northern side is the main entrance of the pyramid, there is a room on the north-western side of the pyramid where there is a beautiful limestone statue of King Djoser. This statue was removed to The Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
On the southern side of the Pyramid, there is the second entrance that people have to get in to enter the pyramid. This entrance leads to a colonnade consisting of 40 columns which were built to ensure the safety of the ceiling. There are small rooms in-between these columns where you can find an amazing statue for Djoser as a ruler for Upper and Lower Egypt.
Imhotep has built a temple for Djoser so that he can practice his rituals throughout his afterlife. This temple is known as a Hep-Sed temple. There are two buildings behind the temple which are known as the northern and southern houses in which the king is supposed to host his dignitaries who came to attend his rituals.
How Long Did it Take to Build the First Pyramid?
It took about twenty years to be built with about 100,000 slaves, it took another 10 years to connect the Pyramid with the Valley temple below.
Information about Djoser, Djoser was the first king of the third dynasty of Egypt. He was highly respected during his reign. He is the son of Khasekhemwy (c. 2680 BCE) and queen Nimaathap and his wife was Queen Hetephernepti. He was an ambitious builder for temples and monuments.
The King’s Burial Chamber, Beneath this pyramid at the deep of 28m, there is the burial chamber of the king Djoser. It reveals fragments of the king’s granite sarcophagus.