In the heart of the ancient great city of Memphis lies one of the most important archaeological sites in the history of Egypt “The step pyramid of Djoser”. Saqqara pyramid is responsible for transforming the face of architecture forever by starting a near eternal wave of majestic constructions such as the great pyramids complex of Giza.
The step pyramid was constructed in 2700 BC in the third dynasty about 4,700 years ago to carry the tomb of Pharaoh Djoser (2721-2780 BC).
Saqqara Pyramid Facts
Saqqara pyramid was designed by one of the wisest and intelligent characters in ancient Egyptian civilization, the Vizier “Imhotep”. The step pyramid performed its duty as the final ever-lasting place for Zoser, it was also responsible for launching a new way for the pharaohs to immortalize their legacy and innovate in the art of architecture.
Saqqara pyramid became the main display in the center of a massive mortuary complex within an enormous courtyard surrounded by the most enchanting ceremonial structures and breathtaking carving and decorations.
Saqqara Pyramid Design
When Imhotep made the brave to build a square-based pyramid inside of an extraordinary complex, he didn’t realize that he just transformed various main elements about the ancient Egyptian civilization through the millennia.
Saqqara pyramid is known for being the oldest large-cut stone construction built by man in history as it consists of six mastabas made of limestone on top of each other on a base of 109 m x 125 m (358 ft x 410 ft), gradually getting smaller in size as the steps ascended and stands at the total height of 62 m (203 ft).
Saqqara Pyramid Architecture
Saqqara pyramid’s four sides are almost perfectly aligned with the four cardinal points and it was built to be a part of a complex that consists of a northern, and southern house, the court where the festival of Heb-sed took place (a celebration occurs when a king spends 30 years on the throne) and an impressive rectangular surrounding wall measures 277 m x 544 m. It is surrounded by a 10.5 m high wall consisting of 14 doors, and one main entrance which was for the living as for the false doors, they acted as a portal for the pharaoh’s soul to cross over to the afterlife. The mummy of the king is in a tomb beneath the base of the pyramid in the heart of a tunnel maze.
Under the pyramid are a labyrinth of little corridors, galleries, and tunnels that have the depth of 28 m, a length of 6 km and connect through a central shaft of 7 sqm which contained more than 30,000 jars made of various types of stone, slate, marble, alabaster and many others. The burial chamber is 13 feet long and is encased in granite but was, unfortunately, the victim of tomb raiders over the centuries but many historical facts and names of rulers from the first and second dynasties where discover thanks to the Saqqara pyramid.