Djoser pyramid, Giza, Egypt
The Djoser Pyramid is one of ancient Egypt’s greatest accomplishments. This pyramid is the first of the traditional pyramids and one of the most important structures in Egypt’s history. The Djoser pyramid has survived the test of time and remains one of today’s most popular tourist attractions.
The Great Djoser pyramid is mostly referred to as the “Great Step Pyramid” because of its unique structure. The pyramid started out as a traditional mastaba. A mastaba is a burial structure, mostly made from mud, brick or stone, with a flat roof.
The Djoser pyramid is one 397 by 358 foot (~120 by 110 m) mastaba at its base. Five other mastaba shapes were later constructed on top of this base, each getting smaller in order. The height of this pyramid was around 200 feet (60m) when built. This type of architecture paved the way for the later traditional smooth stone pyramids.
The pyramid was built for the ruler Horus Netjerikhet, more commonly known as Djoser.
Djoser ruled during Egypt’s third dynasty between the years 2668 BC until his death in 2649 BC. Djoser is the most famous person to come out of the third dynasty because he was a great military commander, he made Egypt richer by mining gems and metals, and because of his monuments (most famous is the Step Pyramid). The builder of the pyramid was the vizier of Djoser, named Imhotep.
Imhotep was the world’s first named architect. Imhotep later rose to such a high position that he was declared “lord of all builders.” Without Imhotep's contribution to Egyptian architecture, the ancient Egyptian pyramids could have come out looking a bit different.
The ancient Djoser complex tops Egypt’s greatest attractions. Located in Saqqara, Egypt, visitors can walk the complex and gaze the 4650-year-old pyramid. Unfortunately, nobody can visit the interior of the pyramid.
There are many notable attractions inside the complex. The Enclosure Wall is a beautiful wall of light Tura limestone that surrounds the entire complex. The roof colonnade, the south tomb, and the south court are all very popular. If visiting, the most popular city to stay in is Memphis.
The entire Djoser complex was a monumental achievement in Egyptian history that proved to be a test of the architectural limits of their time. It was the stepping stone for all fourth dynasty style pyramids. The first of its kind, the Great Step Pyramid remains one of the greatest accomplishments of human history.