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Step Pyramid of Djoser

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Step Pyramid at Saqqara

Step Pyramid at Saqqara

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Definition:

The Step Pyramid of the Old Kingdom pharaoh Djoser [ruled about 2668-2649 BC] was the very first of any of the pyramids built in Egypt, built during the Old Kingdom's 3rd Dynasty. The pyramid and its related buildings are located at Saqqara; the pyramid itself is 254 feet tall, with seven steps.

Djoser's tomb, as is the case with most other pyramids, is located deep beneath the pyramid, about 95 feet below the present day surface. Several vividly painted walls were inlaid with blue tiles. When the site was excavated in 1934 by Jean-Philippe Lauer, he found a mummified left foot, believed to be all that is left of Djoser.

The Step Pyramid is said to have been built for Djoser by that master architect and ancient Egyptian legend, Imhotep, although that may be a misinterpretation of the data. Nonetheless, Imhotep has certainly gained a long-lived reputation.

Sources

Mark Lehner. 1997. The Complete Pyramids. Thames & Hudson.

Rosalie F. Baker and Charles Baker III. 2001. Ancient Egyptians: People of the Pyramids. Oxford University Press, London.

More on Egyptian Pyramids

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Also Known As: Djoser's Pyramid, Step Pyramid at Saqqara
Alternate Spellings: Zozer's or Zoser's Pyramid

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