Saqqara Pyramid - An early exercise in pyramid-building (31 May)
Interesting Facts about Saqqara Pyramid
BUILT ABOUT A CENTURY before its larger counterparts in Giza, the Step Pyramid of Saqqara is an architectural wonder in its own right, and a profound example of how Egyptian tomb design made a giant leap between the 3rd and 4th dynasties. Commissioned by Pharaoh Djoser and designed by Imhotep, his chief minister, the tomb was originally intended as a massive mastaba—a flat, rectangular mausoleum in the style typical of previous rulers. A gifted architect and engineer, Imhotep decided to experiment with the design by placing a slightly smaller mastaba on top of the first and so on until the tomb comprised six tiers towering about 200 feet (61 m). Like the Giza Pyramids, it featured a warren of burial chambers.
Djoser’s tomb is considered the world’s first true pyramid. Such was its renown even during ancient times that Imhotep was deified after death and worshipped for many centuries after. His own tomb is most likely in Saqqara.
The archaeology park is entered via the Imhotep Museum and contains the pyramid of the pharaoh Teti, several ancient mastabas, and numerous nonroyal tombs. The Tomb of the Two Brothers—royal manicurists Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep—is decorated with statues and exquisite wall paintings.