The Pyramid 1.0: Step Pyramid of Djoser

The ancient Egyptians didn’t one day come up with the idea for the pyramids out of the blue, instead the idea was the result of the evolution of the mastabas, which means “bench” in Arabic, and is a funerary structure that they had been building for centuries.

The first version of a pyramid came when Djoser expanded on the traditional mastaba to add a smaller one on top of the first, then a smaller one on top of that, and one more, etc. This gave us the step pyramid in Saqqara, Egypt, and from the Step Pyramid came the famous pyramids that we all know and love.


Djoser was the first or second Pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty and ruled in ca. the 27th century BCE. His pyramid is the world’s oldest stone monument, according to my Lonely Planet guidebook. Before his pyramid, all of ancient Egypt’s structures had been built of mud brick instead of stone, so this was a major step up in terms of materials and longevity of the buildings.

Also of great importance was the architect who built his pyramid and funerary complex — a man named Imhotep. In addition to being an architect, Imhotep was also a physician (another word for doctor) and was eventually considered to be a god of medicine by the ancient Egyptians!

IMG_20180217_123901.jpgA refurbished section of the wall that once surrounded Djoser’s pyramid complex

IMG_20180217_124014.jpgThe incredible hypostyle hall at Saqqara. A hypostyle hall is a fancy way to say a room with lots of columns.

IMG_20180217_124132.jpgIMG_20180217_124342.jpgThis shot gives a clear view of the scaffolding, which was installed to prevent the pyramid from toppling over. Unfortunately, it’s in rough shape, so see it soon! IMG_20180217_130553.jpgIMG_20180217_131304.jpgIMG_20180217_131316.jpgArt work at the complex.IMG_20180217_131640.jpgScenes of daily life in ancient EgypIMG_20180217_131702.jpg
IMG_20180217_131734Do you see the animals and papyrus reeds?

IMG_20180217_131904.jpgYours truly, looking like he’s thinking. Ha!

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