What is a Step pyramid?
Egypt is not the only ancient culture to have built pyramids but they are certainly one of the first we think of when we think of the image of a large, multi-step pyramid. In fact, the earliest types of Egyptian pyramids were step pyramids, not the “true” smooth-sided pyramids that gained Egypt the most fame later on.
Dating from the 27th Century B.C
The Djosers Step-Pyramid was the first pyramid built under supervision of the architect Imhotep during the Third Dynasty. Construction of the step pyramid required that six mastabas (a then common type of tomb) be placed atop each other.
The Djosers Step-Pyramid is located in Saqqara, an ancient necropolis on the plateau above the Nile Valley. If you see this feature advertised on Egyptian tours then make plans to see it.
This pyramid was originally built for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by vizier and architect Imhotep at about the 27th century B.C. This pyramid is the center attraction of a vast mortuary complex in one massive courtyard. The decoration and construction of the pyramid combines stone as well as traditional materials such as wood, reeds or mud-brick.
Some speculate that the addition of stone could have been a notion of artistry, symbolism or even technological innovation.
What Else to See?
When you go and see the Djosers Step Pyramid on Egyptian luxury tours or budget tours you can look forward to seeing the unique look of the walls, originally designed to resemble woven mats, along with the 15 doorways, of which only one is the true entrance. The true entrance can be recognized by its colonnaded corridor with a wooden-log style roof, along with an entranceway with two large stone doors.
You will soon notice that in between the Southern Tomb and the Step Pyramid there is a wide-open area that seems suspiciously empty. It is believed that this court was used for ceremonies of kingship. There is also a mortuary temple within the pyramid complex and a courtyard that was used for various national and religious festivals.
This Step Pyramid was thought to be the most ancient large-scale stone construction still in existence, though it appears as if Gisr el-mudir, also located in Saqqara, was created first, possibly dating back to the Second Dynasty.
Sightseeing at Saqqara, including the Step Pyramid, is a popular activity on a variety of guided tours in Egypt. Make your plans to visit the Djosers Step-Pyramid, one of Egypt’s oldest and grandest creations.