Step Pyramid At Saqqara, Egypt

by David Padfield

Step Pyramid at Saqqara, Egypt

Around 2650 B.C., King Zoser of Egypt commissioned a royal burial chamber to be built at Saqqara, near Memphis. Thousands of limestone blocks from the quarries at Awsan were transported 450 miles from Aswan to Saqqara.

It is very likely that Imhotep was the architect who planned Egypt's first large-scale stone monument: the Step Pyramid at Saqqara.

"The first real person in known history is not a conqueror or a king but an artist and a scientist -- Imhotep, physician, architect and chief adviser of King Zoser (ca. 3150 B.C.). He did so much for Egyptian medicine that later generations worshiped him as a god of knowledge, author of their sciences and their arts; and at the same time he appears to have founded the school of architecture which provided the next dynasty with the first great builders in history." (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Volume One, p. 147).

Imhotep was also the high priest of the influential sun cult centered at the temple of Heliopolis. In later years Imhotep was worshipped as a god, and Zoser was remembered as the greatest king of the Third Dynasty in Egypt.