Zoser Step Pyramid in Saqqara
Step Pyramid of Zoser: The Pharaonic civilization in Egypt has many to see and explore. The ancient Egyptians imported building temples, pyramids, and tombs because of their belief and the importance of religion. The pyramids in Egypt are many, over 100 pyramids. The pharaohs imported building the pyramids as tombs of kings and putting with them their treasures, furniture, food, and everything they needed in life beyond.
The Pyramids of Giza are the most famous in Cairo but there are also other pyramids of great importance like the Step Pyramid of Zoser in Saqqara. The Saqqara Complex is the most important in the city of Memphis (the ancient capital of Egypt).
The History of the Pyramid of Zoser
It was built by the order of King Zoser in the third dynasty in the 27th century BC. Its architect is Imhotep (the first architect in ancient Egypt). The Pyramid of Zoser was known as “Dyeser Deyeseru”. It is considered the prototype of the Giza Pyramids and the other pyramids. Before Zoser, the royal tombs were subway chambers covered by mastaba (rectangular adobe structure) but the tomb of King Zoser was six huge mastabas, one on top of the other.
King Zoser chose his place in the south of the city of Memphis on the west bank of the Nile River. It is 30 km from Cairo. In the complex, there are other tombs of clouds and rulers like Kagemni, Mereruka, Ankhmahor, and Ti.
The Construction of the Step Pyramid
Imhotep thought of building the pyramid in this staggered form so that the soul of the King would ascend to heaven. The base of the pyramid was a square mastaba of 63 m. Then it was enlarged twice, first it was square of 71 m and then enlarged on one side towards the east and it was rectangular 71 m and 79 m.
Three levels of mastabas were added and thus the pyramid had four levels. It was enlarged again, the base was rectangular 85 m and 77 m. Then it was enlarged and two more mastabas were added. So there was a pyramid of 6 mastabas (overlapping of smaller and smaller mastabas) of 60 m in height and a rectangular base of 140 m and 118 m. The pyramid was built of limestone.
Around the pyramid there is a wall, built of Tura limestone, its height is 10 m. The wall is surrounded by 14 bastions with 14 false gates. The only access is near the south of the east side.
Inside the Step Pyramid
The Step Pyramid was built in several stages. The last two levels of the Pyramid were built with more than 200 thousand tons of stone. The best view of the Pyramid is from its east side. It was covered by limestone but it disappeared due to erosion but it is clear in some parts of the east side. There are eleven wells of 32 m depth that lead to horizontal passages where there are two sarcophagi and more than 48 thousand ceramic and stone vessels from the I and II dynasties. The King’s chamber is in the center of the Pyramid at the end of a 28 m deep well. The chamber was built of red granite and closed by large granite blocks.
Zoser’s Step Pyramid is not only in Saqqara. There is a Temple with three grooved columns in the southeast of the pyramid. There is also the Serdab is that a king’s chamber with a statue of the pharaoh. There are some buildings like chapels where there is nothing. In front of these buildings, there are two tribunes.
There are also the South House and the North House decorated with grooved columns. To the north of the Pyramid, there is a funeral temple. There is a Great Pit (6 m wide and 39 m deep) inside the southern wall, leading to a room and a granite chamber.
Your vacation in Egypt with Jakada Tours Egypt
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the mysteries of the Pharaonic land. A trip to Cairo is very interesting because Cairo mixes the historical, the modern, the Christian, and the Islamic. Also the cruise on the Nile between Luxor and Aswan and many attractive places in Egypt. See our travel packages to Egypt and book your best vacation.