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Zoser's Funerary Complex - Step Pyramid

Anyone who has ever seen pictures of Egypt, or studied the history of architecture has seen the marvel of Saqqara, the Step Pyramid. Halfway between a flat, loaf-like mastaba and the true pyramids that are so iconic of Egypt, the Step Pyramid is really astounding.

LIke most of the things we saw in Egypt, I wasn't prepared for the sheer size of things. The step pyramid is big..I mean, really, really big. From the photos, I expected something as big as a building, but the complex is amazing.

The pyrmiid was bult for Zoser -- you'll also see his name spelled Djoser or Djozer -- who reigned 2667-2648 BCE. It is his architect, Imhotep, who is considered to be the first architect. (You might recognize the name from the movie The Mummy, by the way!) The pyramid here is a prototype of the late pyramids, the smooth-sided pyramids. It was originally a mastaba and then built up in stages to the current size of six enormous steps. It was originally faced in the fine white Tura limestone found in Memphis, but like most places it has been stolen and used for other buildings.

The pyramid is 62.5 meters high, and rectangular in shape, 121 x 109 meters. The tomb of Zoser himself is buried under the pyramid in a deep shaft. On the eastern side of the pyramid are another eleven shafts, where the queens and royal children. Even though the shafts are plugged granite blocks, like giant corks, they were stil looted. Everthing is..

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