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Saqqara Step Pyramid

Information About Saqqara Step Pyramid | Ancient Egypt | Egypt Tours portal

Saqqara Step Pyramid 

Saqqara Step Pyramid is a blast from the past that showcases the mentality and creativity of the ancient Egyptians to achieve immortality, create art, and honor the gods of ancient Egypt. This article's main purpose is to offer everyone all the information and details about the step pyramids of Saqqara. This article was written by a team of very skilled and professional tour operators, tour guides, knowledgeable scholars, and travel consultants who know all the details concerning the great Saqqara Step Pyramid.

The evolution of the pyramids can be traced back to the Saqqara Step Pyramid which is credited with launching a wave of miraculous constructions such as the three great Pyramids and a great leap in the field of architecture. The Step Pyramid of Saqqara laid the foundation for the rise of the three great Pyramids of Giza which stands as the most influential and majestic works of art and architecture ever created in the history of mankind till this day the step pyramid still continues to be a milestone in the evolution of stone architecture in Egypt and the entire world.

History

The step pyramid was constructed in the 27th century in the third dynasty about 4,700 years ago to become the final resting place of Pharaoh Djoser (2721 – 2780 BC) which makes the step pyramid of Saqqara also known to be a proto-pyramid which is considered to be the oldest large-scale cut stone construction ever created in the history of mankind. Most of the royal and elite ancient Egyptian during this time were buried in mastabas which is a type of funerary structure that was generally rectangular in shape and built over the tomb and located underground. Djoser wished to be buried in a new kind of structure.

It was designed by one of the most intelligent characters in ancient Egyptian history, his Vizier “Imhotep” to become a centerpiece in a massive mortuary complex in an enormous courtyard surrounded by the most majestic ceremonial structures and beautiful decorations. He is the first decided to build a simple mastaba tomb but decided to build a square-based pyramid inside of an extraordinary complex that changed the face of Architecture through the millennia. The pyramid was reopened for visitors in March 2020 after 14-years of restoration.

Djoser 

Saqqara step pyramids are known as the Pyramid of Djoser who was first or possibly the second king of the 3rd Dynasty ( 2670–2650 BC) during the Egyptian Old Kingdom ( 2686–2125 BC) and was known as king Netjerykhet who have ruled for 19 years which means her was able to witness his step pyramid fully completed. Djoser wished to have a unique construction that was the first of its kind as it used rock-cut limestone instead of mud bricks and stands out as an original and the first monumental structure ever made of stone which inspired many of his successors.

Architecture

Saqqara Step Pyramid has four sides which are almost perfectly aligned with the four cardinal points. The most important feature about the Step Pyramid is the first of its kind Djoser's Step Pyramid complex which contained several structures that were very important in helping the king reach the afterlife and be eternally reborn. It is surrounded by a 10.5 m high wall consisting of 14 doors and one entrance. The entrance was for the living as for the false doors, they served as a portal for the pharaoh's soul to cross to the afterlife.

The body of the king rested in a tomb beneath the base of the Pyramid in the heart of a tunnel maze. The burial chamber is 13 feet long and encased in granite filled with thousands of stone vessels inscribed with the names of earlier kings but was unfortunately robbed. Under the pyramid is a labyrinth with a depth of 28 m, a length of 6 km and that connects through a central shaft of 7 sq m and consists of galleries, little corridors, and tunnels filled with more than 30,000 jars made of various types of stone, slate, marble, alabaster and many others and many names of rulers from the first and second dynasties.

Construction of the Saqqara Step Pyramid

Saqqara Step Pyramid is famous for being the oldest large-cut stone construction which is a turning point in ancient Egyptian funerary monuments, that led to the total revolutionizing of stone architecture and royal burials. It consists of six mastabas made of limestone on top of each other on a base of 109 m x 125 m (358 ft x 410 ft) and stands tall at the height of 62 m (203 ft). The Volume of the step pyramid is 330,400 m3 (11,667,966 cu ft).

The step pyramids hold underground labyrinth-filled chambers and galleries reaching up to 6 kilometers under the step pyramid which is connected to 28 m-deep and 7 m-square central shafts which is very similar to the design of the great pyramids of Khufu. The Step Pyramid was discovered in 1926 BC by the French architect and Egyptologist Jean-Philippe Lauer who made great discoveries at the complex and basically creates our modern-day understanding of pyramid construction especially the Step Pyramid Complex. It was under restoration in the last 14 years and was opened in March 2020.

Step Pyramid Complex

The complex consists of the Step Pyramid, the House of the South, the House of the North, the Heb Sed Court(A Celebration Takes Place When a King Spends 30 Years on the Throne), the Serdab, Temple T, the South Tomb, and the Northern Mortuary Temple along with the surrounding wall which helped the king reach the afterlife and be eternally reborn. The House of the North and House of the South represent Upper and Lower Egypt. The Serdab ('cellar') is a limestone structure found near the northern entrance of the pyramid where a life-sized statue of Djoser, the oldest known life-sized Egyptian statuary extant ever found which has great importance to the soul of the king in the afterlife.

The courtyard contains the House of the North and the House of the South, which possess thirteen small chapels. The South Tomb has three carved panels depicting Djoser performing the Heb Sed ritual. The outer facade of the building is simple & plain and shows no signs of ornamentation, but the inside is beautifully designed and built with Djed pillars. The Colonnade of the complex contains 40 columns that are attached to the wall which is known as the style of the engaged columns which is used to support the ceiling. in the complex is a number of large numbers of rooms between the colonnade filled with statues showcasing Djoser as the ruler of Lower and Upper Egypt.

The Northern Mortuary Temple was used to access the subterranean passages of the pyramid that led down to the burial chamber of Djoser which was a vault that was constructed of four courses of well-dressed granite, which had one opening, that was sealed with a 3.5-ton block and was unfortunately robbed over time. The ceiling of the burial chamber holds 5 stars which are believed to be connected to the eternal North Stars that never sets, thus symbolizing the eternity of the pharaoh. The northern walls are decorated with reliefs and artworks representing the king in the Heb-Sed festival, which grants the pharaoh would live for the next 30 years. There are intricate carvings inside like one of a half-opened door which seems like an actual doorway that represents a symbolic passageway to the afterlife.

The legends of the ancient Egyptian Pyramids have dazzled the whole world, so it’s will be great to witness these magnificent attractions through our best Egypt vacation packages which include also Nile river cruise mixed with your holidays, moreover, we offer you the chance to experience Saqqara Step Pyramids if you are already in Cairo through our Cairo day tours accompanied by Egyptologist tour guide.

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