- The Step Pyramid at Saqqara
Saqqara is an important archaeological site, region that follows Markaz El Badrachin, Giza. It was used for burial since the 1st Dynasty until the greek and Roman period, the name of the God of the Dead in Memphis Sokar.
Archaeologically, Saqqara was divided into three sections, sectors, the middle sector (the pyramid of Teti’s sector), the western sector (the sector of Unas’ pyramid) and the southern sector.
The complex was built for king Zoser the founder of the 3rd Dynasty, by the great architect Imhotep who was also a magician and physician and was worshiped as God of Medicine during the Ptolemaic Period.
There were two impressive features in this complex.
First: the stone buildings imitating the elements of the royal place which was built of mud-brick wood and reed.
Second: the architectural elements appeared for the first and last time.
The enclosure wall
The Complex was surrounded by a great enclosure wall, 10 M high and 277 M from east to west. This wall probably imitated that of the royal Place at Memphis. The wall has 13 dummy doors and one representing the real gateway.
There was no sign of door from outside of the entrance, but pivots were found from the inside, so probably a wooden door opened inward. The Gateway leads to a long Corridor with 40 ribbed Columns in two lines. At the end of each stood an engaged Column or tongue-wall. Probably there were Statues of the king in this Corridor. The Ceiling is imitating logs of wood stuck together; the whole Corridor may be similar to the entrance Corridor of the king’s place.
The Small vestibule
The entrance Colonnade leads by imitation of an open stone door to a small rectangular hall or vestibule which has 8 Fluted columns Joined by Cross walls. This lead by an Open Stone door as well to the inside of the complex.
The Southern Tomb
It lies on the southern side of the complex, but there is no evidence that it was intended to be a tomb. At the bottom is a room built of granite blocks. On one of the walls are three false doors carved with the figure, name, and title of king Djoser. The Superstructure of the building is 84 m long and Contained a chapel, the outer wall decorated with a frieze of a cobra.
This building might have been a symbolic tomb for king Djoser, or to bury his Canopic Jars.
The Open Court
In the large open court. The visitor passes one of the two B- Shaped Stone buildings, which were probably connected with the hp-sd.
The Royal pavilion
To the east are remains of a small temple, this is called the Royal Pavilion or the T temple, Thought that is served as a Symbolic resting place for the king as a place for changing clothes during the ritual of the Heb-Sed festival.
The Heb – Sed Courtyard
Which is rectangular in form. On the east and west sides of the Heb-Sed festival, the courtyard is the remains of two groups of chapels, some of which have been reconstructed using their original materials. These chapels reflect three different architectural styles each chapel contains a small sanctuary.
The building of the south
North of the HB-sd court in its own court are the ruins of a structure known as the “building of the south” its facade was decorated with fluted columns 3 m high.
The building of the north
To the northeast, in another court, are the remains of the “building of the north”. Both the Heb-Sed court and the two B-shaped buildings together with the building of the south and north were connected with the ceremonies of Heb-Sed.
The funerary temple
On the north face of the Pyramid of Zoser are the remains of an important funerary temple located west the Serda, although it is mostly in ruin, it is possible to identify a structure that included a double series of symmetrical architectural elements (courtyard and room for ablution).
It is interesting to note that access to the funerary chamber located below the pyramid is through the funerary temple. In pyramids built later. This entry position remained unchanged, but the funerary temple was always built on the east side of the building, and no longer on the north.
there was a small room called a crypt On the east side of the temple there was a statue of King Djoser who founded this place, the original is now in the Egyptian museum, and a replica remained in position.
The Step Pyramid at Saqqara
This pyramid probably was a staircase for the soul of the king to ascent into heaven. There is no doubt that King Zoser was buried in this pyramid, and that his other tomb was just a symbolic tomb at Beit Khallaf.
The substructure of the Step Pyramid
The construction of the pyramid has gone through several stages. Before constructing the first Mastaba the worker had a shaft of 28 m deep and 7 m sunk into the ground. The shaft ends by the burial chamber, which was built out of granite blocks. The workers cut a tunnel extending northward, a little over 20 m. This tunnel extends until its entrance became outside the first Mastaba. The only entrance to the burial chamber was only through the ceiling, which had a round hole in the ceiling of the limestone room above it (now destroyed). It was closed by a granite plug that weighs over three tons and measures 2 m in high. Four underground galleries and connecting passages were cut around the burial chamber to contain the funerary of the king. Eleven shafts over 32 m deep were cut at the eastern side, each ended in a corridor in one of the shafts two alabaster coffins were found, one of them contained a mummy of a child . The entrance to the shafts was now closed so a stairway was cut leading to the northern shafts. When the plan changed the builders cut a new entrance farther to the north, beginning with steps and then a tunnel. The new tunnel passed around the galleries and passages until it reached the original tunnel near its. Maybe some of the passages and galleries were cut out by tomb robbers of ancient times.
The superstructure of the Step Pyramid
The pyramid was built out of local limestone and caused with fine white stone. The first Mastaba measured about 63 m long and 8 m high, but this was added to later on. The first alteration was an extension of 3 m on all sides. The second addition was 9 m on the eastern side alone and made the mastaba rectangular. Then they extended each side about 3 m, this was the lowest step of the pyramids, which is now consisting of 4 steps.
Imhotep considered this to be final and began to build the temple on the northern side but before finishing the later, he changed the plan. An addition was made from north to west, and the number of mastabas increased to be six. Before this was done, a final alternation added slightly to each side. The pyramids measured 140 m from east to west and about 118 m from north to south, and 60 m high.
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