The Great Step-Pyramid of Djoser

An Examination of the Great Step-Pyramid of Djoser and the Belief Systems It Represented


According to S. G. F. Brandon (1970), the ancient Egyptian sage Imhotep has two unique claims to fame: 1) he provides historians with the best documented instance of the deification of a man, and 2) he is the first known individual of genius. In a truly ironic fashion, the mortal man who designed the Great Step Pyramid as a tomb for the godlike Pharaoh Djoser was transformed into a god almost 2,000 years later and became the Egyptian god of healing. This paper provides an overview of the sage and vizier, Imhotep, the Great Step-Pyramid and its reflection of the belief systems in ...

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was the son of a famous architect named Kanofer. He achieved fame as a wise court official, architect, scribe, and healer" (Fagan 1998:296). However, even Djoser clearly recognized Imhotep's worth and value, and interesting evidence of this close connection between king and architect has been provided by the finding of a statute bearing both the king's name and that of Imhotep within the mortuary-temple of the Step-Pyramid. Although his cult belonged to the Late Period and reflects a smattering of the apocryphal, "a statue-base of King Djoser has come to light at Saqqara bearing the name and tides of Imhotep upon it and testifying to the weight of the legend" (Aldred 1961:83). According to Aldred, the Vizier Imhotep, was renowned for his learning of Heliopolis. "In Imhotep, we can recognize the first known genius of historic times whose thought and imagination transcended his age and steered the course of human culture into new channels" (1961:83). During later periods, ...

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buildings and courtyards that were intended to be used for various ceremonies connected with the after-life of the king (Edwards 1955).
The base of the lowest level of the Step Pyramid measures 107 meters from north to south and 122 meters from east to west and originally reached a height of 58 meters (Fagan 1998). The Step Pyramid represented more than just a building though. "The Egyptian Step Pyramid was an integral part of a setting that brings heaven to earth and joins the secular and spiritual" (Fagan 1998:370). However, it is impossible to discern with any degree of certainty the archetype by which Imhotep was guided when designing the Step Pyramid, but Edwards suggests that ...

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The Great Step-Pyramid of Djoser. (2016, December 27). Retrieved April 20, 2018, from
"The Great Step-Pyramid of Djoser.", 27 Dec. 2016. Web. 20 Apr. 2018. <>
"The Great Step-Pyramid of Djoser." December 27, 2016. Accessed April 20, 2018.
"The Great Step-Pyramid of Djoser." December 27, 2016. Accessed April 20, 2018.
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Added: 12/27/2016 04:50:08 AM
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1379
Pages: 6

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