Step Pyramid of Djoser: Context view, pyramids at Saqqara, stepped pyramid in background
Local riders on donkeys in the foreground.
The central element of the funerary complex of Djoser Djoser, Zoser, Netjerikhet, ca. 2630-ca. 2611 BCE, first ruler of the 3rd dynasty is a massive stepped pyramid (140 x 118 x 60 m) of limestone masonry constructed at the instigation of the architect Imhotep, who was later deified for his achievement. Originally conceived as a mastaba tomb, the design was modified six times before finally emerging as a six-stepped pyramid with a complex suite of subterranean funerary apartments, including a granite-lined burial chamber and walls panelled in small blue faience tiles; one panel has been reconstructed in the Egyptian Museum (Cairo, Egyptian Museum, JE 68921). Among the objects recovered from the underground rooms were stelae depicting the King, and more than 40,000 stone vessels.