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Step Pyramid of Djoser
This 4,700-year-old Step Pyramid is not only visually striking, it represents a significant architectural transition from the previous Egyptian tomb styles to those of the future Great Pyramids in Giza.
Previously, Pharaoh tombs were mastabas (squat, single-level, slope-sided, rectangular mounds typically made with mud brick).
The Step Pyramid is essentially six mastabas of diminishing dimensions, stacked one upon another. And, it used stone, not mud brick.
The Great Pyramids borrowed those innovations and figured out how to eliminate the step profile.
More Step Pyramid pointers
It was 62 meters (204 feet) high and was beautifully covered with polished-smooth whitish limestone.
A three-dimensional maze of passageways and rooms extend down 32 meters (106 feet) to the burial chamber.
Ancient tomb robbers
They did a near-thorough job. The treasures are gone, as is the mummy.
Although it was built for Pharaoh Djoser, the architect Imhotep had a greater impact on Egypt's future. He was an early Renaissance man. Besides being the ruler's vizier, he was learned in many disciplines including medicine, art, and engineering.
Part of a complex
The funerary compound comprises chapels, courtyards, perimeter wall, smaller pyramids, and more.
Easy day trip
It's only 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Cairo
Location in Egypt