|The Old and the New, Djoser’s Step Pyramid and Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple |
Djoser’s Step Pyramid
Built to hold his body after death, Djoser’s Step Pyramid rises 62 meters high and is built entirely of stone. Until the beginning of the Third Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, the main building materials were wood, reeds, and mudbrick. The first building to be constructed complexly in stone was the Step Pyramid of Pharaoh Djoser at Saqqara (Garret). Before this only a few details, such as doorways or the paving of a tomb chamber, had been made of stone. According to Manetho, the inventor of the art of building in stone was Imhotep. That he was in charge of the building of the Step Pyramid is evident from the discovery of a pedestal on a statue of Djoser bearing the inscription: ‘The Chancellor of the Pharaoh of Lower Egypt, the first after the Pharaoh of Upper Egypt, Hereditary Lord, the High Priest of Heliopolis, Imhotep, the builder, the sculptor’ (Dersin).
The Step Pyramid is developed from the mudbrick mastabas of earlier rulers. In the Step Pyramid complex, architecture that had previously been carried out in mudbrick, reeds, and wood was replaced by stone. The wall surrounding the complex is build out of small blocks of linestone in imitation of the mudbrick facade of earlier tombs and walls. The entrance to the complex is at the south-eastern corner. There are no real doors at the entrance, but the vestibule has carvings in stone of huge wooden doors. Even the hinges have been reproduced, and the right-hand door has a slit to show which panel should be “closed” first.
Inside the entrance stands a colonnade of 20 pairs of half-engaged columns. These imitate huge bound bundles of reeds. The buildings of the heb sed court are different types of shrines to local gods, which had typically...