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Pyramid complex of Djoser in Sakkara
reconstruction ( after Lauer )


A - south tomb chapel
B - south court with boundary markers 
C - northern temple
D - serdab court
E - south tomb
F - entrance
G - Heb-Sed court
H - House of the South
I - House of the North

length base of oryginal mastaba:   71.5 m
height of mastaba:   8.4 m
slope of steps:   72o
finished base length:   109 m x 121 m
height after rebuilding:   62.5 m
wall around complex:
         height:   10,5 m
         area:   544.9 m  x 277.6 m

An author and designer of Djoser’s funerary complex was his architect and vizier, Imhothep. Based upon successive stages of building work one can guess realization and changes in project of this structure which is located near gallery-tombs of Hetepschemwi , Nebre and Ninjether.
First phase begun with building of  71,5 m long mastaba, with a tomb shaft of dimensions 7 x 7 m and 28 m deep, leading to mortuary chamber (primarily made of sandstone, later replaced with more hard pink granite). The chamber is accessible only through corridor, running down to mortuary temple north of mastaba and is plugged with heavy granite stopper in ceiling. Around the shaft run four gallery systems presenting Djoser and imaging the royal palace. From east side of mastaba into west direction run galleries to eleven over 30 m deep shafts. The five northern in turn were used for burial purposes: coffins, sarcophagi, mummy of a child. In the six southern 40 000 stone vases were found. Next enlargement of mastaba, adding 8,4 m to east, encompassed also shafts, hence untypical east-to-west orientation. Imhothep decided to change the project first into four stepped, then six stepped pyramid.
To the first phase of building works of the normal mastaba belong within the complex so called southern tomb – an oblong 13 x 84 m mastaba. Mortuary temple (C) in north had not been completed and filled up at its northern side making a massive structure. Adding of northern courtyard (D) and inclusion of western massifs enlarged this complex so that it gained dimensions of 545 x 278 m. It was surrounded by a high temenos wall, laid with limestone of Tura, one entrance doorway and fourteen dummy doorways. In 1821 baron von Minutoli found in Djoser’s burial place a gild skull and soles while in 1926 J. Ph. Lauer discovered left foot and other parts of skeleton – arm bone and ribs. (T.Schneider)

A - south tomb chapel
B - south tomb
C - boundary markers
D - pyramid
E - northern temple
F - serdab court
G - house of the North
H - temple T
I - entrance
J - Heb-Sed court
K - house of the South


Copyright 2000-2013 Dariusz Sitek, Czestochowa - Chicago - Ann Arbor