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.
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.
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.
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.
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
discovered left foot and other parts of skeleton – arm bone and ribs.