The First Pyramid

Our February monthly meeting produced a talk by Janet Diamond entitled “The First Pyramid”.

When Djoser, the first Pharaoh of the Third Dynasty, chose to build the royal necropolis at Saqqara, the nobility of Egypt had already been buried here for many generations. His monument, ‘The Step Pyramid’, at nearly 5000 years old, is the world’s first, most ancient, incredibly complex, vast and beautiful pyramid. Originally it was 62 metres (203 feet) tall.

The Step Pyramid at Saqqara

The Step Pyramid at Saqqara

The Pyramid stands tall today and dominates the desert horizon and area of Saqqara. Yet it is only a part of the enormous funerary complex of Djoser.

  • From what religious, cultural, artistic and political motivation did this pyramid spring?
  • How did it evolve?
  • How and why was it conceived and built?

These are the questions the speaker sought to answer and in doing so gave an insight into the development of royal burials of the Predynastic period and First, Second and Third Dynasties, and the political, religious, artistic and architectural influences that led up the building of the magnificent Step Pyramid at Saqqara marking the beginning of The Old Kingdom and the Age of the Pyramids.

During this presentation one was struck by the enormous ego of the pharaohs and how much importance they attached to the afterlife, convinced that it would be a continuation, an enhancement, of their earthly existence. A typical tomb contained a dozen or so rooms into which were placed the earthly possessions that enhanced their status and lifestyle in this world and were clearly intended to do so in the next.

All in all a fascinating presentation. 59 members attended the evening, which was a very enjoyable event. Many thanks for your continuing support.

Mick Grigg