Week 4 Blog Post

In this week’s reading I was most intrigue by the building of the pyramids. What I found to be very interesting was that to this day we are not sure of why a step pyramid form was used and what it symbolizes. The ruler Djoser represented a whole new style of  royal monuments. He unlike other rulers before him in the Second Dynasty designed the earliest stone step pyramid complexes. This was unlike the others before Djoser due to the use of stone. Prior to stone use all monuments were constructed using mud-bricks, which was less labor intensive, but also produced less monumental structures. The use of stone to create Djoser’s complex provided him with the ability to build the largest stone monument at that time. In addition to building ground-breaking architecture Djoser represented a new royal control of the state. Djoser’s pyramid complex was unique compared to Old Kingdom pyramids. His pyramid was a step complex, with six steps, although it was originally only designed to be four. This pyramid was also rectangular in shape and not square. Surrounding the pyramid were dummy buildings and they were actually buried so that Djoser could use the buildings in his afterlife. Connecting the underground buildings to the pyramid were corridors and chambers. The walls of the pyramid were also decorated with designs carved into the stone; these images were to mimic more organic forms such as reeds and wooden beams. The stone elements of the pyramid and carvings represent the eternal nature that Djoser was trying to achieve. Djoser’s monument was one of the few during the third dynasty to be completed. It was also one of the few to use step pyramid architecture but it has held the test of time well and although it has not been completely excavated the monument still remains and we can still learn a great deal from it.

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