Imhotep, the builder the Step Pyramid

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

Imhotep (translation of his name is "He who comes in peace") was originally a high priest of Heliopolis. Egypt suffered from a huge drought under Djoser's rule, water level decreased constantly and gradually everybody became desperate. The drought had lasted for whole 7 years and Djoser decided then to send for the high priest Imhotep. He revealed to the Pharaoh, that Nile springs on Elephantine, where god Khnum was worshipped. He had the power to hold back Nile water by his foot. So Djoser should sacrificed a big amount of offertory to Khnum. Djoser followed this advice and the drought really ended. So Djoser went down in history as a redeemer of Egyptian people.

Imhotep studied in the "House of life", where he learnt mathematic, geography, history and medicine, but also philosophy and art. But he became famous especially because of his "revolution" in architecture. We don't know exactly when he was born or when he died. But we do know for sure, that he lived at the time of rule of Huni, the last Pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty.

Imhotep, the first vizier

Imhotep became the first vizier in Egypt, even if this title didn't exist within his lifetime. This function originated oficiallly under the rule of Pharaoh Sneferu from the 4th dynasty, but Imhotep practised all tasks connected afterwards with this function. He was on the top of the state administration and controlled important state matter. He was also a superior of state officials, who gave effect to his orders in particular districts.

Another of his important tasks was the judicature - he presided over six significant royal tribunals, administered the exchequer and looked after agriculture as well. We are bound to Imhotep for a beautiful chantry complex in Saqqara, whose level pyramid is the first monumental stone building in Egypt. These buildings gradually replaced the brick Mastabas and level pyramid inspired Pharaohs of the 4th dynasty, who improved the design and left us the three greatest pyramids Giza among other things.

Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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