Djoser (2687-2668 BC)

King Djoser (2687-2668 BC), was the first pharaoh in the third dynasty as many scholars believed. They also think that queen Nimaethap was his mother and Khasekhemwy was his father.

Djoser may have fixed the southern bounders of Egypt in his reign. He also sent some expeditions to Sinai because the local inhabitants were subdued there.

Djoser’s reign lasted only 18 years, yet is remarkable in that it ushered in Egypt’s ‘golden age’ of monumental architecture. Not only were he and Imhotep able to organise the massive workforce required for building the pyramid, but they also initiated a belief that the pharaoh had eternal existence.

The step pyramid at SaqqaraThe step pyramid at Saqqara

During the reign of Djoser in the third dynasty (refer to the Cheat Sheet for a timeline), Egypt is said to have experienced seven years of famine because of particularly low annual floods. The pharaoh was held responsible for the situation because he was an intermediary between the people and the gods, and the famine was seen as punishment from the gods for the pharaoh not doing his job.

On the Island of Sehel in the south of Egypt, Ptolemy V (204–181 BC) commissioned a stela recording this famine and Djoser’s actions. Imhotep, the builder of the step pyramid, traced the source of the Nile to the island of Elephantine and the caves of Khnum.

He assured Djoser that renewed worship of Khnum would start the floods again. Khnum then appeared to Djoser in a dream. Djoser awoke and was pleased at the message. He passed a decree of an increase of taxes to be paid to the temple of Khnum

The Step Pyramid. In Saqqara where any one can travel by train, also the one can get there by taxi or by bus.