Northwest of the Memphis ruin complex in Egypt's Saqqara Necropolis is the pyramid of Djoser (also called Djeser and Zoser) -- known also as the Step Pyramid of Djoser. In the Egyptian Old Kingdom, during the 3rd Dynasty (c. 2670–2650 BC), Djoser was either the first or second king. He is thought to have governed for 38 years, ruling long enough for his pyramid's magnificent design to be completed during his lifetime.
He is referred to in this tomb as Netjerikhet, his Horus name; Djoser is a name that New Kingdom visitors gave him thousands of years later. The step pyramid built by Djoser is astonishing in how it differs from earlier structures. It establishes a number of significant precedents, the most significant of which is its position as the considered the very first stone-built monument.
The oldest massive stone building in Egypt is a 6-tier, 4-sided construction. It was constructed in the Third Dynasty in the 27th century BC. It is a massive funeral complex with a pyramid at its center and surrounded by ornate ceremonial architecture and adornment. Imhotep, the high priest of the god Ra and the pharaoh's chancellor, designed it.
The initial plan for the pyramid underwent numerous alterations and developments. The pyramid's original height was 62.5 m (205 ft), and its base was 109 m by 121 m. and had a polished white limestone covering. As of 1997 the step pyramid was thought to be the earliest significant man-made structure made of cut stone (as noted above). Although the South American pyramids at Caral being more recent and the nearby enclosure wall "Gisr el-Mudir" being suggested by some Egyptologists to predate the complex.
Most Egyptologists credit Imhotep, Djoser's vizier, with designing and building the complex. After a 14-year repair period the pyramid re-opened in 2020.