Where and What is the Oldest Structure in Africa?
The Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt
The vast majority of the oldest structures constructed are the ancient Egyptian Tombs, so it comes as no surprise to learn that the oldest structure in Africa was none other than the Saqqara Step Pyramid of Djoser – the first of its kind, and the largest building of its time.
The original Egyptian pyramid, the Pyramid of Djoser – is also known as the Saqqara Step Pyramid, as it is located in the Saqqara Necropolis, Egypt, and has a ‘step’ like the design.
The step pyramid was built as a Tomb for the pharaoh, Djoser between 2670 BC and 2650 BC [during the 3rd dynasty] in Saqqara, Egypt and stands 62,5 metres high, with 121 x 109 metres base and 330,400 cubic metres volume, making this superstructure not only the oldest structure in Africa but also the oldest “intact large-scale” stone monument in the world – a fact often overshadowed by Egypt’s group of most famous pyramids.
When completed, the Step Pyramid rose 204 feet (62 meters) high and was the tallest structure of its time.
The actual chambers of the tomb, where the king’s body was laid to rest, were dug beneath the base of the pyramid as a maze of tunnels with rooms off the corridors to discourage robbers and protect the body and grave goods of the king. Djoser’s burial chamber was carved of granite and, to reach it, one had to navigate the corridors which were filled with thousands of stone vessels inscribed with the names of earlier kings. The other chambers in the subterranean complex were for ceremonial purposes.
You cannot help but marvel at these ancient structures and recognise the strides in engineering and architecture made by the ancient Egyptians – and all without access to the tools and technology we have available today. It is astonishing!
Fun Facts and Food for Thought:
– The Djoser Pyramid was reopened for visitors earlier this year, in March 2020, after a 14-year restoration
– The 6-Tier, the 4-sided structure took about 20 years to build, with about 100,000 free skilled workers
– It is considered the earliest large-scale cut stone construction
– It is the only pyramid from the old kingdom that had 11 of the King’s daughters buried inside
– There are tunnels beneath the pyramid stretching across a labyrinth of 5,5 km in length
– The pyramid was initially a Mastaba tomb, which then [after expansions] evolved into 6 layers built upon each other
– This magnificent tomb was, in its entirety, built from limestone
– The Architect of this everlasting masterpiece, Imhotep – was a commoner, and among other titles and talents, he was an Engineer, Physician, a Priest, and a Sculptor
To view more Articles, please visit our Leads 2 Business Blog.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit Leads 2 Business Wiki.