According to a report in the International Business Times, activists in Egypt are angry with the Minister of Antiquities for re-hiring a company to restore the Step Pyramid of Zoser at Saqqara. The group says the firm “caused damage and major deterioration to the structure while trying to repair it.” The report may be read here.
Saqqara is significant because it is the location of the oldest freestanding stone building in the world. The architect of this structure was the vizier and physician Imhotep. Zoser reigned about 2600 B.C.
Hachette World Guide on Cairo, Alexandria and Environs, describes the pyramid in these terms:
The Step Pyramid is formed of six unequal sections and is not, in the strict sense, a pyramid tat all. The plan is not square, but oblong in the S-W sense, and the summit is formed by a terrace (also oblong) and not by a Pyramidion. The dimensions of the base are approximately 397 feet by 357 feet. The present height of the Pyramid is 193 feet. It would originally have been some 196 feet. The verticle slope of the steps is on an average of some 16°, the horizontal [slope is] 22°.
On my last visit to Egypt in January, 2011, I noticed scaffolding on all sides of the step pyramid.
The Step Pyramid of Zoser at Saqqara. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
This pyramid, as well as the great pyramids of Giza, was built long before the time of the biblical characters who visited Egypt — Abraham, Joseph, Jacob, et al.
HT: Jack Sasson
Today has been a long and busy day. Our group visited the Cairo Museum and the Giza Pyramids. This photo of the group was made on the west side of the Pyramids. In the distance you see some of the buildings of Cairo in the Nile Valley.
Egyptian Adventure Group at the Giza Pyramids.
Click on the photo for a larger copy.
Tomorrow morning we have a flight scheduled for Luxor. There, after visiting the Luxor and Karnak Temples, we will begin a four day cruise on the Nile with stops along the way to visit important historical sites.
I am not sure if I will be able to have a good Internet connection during most of that time. Keep checking back.
For a more personal outlook on the tour I urge you to see Picture This at http://scenewithsharon.blogspot.com.
A pyramid believed to be the tomb of Queen Sesheshet, the mother of Pharaoh Teti, has been discovered below 23 feet of sand near Saqqara. The pyramid, dating to about 2300 B.C., is the second pyramid found this year. It is the 118th pyramid discovered in Egypt.
Read a news release here. National Geographic News includes photos and a video here. Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council on Antiquities is quoted as saying, “I always say you never know what the sands of Egypt might hide.”
Tourists typically visit the Step Pyramid of Zoser (or Djoser) at Saqqara. This oldest freestanding stone building in the world is dated to about 2600 B.C., and is the work of the vizier and physican Imhotep.
Step Pyramid of Zoser at Saqqara. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
These pyramids, and those of Giza, were built long before any of the biblical characters made their way to Egypt. It is conceivable that Joesph and Moses would have been familiar with these pyramids.
Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, as his wife. And Joseph went forth over the land of Egypt. (Genesis 41:45 NASB)
Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds. (Acts 7:22 NASB)
Egypt has a grip on the imagination of each of us. We probably first learned something about it in our elementary school studies. We have seen it portrayed in movies and television programs.
Every Bible student has studied about Egypt in numerous contexts. Not only did the tribes of Israel grow into a nation while in Egyptian bondage, but we know of the following characters who visited Egypt: Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Jeremiah, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The prophets spoke much about the land of Egypt. Egypt is mentioned more than 600 times in the Bible.
This is a panoramic photo I made of the Pyramids of Giza in 2005. The pyramids, from left to right, are Mycerinus, Chephren, and Cheops. These structures were built about 2500 B.C. Some people have the mistaken idea that the Israelites in Egyptian bondage built the pyramids. You can see from the date that these pyramids were built about 1000 years before the Israelites did their building (Exodus 1:11).