Who's Who of Egyptian people, queens and family: Imhotep


3rd Dynasty

Our Feature Article on Imhotep

Imhotep was an official during the 3rd Dynasty and served under four kings. He is best known for his position as vizier and high priest of Ptah during the reign of Djoser I. Imhotep was a commoner by birth, but rose through the ranks with his natural talents and dedication. Imhotep was called the "Son of Ptah" but didn't limit himself to religious matters alone. He was a very good poet, architect, and priest-physician. The greatest achievement of Imhotep is the Step Pyramid at Saqqara. He built this pyramid for Djoser, but it became an architectural model for the spiritual ideals of the people of Egypt.

Djoser's Step Pyramid was not just a tomb, but was a collection of temples, pavilions, corridors, chapels, halls and storerooms. His plan included fluted columns that were attached to the limestone walls, which conformed to the walls in the palace. This preserved a link with the past in the ancient styles of architecture.

His best known writings were medical writings. He was honored by the Greeks during the Roman period. The emperors Claudius and Tiberius had inscriptions praising Imhotep placed on the walls of their Egyptian temples.

See our Feature Article on Imhotep

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Last Updated: June 20th, 2011