Name That Pyramid !

A recent question as to the identity of the pyramid in the background of the Priest=Aura album cover resulted in this answer from Joseph Burns
It is the Step Pyramid of King Zoser of the Third Dynasty (old Kingdom). It is found at the site of Saqqara in Egypt and dates to aproximately 2600 BC (dates like that always stager my imagination!) Anyway... it pre-dates what we commonly know as the pyramids and is built differently. Where the later pyramids are big triangular mountains of rock, they are covered or faced off with a smooth (and back in the day) highly reflective outer covering of stone. This one, as its name implies is built with 'steps', that is its outer surface ascends like a series of plateaus. Historians say this is because it is the 'first' pyramid and is a variation of the more traditional funerary structure called a 'mastaba' which was a low lying but wide pavilion covering a grave shaft. Well if you stack up a bunch of mastabas on top of each other so that yer tomb looks more important than others, it ends up looking like a 'step pyramid'.

Other tidbits
"The modern imagination, enamored of 'the silence of the pyramids,' is apt to create a false picture of these monuments. They were not erected as isolated structures in the middle of the desert, but were part of vast funerary districts, with temples and other buildings that were the scene of great religious celebrations during the pharoah's lifetime as well as after. The most elaborate of these is the funerary district around the Step Pyramid of King Zoser. Enough of its architecture has survived to make us understand why its creator, Imhotep, came to be deified in later Egyptian tradition. He is the first artist whose name has been recorded in history, and deservedly so, since his acheivement is standing still today." (History of Art. H.W.Janson)

cant tell you too much more about ol' king Zoser except that he reigned from c2780 to 2720 BC. In the scheme of things. There were already large civlizations in Sumeria, palestine and other mediteranean areas at this time. This period also say the beginning of astromony as a science, a set calendar in egypt of 365 days (started in 2772 under King Zoser). The Sumerians had invented an alphabet apart from the more common 'pictographic' style of heiroglyphics. Also this period has the first reports of domesticated dogs in Egypt (!!!).

so there you have it. not exactly a masterpiece of research, but I thought some of this stuff might shed some light or at least some interesting background to the ol' P=A experience.

yers truely joe burns


Further research into Ye Archives showed that the dog that graces the album cover is in fact called Spot, and not Fido as many scholars have suggested.

You may like to go off on a tangent about Egyptology (pyramids, mummies and people with arms in strange positions etc.)


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