Richard T. Nowitz

The world’s first pyramid still stands at Saqqara. Known as the Step Pyramid because of its six-tiered form, it was designed by Imhotep, the chief architect of Pharaoh Djoser (2630–2611 B.C.E.). Begun as a simple tomb, the structure was enlarged in height and breadth on five occasions, eventually rising to its present 197 feet. Unlike Egypt’s other pyramids, the Step Pyramid was built with comparatively small limestone blocks.