Imhoptep is considered the preeminent genius of the Old
Kingdom. He assembled one workforce to quarry limestone at the cliff
of Tura, across the Nile, another to haul the stone to the site where
master carvers shaped each block and put it in place.
The Step Pyramid is a terraced structure rising in six unequal
stages to a height of 60 meters, its base measuring 120 meters by 108
meters. The substructure has a system of underground corridors and
rooms. Its main feature being a central shaft 25 meters deep and 8
meters wide. The step pyramid rises within a vast walled court 544
meters long and 277 meters wide, in which are the remnants of several
stone edifices built to supply the wants of the king in the here
after. Towering limestone columns were shaped to mimic the sway and
droop of leafy plants. Immovable doors hung on great carved hinges.
Facades called false doors through which the pharaoh's ka, or vital
force, was presumed to pass, lay recessed within walls. The interiors
of dummy temples were packed with rubble. Everything about the place