Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • NARRATOR: 10 miles south of the Great Pyramids of Giza

  • lies the Necropolis of Saqqara.

  • Today, Egyptologist Chris Naunton travels here

  • to investigate what triggered over a thousand

  • years of pyramid building.

  • He's been granted rare access to explore restricted areas

  • of this necropolis.

  • This is a pretty exciting moment for me

  • because I've never been inside before.

  • NARRATOR: This ancient cemetery is home to 11

  • pyramids and hundreds of tombs.

  • But one structure dominates all others,

  • the first pyramid ever built.

  • This is where it all began.

  • It is the first monumental building

  • in stone anywhere in the world.

  • NARRATOR: Constructed more than 4,500 years ago,

  • this is the step pyramid tomb of Pharaoh Djoser, a King

  • of Egypt's third dynasty.

  • It's a revolutionary masterpiece designed by Egypt's

  • pioneer architect, Imhotep.

  • His achievement was massive not just for the Egyptians,

  • but for humankind.

  • [grandiose music]

  • NARRATOR: Born as a commoner, Imhotep

  • rose to become Pharaoh Djoser's trusted advisor and eventually

  • his chief architect.

  • He invented the stepped pyramid using

  • stone blocks instead of mud bricks,

  • allowing him to build ever bigger.

  • More than 2,000 years after Imhotep's death,

  • he was worshipped as a god all the way

  • up to Greek and Roman times.

  • Chris wants to discover for himself

  • what inspired Imhotep to design his groundbreaking step

  • pyramid.

  • He climbs to higher ground to examine

  • the shape of older burial structures that surrounded.

  • They're called mastabas.

  • And they are these sort of squat, square platforms,

  • slightly sloping, inwardly inclining walls.

  • NARRATOR: Chris can make out traces

  • of these simple structures within Imhotep's design.

  • Now that we're getting closer to the pyramid,

  • you can really see this series of platforms, one

  • on top of another.

  • So the bottom one, in some sense, is a mastaba.

  • It's just the addition of these successive layers

  • that make it into a pyramid.

  • And it's an incredible achievement, architecturally.

  • NARRATOR: Built from over 500,000 tons of limestone,

  • constructed in the mastaba-style layers,

  • the step pyramid stands over 200 feet high,

  • then the tallest building in the world.

  • Its impact on the ancient Egyptian landscape was huge.

  • 10 more kings replicated Imhotep's design,

  • determined to attain the same status as the pharaoh

  • of the first pyramid.

  • Their tombs became some of the most iconic sacred buildings

  • on the planet, each growing the necropolis until it stretched

  • 5 miles across the desert to create

  • a sprawling city of the dead.

  • Today, Imhotep's masterpiece still

  • dominates the Egyptian desert.

  • But while his structures survive, no trace of the man

  • himself has ever been found.

NARRATOR: 10 miles south of the Great Pyramids of Giza

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 pyramid narrator pharaoh egypt chris egyptian

The Inventor of the First Pyramid | Lost Treasures of Egypt

  • 8 0
    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/23
Video vocabulary