Ancient Egypt 2675-332 B.c.e.: Architecture and Design - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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The North-South Pyramid Complex: King Djoser's Complex at Saqqara

Evidence.

King Djoser's complex at Saqqara is the first example of a north/south oriented pyramid complex, built in the Third Dynasty (2675–2625 B.C.E.). This predominant orientation alternated throughout the Old and Middle Kingdoms (2675–1630 B.C.E.) with a pyramid complex that was oriented east/west. A good example of this second type of orientation is the Great Pyramid of Giza, built about 100 years after Djoser's Saqqara complex. While the north/south orientation is primarily associated with the eternal gods the Egyptians recognized in the circumpolar stars that never disappeared, the east/west orientation is primarily associated with the sun-god Re. The alternation between north/south and east/west orientations for pyramid complexes has thus been interpreted to have a religious dimension. Further, Djoser's pyramid complex reveals...

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