Extracts from Imhotep’s Diary (spoof): The great King Khasekhemwy has died and my master Djoser has become the living Horus. I wonder what this new age will being for us. I want to make sure that Djoser’s name will never be forgotten. We have buried Khasekhemwy in his funerary complex at Abydos; it gave me a chance to have a good look round. The complex is large and built of mud brick as is customary, I have had some wonderful ideas about what Djoser’s would look like but first I have an idea about where it should be.
Djoser has agreed, I am so excited, we are going to leave Abydos, and Khasekhemwy’s complex will not be pulled down like others in the past. Only one complex should be in Abydos and that is exactly what will happen because we are going to build at Sakkara. It is a much better place, more central to Egypt. Abydos is becoming a religious backwater with no room for new ideas and I have some great ideas about the new funerary complex. Of course it is going to bigger than Khasekhemwy’s but much more than that. I looked round at Abydos and lots of the previous kings have used stone to build part of their monument but what about if we build it all of stone! I know lots of people are saying I am off my head but I reckon it could be done. Djoser agrees with me so we are going to give it a go.
I have found the best site at Sakkara and started marking it out. There will only be one entrance but lots of false doors and it will look exactly like the kings palace. I have decided there will be a row of pillars as you go in. Of course these can’t be free standing they would never take the weight, so I am going to have buttresses to the walls and that should make sure the roof stays up. There will be statues of the king and when you exit at the end it will be into a blaze of sunshine into the great court.
The king is still going to need to rule so we can have copies of the all the government buildings, but in stone. Everything will be copied exactly, right down ropes, tree branches, and mat doorways.
I have started work on the mastaba but there is something not quite right. It looks dwarfed by the walls and government buildings. I need to come up with a solution to make it the most impressive part of the complex. Perhaps another level would do it.
Well we put up another level but still it does not impress like I wanted it to. I think we need to go up further.
Now it looks daft, ok it is higher than the rest but the proportions are wrong and not what I had in mind at all. I am going to have to sort this out. Still the underground passages look great. I have found this faience worker who produces the greatest tiles ever. I am so pleased. They are nearly all the same colour and the quality is perfect. We are going to supply him with some apprentices as we are going to need a lot more.
Solved the mastaba problem, we are going to extend it out and upwards. To make it 6 layers and a much better proportion. It is going to be a stairway where the spirit of Djoser can ascend to the heavens. It will dominate the complex and also be visible outside much more regal. I am really pleased with it.
The king has celebrated his Heb Sed and blow me if he didn’t say ‘Imhotep I am going to need a Heb Sed court in the complex’. Where the heck am I going to fit that in?
Phew found room for the Heb Sed court and it looks like it was always planned there, neat. I am really pleased with it. We finished the serdab as well and got a fantastic statue of the king with the most amazing rock crystal eyes. When you look through the slit it is just like looking at Djoser himself. The king came on site today and even he was amazed. He kept trying to open dummy doors; he couldn’t believe we had done it all out of stone. He told me ‘Imhotep I bet you get remembered for this’ and he promised me he would commission a statue of me. I am dead chuffed I can tell you.
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