Episode 4: The Two Lands Are My Palace

Djoser, Imhotep and the Island of Elephantine

The Step Pyramid of Saqqara is completed, and Netjery-khet Djoser’s reign soon comes to an end, to be succeeded by Sekhem-khet. Imhotep, surviving into this reign, now begins a new step pyramid, intended to be even larger.

The throne soon passes to Huni, last of the Third Dynasty, who organises a series of small step pyramids as cenotaphs at various sites up and down the Nile, including Abydos and the island of Elephantine.

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A statue head often attributed to Huni (Source: Brooklyn Museum)


The ceremonial pyramid of Huni at Abydos (Source: the University of Chicago’s Tell-Edfu project; Live Science).


Notable sites of the Third Dynasty.


Robert J. Wenke – The Ancient Egyptian State, 2009.

Toby H. Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, 2001.

Kathryn A. Bard, An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, 2007.

Ian Shaw (editor), The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 2004.