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.


Erik Hornung, Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: the One and the Many, 1996 (Amazon).

Mark Lehner, The Complete Pyramids, 2008 (Amazon).

John Romer, A History of Egypt: from the First Farmers to the Great Pyramid, 2013 (Amazon).

Toby Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, 2001 (Amazon).

David Wengrow, The Archaeology of Early Egypt, 2006 (Amazon).

Robert Wenke, The Ancient Egyptian State, 2009 (Amazon).