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Vizier Imhotep

Vizier - The People

Imhotep, “He who comes in Peace”

The World’s First Known Architect

When: Third Dynasty

What: Vizier and High Priest, an architect, an engineer, a physician, a philosopher who was given divine status after his death. He was considered the real Father of Medicine after his writing of a Medical Treatise and advanced theories that diseasea occurred naturally rather than as a punishment for sins

Served: Pharaoh Djoser. Vizier Imhotep personally designed and oversaw the construction of Pharaoh Djoser’s Step Pyramid Complex at Saqqara, the precursor to the Pyramids at Giza

Imhotep’s complete list of titles was:

  • Vizier
  • Chancellor of the King of Egypt
  • First in Line After the King of Upper Egypt
  • Royal Scribe
  • Doctor
  • High Priest of Heliopolis
  • Hereditary Nobleman
  • Chief Architect
  • Administrator of the Great Palace
  • Primary Counsellor 
  • Chief Carpenter
  • Sealer of the King of Lower Egypt
  • Chief Sculptor
  • Overseer of Sculptures 
  • Builder
  • Nobleman
  • Chief Maker of Vases

Under his title of Chief Maker of Vases, Chief Sculptor and Builder, Imhotep supervised a new way of carving stone vessels. He introduced the carving of Calcite stones or Egyptian Alabaster, a change from the denser and harder stones which had been used in the Early Dynastic Period. These new Calcite stones were initially shaped with Dolerite pounders and Copper chisels, the interior was hollowed by the use of a flint blade secured to a wooden shaft which together formed a drill which was pressed down on by 2 heavy stones.