Imhotep

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Imhotep (sometimes spelled Immutef, Im-hotep, or Ii-em-Hotep; called Imuthes (Ιμυθες) by the Greeks), fl. 27th century BC (2655-2600 BC) (Egyptian ii-m-ḥtp *jā-im-ḥatāp meaning "the one who comes in peace") was an Egyptian polymath,[1] who served under the Third Dynasty king, Djoser, as chancellor to the pharaoh and high priest of the sun god Ra at Heliopolis. He is considered to be the first architect[2] and engineer[3] and physician in early history [4] though two other physicians, Hesy-Ra and Merit-Ptah lived around the same time. The full list of his titles is:

Imhotep was one of very few mortals to be depicted as part of a pharaoh's statue. He was one of only a few commoners ever to be accorded divine status after death. The center of his cult was Memphis. From the First Intermediate Period onward Imhotep was also revered as a poet and philosopher. His sayings were famously referred to in poems: I have heard the words of Imhotep and Hordedef with whose discourses men speak so much.[5]

The location of Imhotep's self-constructed tomb was well hidden from the beginning and it remains unknown, despite efforts to find it.[6] The consensus is that it is hidden somewhere at Saqqara. Imhotep's historicity is confirmed by two contemporary inscriptions made during his lifetime on the base or pedestal of one of Djoser's statues (Cairo JE 49889) and also by a graffito on the enclosure wall surrounding Sekhemkhet's unfinished step-pyramid.[7][8] The latter inscription suggests that Imhotep outlived Djoser by a few years and went on to serve in the construction of king Sekhemkhet's pyramid which was abandoned due to this ruler's brief reign.[9]

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