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The Step Pyramid of Djoser: IELTS Reading Answers

Yocket Editorial Team

In the arena of IELTS Reading, where candidates embark on a scholarly examination of many themes, the fascinating attraction of ancient Egypt beckons. The Step Pyramid of Djoser, an architectural masterpiece hidden in the dunes of Saqqara, emerges as an enthralling focal point for those attempting to uncover the mysteries of ancient civilization. As IELTS candidates dive into the subtle nuances of pyramids, a complex tapestry of historical importance and architectural grandeur emerges. This page intends to be a thorough guide, providing subtle insights on the Step Pyramid of Djoser via a lens that captures the rich keywords of the Step Pyramid of Djoser reading answers, pyramids reading answers, and ancient Egypt reading answers. Let us go through antiquity, where each stone of the Step Pyramid carries echoes of pharaonic majesty and cultural history.

Learn the details of the IELTS reading passage "The Step Pyramid of Djoser" on Yocket Finance, the secret to financial success.

Various question forms, including multiple-choice, true/false, matching headings, and summary completion, may appear in the reading phase of the test that pertains to the Step Pyramid of Djoser. Understanding the text's intricacies, essential points, and inferred meanings is usually the main emphasis of the test.

Table of Contents

The Step Pyramid of Djoser - Reading Passage

Paragraph 1

The pyramids are ancient Egypt's most iconic landmarks. They still fascinate people today. These huge, majestic memorials honour an Egyptian king. They have become a symbol of the country even though other societies, like the Chinese and Mayans, built pyramids. For ages, people have written and argued about the evolution of the pyramid structure. Egypt started with one monument to one ruler. One genius architect, Djoser, made the Step Pyramid at Saqqara.

Paragraph 2

Djoser was the first king of the Third Dynasty of Egypt and the first to build in stone. Before Djoser’s reign, tombs were rectangles made of dried clay brick. They covered underground passages where the deceased was buried. For unclear reasons, Djoser’s main official, named Imhotep, conceived of building a taller, more impressive tomb for his king. He planned to do this by stacking stone slabs on top of one another. They would get smaller to form the shape now known as the Step Pyramid. Historians believe Djoser reigned for 19 years. But, some historians and scholars say his rule was much longer. They point to the many large monuments he built.

Paragraph 3

The Step Pyramid has been well examined in the last century. It is now known that the building process went through many stages. Historian Marc Van de Mieroop comments on this. He writes, "I involved myself in much experimentation." This is especially clear in the construction of the pyramid in the centre of the complex. It had many plans before it became the first Step Pyramid. It has six levels on top of one another. The weight was a challenge for the builders. They placed the stones at an inward incline to prevent the monument from breaking up.

Paragraph 4

When finally finished, the Step Pyramid rose 62 metres high. It was the tallest structure of its time. The complex was the size of a city in ancient Egypt. It included a temple, courtyards, shrines, and living quarters for the priests. A wall 10.5 metres high enclosed a region of 16 hectares. The wall had 13 false doors cut into it. There was only one true entrance, cut into the southeast corner. The wall was then ringed by a trench. The trench was 750 metres long and 40 metres wide. The architects added fake doors and a trench to the complex. They did this to deter unwanted visitors. To enter, someone would have needed to know in advance how to find the true wall opening. Djoser was proud of his accomplishment. He broke tradition by putting Imhotep's name on the monument, not his own.

Paragraph 5

The tomb held the king's body. It was under the pyramid's base. Long tunnels with rooms surrounded it to discourage robbers. One of the most mysterious discoveries was inside the pyramid. It was a large number of stone vessels. Researchers found over 40,000 of these vessels. They were in storerooms off the pyramid’s underground passages. They were of various forms and shapes. They have the names of rulers from the First and Second Dynasties of Egypt. They are made from different kinds of stone. Scholars and archaeologists disagree. They don't agree on why the vessels were placed in Djoser's tomb. They also disagree on what the vessels were meant to represent. The archaeologist Jean-Philippe Lauer excavated most of the pyramid and complex. He believes they were first stored and then given a 'proper burial' by Djoser in his pyramid. He did this to honour his predecessors. But, other historians disagree. They say the vessels were dumped into the shafts. This was to stop grave robbers from reaching the king’s burial chamber.

Paragraph 6

Unfortunately, all the precautions and intricate design of the underground network failed. They did not prevent ancient robbers from finding a way in. Thieves stole Djoser’s grave goods, and even his body, in the past. All archaeologists found were a few of his valuables missed by the thieves. But there was enough left in the pyramid and its complex to astonish the archaeologists.

Paragraph 7

Egyptologist Miroslav Verner writes, ‘Few monuments hold a place in human history as significant as that of the Step Pyramid in Saqqara’. It's no exaggeration to say that this pyramid complex was a milestone in the evolution of big stone buildings in Egypt and the world. The Step Pyramid was a big advance in architecture. It became the model for all the other great pyramid builders of Egypt. 

The Step Pyramid of Djoser Questions

Questions 1-7 (Matching Headings)

The Reading Passage comprises seven distinct paragraphs, labeled A through G. Your task is to match each paragraph with the appropriate heading from the provided list of headings. Record the corresponding number, i through ix, for questions 1 through 7 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings:

i. The areas and artefacts within the pyramid itself

ii. A difficult task for those involved

iii. A king who saved his people

iv. A single certainty among other less definite facts

v. An overview of the external buildings and areas

vi. A pyramid design that others copied

vii. An idea for changing the design of burial structures

viii. An incredible experience despite the few remains

ix. The answers to some unexpected questions

Answers for 1-7

1. Answer: iv - A single certainty among other less definite facts

Explanation: The passage asserts that despite debates surrounding the evolution of pyramid design, the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara stands as an undeniable starting point. This definitive origin, attributed to one king and architect, offers a clear historical anchor amidst various speculative theories.

2. Answer: vii - An idea for changing the design of burial structures

Explanation: Paragraph B discusses Imhotep's innovative approach to tomb construction, departing from traditional rectangular monuments to create the monumental Step Pyramid. Imhotep's conceptual leap represents a transformative idea in burial structure design, marking a departure from conventional practices of the time.

3. Answer: ii - A difficult task for those involved

Explanation: The narrative in Paragraph C illustrates the formidable challenge faced by builders in erecting the Step Pyramid. The mention of the weight of the massive structure and the need for strategic placement of stones highlights the arduous nature of the undertaking, emphasizing the physical and logistical difficulties encountered by the construction team.

4. Answer: v - An overview of the external buildings and areas

Explanation: Paragraph D provides a glimpse into the expansive complex surrounding the Step Pyramid. Descriptions of its temple, courtyards, shrines, and living quarters convey the grand scale of the site, portraying it as more than just a solitary monument but as a sprawling city-like compound.

5. Answer: i - The areas and artefacts within the pyramid itself

Explanation: In Paragraph E, attention shifts inward to explore the interior of the pyramid. Details about the burial chamber, intricate tunnel network, and the discovery of numerous stone vessels within the structure offer insights into the internal layout and contents of Djoser's tomb.

6. Answer: viii - An incredible experience despite the few remains

Explanation: Despite the unfortunate loss of Djoser's grave goods and body to theft, Paragraph F suggests that the exploration of the Step Pyramid and its complex still yielded remarkable findings. The sense of wonder and amazement felt by archaeologists underscores the significance of the site despite the challenges encountered.

7. Answer: vi - A pyramid design that others copied

Explanation: The closing remarks in Paragraph G highlight the pioneering influence of the Step Pyramid on subsequent pyramid builders in Egypt. Described as a revolutionary architectural advancement, Djoser's pyramid serves as a blueprint that others emulated, cementing its legacy as an enduring symbol of innovation in pyramid design.

Question 8-11 (Notes Completion)

Complete the notes below based on the material in the text.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.

Q. The complex that includes the Step Pyramid and its surroundings is considered to be as big as an Egyptian 8 __________ of the past. The area outside the pyramid included accommodation that was occupied by 9 __________, along with many other buildings and features.

Answer: City, priests

Explanation: The solution may be found in Paragraph D, which indicates that the complex, including the Step Pyramid, was the size of a city in ancient Egypt.

Q. A wall ran around the outside of the complex and a number of false entrances were built into this. In addition, a long 10 __________ encircled the wall. As a result, any visitors who had not been invited were cleverly prevented from entering the pyramid grounds unless they knew the 11 __________ of the real entrance.

Answer: trench, location

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Question 12-13 (Multiple-Choice Questions)

Q. Which TWO of the following points does the writer make about King Djoser?

  1. Initially he had to be persuaded to build in stone rather than clay.
  2. There is disagreement concerning the length of his reign.
  3. He failed to appreciate Imhotep’s part in the design of the Step Pyramid.
  4. A few of his possessions were still in his tomb when archaeologists found it.
  5. He criticised the design and construction of other pyramids in Egypt.

Answer: 2, 4

Explanation: The passage says that people don't agree on how long King Djoser ruled. It also mentions that when archaeologists found his tomb, some of his things were still there.

IELTS Writing Section for The Step Pyramid of Djoser

In the Writing portion, applicants may be assigned a work based on Djoser's Step Pyramid that demands them to explain, evaluate, compare, or express an opinion on a specific topic. This might be in the form of an essay, report, or letter.

Q. Write a 150-word essay about the importance of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in ancient Egyptian history and its influence on future pyramid construction.

Sample Answer

The Step Pyramid of Djoser, created under the visionary Imhotep during King Djoser's reign, occupies a crucial place in ancient Egyptian history. This architectural masterpiece, a deviation from typical mastabas, presented a new design incorporating stacked stone slabs forming a tiered structure. Beyond a bare burial chamber, the 62-meter-tall Step Pyramid comprised a large complex with temples, courtyards, and shrines, illustrating the complexity of pharaonic authority.

Imhotep's remarkable innovation resonated in construction, culture, and spirituality. The Step Pyramid was a symbolic nexus, indicating the king's divine link and perpetual eternity. Its significance echoes through successive pyramid projects, especially the renowned Giza Pyramids.

Djoser's Step Pyramid essentially surpasses simple historical relevance; it incorporates ancient Egypt's cultural and theological components. Imhotep's vision and Djoser's legacy, engraved in stone, pave a road through time, defining the history of pyramid construction and representing the eternal spirit of this unique civilization.

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Tips to Prepare for IELTS Reading

The IELTS reading test assesses your ability to comprehend and interpret written facts. To score well on the IELTS reading section, you need English proficiency. But, you also need to understand analysing and interpreting texts.

Here are a few guidelines to help you prepare for the IELTS reading section:

  • Pay attention to details while reading
  • Improve your vocabulary
  • Work on analysis 
  • Focus on keywords
  • Practise regularly


In summary, going into the IELTS reading answers on The Step Pyramid of Djoser reading answers unravels the fascinating fabric of ancient Egypt reading answers. The pyramids reading answers expose architectural innovation, indicating Djoser's reign as a transformational epoch in pyramid construction. Beyond understanding the pyramids reading answers, Djoser's monument serves as the cornerstone of the pyramid's evolution, influencing later builds and mirroring the cultural intricacies of ancient Egypt. The old Egyptian reading answers around Djoser's pyramid disclose historical data and the continuing impact of this tower as a symbol of divine connection and afterlife beliefs. The Step Pyramid of Djoser appears not simply as a research subject but as a mesmerizing doorway to the mysteries of an ancient civilization, beckoning investigation into the depths of Egyptian history and cultural diversity.

With Yocket Finance, Your Key to Smart Money Management, you may unlock financial insights about The Step Pyramid of Djoser. Get specific financial solutions and professional assistance by joining Yocket Finance now.

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