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Biography of Imhotep

Imhotep: First Architect and Physician
Imhotep is the first architect and physician known by name to written history. He is also considered to be the world's first known genius. As the Pharaoh Djosèr's Vizier, he designed the Pyramid of Djzosèr at Saqqara in Egypt around 2630-2611 BC, during the 3rd Dynasty.

Imhotep also served as chancellor to the pharaoh and high priest of the sun god Ra at Heliopolis. He was said to be a son of Ptah. He was revered as a genius and was showered with titles. His full list is 'Chancellor of the King of Lower Egypt, First after the King of Upper Egypt, Administrator of the Great Palace, Hereditary nobleman, High Priest of Heliopolis, Builder, Sculptor and Maker of Vases in Chief'. Imhotep is credited as the founder of Egyptian medicine, and as author of the Edwin Smith Papyrus, detailing cures, ailments and anatomical observations. The Papyrus Edwin Smith was probably written around 1700 BC but may perhaps go back to texts written around 1000 years earlier.

Imhotep Becomes The God of Medicine and Healing
Two thousand years after his death, his status was raised to that of a god. Imhotep became the god of medicine and healing. He was linked to Asclepius by the Greeks. In artwork he is linked with other gods (a common practice in Ancient Egypt) such as Hathor, Maàt, and Amenhotep son of Hapu (another deified architect).

Imhotep Quote
Imhotep's most quoted saying is "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we shall die."

Cultural Impact Today
Imhotep is also the name of a fictional character played by Boris Karloff in the 1932 movie The Mummy, and of a similar character played by Arnold Vosloo in the 1999 movie The Mummy and its sequel The Mummy Returns. The architect Imhotep most likely provided the name for the character.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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