Saqqara is a vast area swathed in the ruins and monuments of Ancient Egypt. While Memphis was at the height of its glory, Saqqara served as its necropolis. For over 3,000 years, (even as Giza and the Valley of the Kings eclipsed it as the favored royal resting place) it served that purpose for minor rulers. The most well-known monument is the Step Pyramid of the Pharaoh Djoser (or Zoser I), built by the brilliant architect Imhotep; the step pyramid is the oldest monument dedicated to the afterlife (dating from the Third Dynasty) and was the inspiration for the Great Pyramids. There are 16 other pyramids as well as numerous mastabas in Saqqara.