The First Black Architect

Written By: Jasmine Frazier

Construction is the foundation of African American history. This dates as far back as 2600 BC. During this time period the first black architect was born. Imhotep, he was an Egyptian Polymath whose name means “He who comes in peace”. He was a physician, architect, mathematician, and astronomer. Although he was known for many of his talents, he was famous for being the architect of King Djoser’s Step Pyramid at Saqqara.

Under King Djoser’s rule Imhotep was over the construction of his home. This was the beginning of change. The tombs original structure was changed from a rectangular structure to a square one. He is credited for inventing the method of stone-dressed building and using columns in architecture. Doing something out of the ordinary was only the beginning of what pushed Imhotep’s practices to be remembered well on after his life. Outside of construction Imhotep is also remembered for being the god of medicine and healing.

Imhotep was also listed as the first known physician. During his time under King Djoser’s rule, it is said that he treated over 200 diseases in his lifetime like tuberculosis, gout, gallstones and arthritis.

The life of Imhotep is not only remarkable but it is inspiring. He was able to heal, build and protect under a kings ruling during a key point in our worlds history.

Sited Work

“Imhotep – The First Physician.” Past Medical History, 20 Apr. 2018,

Z;, Mikić. “[Imhotep–Builder, Physician, God].” Medicinski Pregled, U.S. National Library of Medicine,

Mark, Joshua J. “Imhotep.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 31 Dec. 2020,

“History – Imhotep.” BBC, BBC,

Published by ICCS

ICCS Academy

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