The First Engineer

The history of the first engineer

By: Luke Sangkharat, Journalist

Have you ever wondered who founded engineering, or who was the first engineer? There is really no way to find the “first” engineer as people haven’t been recording this information since the dawn of time. I suppose the theoretical “first” engineer would be the person who created a rock on a stick to kill animals, but that person has no name. According to the first records, the first engineer, known by name and achievement, was an little-known man named Imhotep.

Early Life

Imhotep was born in the 27th century and is widely considered to be the first engineer on Earth. He was raised as a commoner, but his drive for success and intelligence allowed him to rise through the social ranks in ancient Egypt. He quickly became one of the most trusted advisors for Djoser and was lucky enough to be able to architect his tomb.

Adulthood/Post Mortem

Imhotep was a vizier, sage, architect, astrologer, and the chief minister to Djoser, an ancient egyptian pharaoh. He is most known for his work as an architect of the step pyramid in the city of Memphis. It hasn’t been confirmed that he designed it, but his name is inscripted on the statue of Djoser, showing his high standing and achievements as an advisor. It still stands today and can be visited by tourists. His influence lasted longer than his life and in the “New Kingdom” he was known as the patron of scribes and was the human embodiment of wisdom and education. This isn’t the end though, during the late period, from 664 BCE to 332 BCE, he became a deity and was a local god in the city of Memphis where he was known for skills as a physician and a healer. However, all good things come to an end, and his reputation lasted him until seventh century AD during the Arab invasion of North Africa. He paved the road on the way to engineering achievement and is an inspiration to many.

In conclusion, Imhotep was a man full of determination and intelligence, he revolutionized the world of architecture and engineering and should be more widely known.

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Visit the Pyramid of Djoser to see history yourself!