Egypt's 4,600-year-old pyramid of Zoser: a history of cities in 50 buildings, day 1
The pyramids at Giza are infinitely more famous than Zoser’s. The pyramids at Dahshur are bigger. But none of them might have been built had Zoser’s not come first, in about 2600 BC.
For his step-pyramid is not only the first of its kind. It is also the world’s oldest large-scale stone monument to survive more or less in tact (the nearby Gisr el-Mudir may have been even broader, but did not survive antiquity). Its experimental construction was therefore a major turning-point in the evolution of stone architecture.