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    Mastaba – archaelogy Essay (438 words)

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    A mastaba is a type of ancient Egyptian tomb in the form of a flat-roofed, rectangular structure with inward sloping sides, constructed out of mud-bricks (from the Nile River). These edifices marked the burial sites of many eminent Egyptians during Egypt’s Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom. In the Old Kingdom epoch, local kings began to be buried in pyramids instead of in mastabas, although non-royal use of mastabas continued for over a thousand years. Egyptologists call these tombs mastaba, which is the Arabic word for “stone bench”.

    The term mastaba was first used archaeologically in the 19th century by workmen on Auguste Mariette’sexcavation at ?aqq?rah to describe the rectangular, flat-topped stone superstructures of tombs. Subsequently, mastaba was also used for mud brick superstructures.

    Old Kingdom mastabas were used chiefly for nonroyal burials. In nonroyal tombs a chapel was provided that included a formal tablet or stela on which the deceased was shown seated at a table of offerings. The earliest examples are simple and architecturally undemanding; later a suitable room, the tomb-chapel, was provided for the stela (now incorporated in a false door) in the tomb superstructure.

    Storage chambers were stocked with food and equipment, and walls were often decorated with scenes showing the deceased’s expected daily activities. What had earlier been a niche on the side grew into a chapel with an offering table and a false door through which the spirit of the deceased could leave and enter the burial chamber.

    he kings used to be buried in the tombs and mastabas before starting to use the pyramids. The Mastaba was the oldest tomb style known in Egypt. In the old Kingdom was a rectangular structure roofed flat; Adobe or stone with an underground burial chamber.

    The tomb is usually composed of two distinct parts: the Chapel and the crypt. The walls of the Funeral Chapel; which were much decorated staying a backdoor as a way of symbol linking the living with the dead.

    They also placed a carved image of the owner of the Tomb. The main hall was flanked by several smaller rooms which were the provisions of the deceased containing furniture, offers, sacred text, victuals, etc. They wanted to ensure that the deceased had at its disposal the necessary on their way to the “life after death”.

    References (2017). Mastaba | Art History Summary. Periods and movements through time.. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Oct. 2017]. (2017). Mastaba. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Oct. 2017].

    Encyclopedia Britannica. (2017). mastaba | archaeology. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Oct. 2017].

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