Tombs - Mastabas of Saqqara




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Mastaba of Ankh-mahor

This mastaba is from the 6th Dynasty along with those of Mereruka and Kagemni. In the entrance the reliefs show scenes involving agriculture and fording. Medical scenes are shown in the doorway that leads into a five pillared room. Thus, this tomb is referred to as the Physician's Tomb. Ankh-mahor was not a physician. He was a ka-priest. The reliefs in the five-pillared room are not in good condition, however they do show mourners very graphically.




Mastaba of Kagemni

The mastaba of Kagemni is of the 6th Dynasty. Kagemni is thought to have been a judge and a priest. The reliefs that are found in this mastaba are not as numerous as Mereruka's tomb, but the detail in each is very apparent.

Beyond the antechamber, you will find a three-pillared room. The reliefs on these walls show different scenes. There are scenes of fishing, ones with crocodiles, dragonflies, frogs and grasshoppers. Geese are shown with hyenas. On a different wall, a cow is lassoed and a puppy is being fed. There is a room to the right of the three-pillared room which has reliefs of greyhounds and monkeys. Kagemni is shown in one as well. Birds are done very well in this room. The details of wading birds, ducks and geese eating are wonderfully done. There are also three offering rooms in this chamber.




Mastaba of Ptah-Hotep and Akhti-Hotep

This mastaba is actually a double mastaba. Ptah-Hotep seems to have held a very important position during the reign of Djedkare during the V Dynasty. Djedkare was the predecessor of Unas. Ptah-Hotep was self-described as a priest of Maat. Akhti-Hotep is thought to have been Ptah-Hotep's father. He was the vizier, chief of the treasury and the granary, as well as a judge.

This mastaba is smaller than the Mastaba of Ti, but is more interesting. The reliefs that are found inside are not all completed. The main corridor has reliefs on both sides. On the left are what appear to be preliminary drawings in red. Over the red are corrections in black made by the master artist. Other reliefs show fowl being carried by servants to Ptah-Hotep.

At the end of the corridor to the right to a pillard hall and then left is Ptah-Hotep's tomb chamber. The reliefs in the tomb chamber are the best preserved of the Old Kingdom. They have retained some color and are more famous than the mastaba of Ti. The ceilings in the tomb chamber are imitations of the trunks of palm trees.

Back into the pillard hall and to the left is the chamber of Akhti-Hotep. It is quite similar to Ptah-Hotep's, although less decorated. Through a passageway to the left is a chamber that contains a mummy that has not been identified. The passageway leads to the pillard hall and the entrance corridor.




Mastaba of Princess Idut

Princess Idut was Unas' daughter who was king of the Vth Dynasty. The reliefs are of good quality and in good condition. In the second chamber of the mastaba, there is a scene of hippo hunting. There are also scenes of men approaching the princess on shore. The scenes in other rooms are very typical of other offering scenes.




Mastaba of Queen Nebet

Queen Nebet was the wife of Unas (Unis). This mastaba is located north of the Pyramid of Unas. It is very well preserved and fascinating. There are three rooms in this tomb. The most interesting is the second room. It contains some scenes of Nebet in the harem, or women's quarters, in the palace, which is rare to be seen. A gallery can be reached through a doorway from the second room. This gallery's walls are beautifully decorated.




Mastaba of Ti

In 1865, Mariette discovered the mastaba of Ti. It has since been restored by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities. Ti was a hairdresser to the royalty during the early V Dynasty, as well as controller of the farms and stock that belonged to the royal family. His wife was related to the royal family so his children were referred to as royal descent. He was not given this title. In this tomb, his wife and eldest son were also placed although their remains were stolen along with the goods that were inside.

The mastaba was originally placed on top of the sand. It has sunk entirely into the sand it was placed on top of. The open court has a shaft that leads to the burial chamber. A narrow passageway leads into the burial chamber. The reliefs inside are close in quality and quantity to those in Ptah-Hotep's tomb, although there is much more of a variety of reliefs in Ti's tomb.

All of these passageways are decorated with impressive reliefs. The main hall has a small room that sits along one wall with three eye level holes so that the dead could witness the offerings that were part of the tomb rituals. Inside this room was a statue of Ti. The original is in the Egyptian Museum and a replica has been put in the room in its place.




Mastaba Faraoun - Tomb of Shepseskaf

He was the last Pharaoh of the 4th Dynasty (2613 - 2494 BC). The inside is undecorated and large granite blocks make up the walls. The tomb looks like a huge sarcophagus from the outside. It was originally covered with a thin layer of limestone.

Further to the south are two more pyramids. The first belongs to Khendjer. This pyramid is made of brick and has a funerary complex that is made of quartzite. The second pyramid has no inscriptions and is unfinished. It has white stone chambers which are underground and a funerary chamber made of quartzite. No signs of use are found.




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