Mastabas Research Paper

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On the fields of Giza, home to the most famous ancient wonders, sits more than just the pyramids. Located to the west of Khufu’s Great Tomb is a necropolis, a city of the dead. Rows of bench like tombs, called mastabas, laid buried under the grand shadow of the Great Pyramids. Then, during the early 20th century, these tombs were excavated, explored, and their contents catalogued. What came about from these studies was a finer understanding of the Egyptian worlds of life and death. One of many tombs strewn around the base of the Pyramid is Tomb G4340. A simple, single shaft mastaba, there would be little to extrapolate from such an understated tomb, one might think. This, however, could not be less true. To start, by carbon dating the structure, and those around the mastabas, the general time period at which the tombs were built is revealed. According to the PorterMoss Date, this particular mastabas hails from the mid to…show more content…
In keeping with the traditions of the time there is a chapel attached to the side of the mastaba. The tomb is built as rectangular structure, standing around four meters high. There is a single shaft that descends from the top of the mastaba down to the burial chamber. Generally, the mastabas was supposed to represent the home the dead, hopefully an akh at this point, would inhabit in the Underworld. However, since these homes were sealed to the living, likely to prevent, although futilely, the common practice of grave-robbing, the chapel served as the point of interaction between the dead and the living. Offerings would be brought into the chapel and placed by a false door. The purpose of this ritual feeding as in order to feed the ka, an element of the Ancient Egyptian soul (Taylor, pg. 19). Located on the “northeast corner” (Reisman’s Diary, 1/7/1912), this chapel opened to the East, the land of the living, and faced the tomb westerly, the direction of the Land of the Dead (David,

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