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Mastaba #17




Before the advent of the pyramid, Egyptian kings were buried in structures called "mastabas". Mastaba's were comprised of a shaft leading into underground passageways and chambers. A moundlike superstructure was built over these chambers and resembled an Arabic bench, hence the modern name "mastaba". This mastaba is a great example of an Old Kingdom Mastaba. We will enter this ancient tomb through a robbers entrance that was burrowed into the south end of the structure:




After entering the opening one must climb down a ladder to get into the antechamber. At the bottom of the ladder is a small hole. Through this hole is the antechamber which leads back to the original opening, now blocked by debris, as well as to the main burial chamber.




To get through this small opening one must crawl through it. The intrusive hole opens into the antechamber and one must walk along wooden boards to get to the burial chamber and the original opening at the far end of the antechamber.





In the antechamber and main chamber there are no inscriptions on the walls, as is the case with most other Old Kingdom tombs. In the main burial chamber is the original granite sarcophagus, also uninscribed. It's lid has been propped up, perhaps in ancient times, by an ancient wooden hammer, the same type used to build the pyramids, inside and out....






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