MASTABAS: TOMBS OF THE OLD KINGDOM
(MAINLY SAQQARA, BUT ALSO GIZA)


AKHETHOTEP AND PTAHHOTEP
Mastaba D64, although named outside as "The Tomb of Ptahhotep", primarily belongs to his father Akhethotep.This results from its early history, when only the chapel of Ptahhotep was open to the public. It is rich with original scenes, combining the precision of attentive observation with that of the remarkable smoothness of execution. Its painted bas-beliefs easily hold up to comparison with those of the mastaba of Ty.

IRUKAPTAH
Situated to the south of the causeway of Unas, this tomb called "tomb of the butchers" is famous for its amazing number of statues whose polychromy is well preserved. It dates from the end of the 5th Dynasty.
Although listed under "mastabas", this is actually a tomb; mastabas were provided with a major structure above the ground surface. The area of Saqqara contains a great many mastabas, but also tombs.

IASEN AND PENMERU
The mastaba of Iasen (G2196) is located in the “en echelons” cemetery at Giza. It combines a classic mastaba, on the surface, and a chapel carved into the rock plateau The decoration, which is without special originality, has however the great merit of being well-preserved. Iasen's mastaba is linked architecturally to one of its neighbours, that of Penmeru, (G2197), this is described at the end of the G2196 article"

KAGEMNI
Kagemni was a vizier at the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 6th Dynasty. His magnificent mastaba is decorated, as was usual for this time, with very realistic scenes of the daily life , and which help us discover whole new things about daily life in the Old Kingdom.
MEREFNEBEF
This is an exceptional monument, both in the quality of its creation, as well as in the freshness of its colours.
This mastaba also has a history which can be partially recreated, in which politics and family matters had an influence.
MERERUKA
Mereruka succeeded Kagemni as a vizier under king Teti. His huge mastaba had no less than 31 rooms (21 his, 5 his wife's and 5 his son's), and it appears sumptuous when compared to the remains of the pyramid of Teti, his sovereign. Proof is found in the decoration of the emergence of a real aristocracy, resulting in the disappearance of royalty at the end of the 6th Dynasty.
MERESANKH III
This daughter of Kawab and Hetespheres II, died at about the age of 50.
Mastaba tomb (G7530-40, at Giza) has a rock cut chapel (G7530sub) which consists of three decorated chambers. The actual burial chamber is accessed via a shaft.
MERYTETI
Meryteti, son of Mereruka, his chapel is part of the total mastaba complex attributed to his father. Compared with that of his father, it is much smaller by room count, but it does have its own burial chamber. Of all the walls of its three decorated rooms, only the false door of C3 is painted.
NEFER AND KAHAY
The tomb of Nefer and Kahay includes very classical scenes, which one expects to find in a mastaba of this time, around 2400 BC.
NEFERHERENPTAH
Situated to the south of the Unas causeway, as does that of Irukaptah which it is a neighbour, this mastaba is known as "the bird tomb". It is much larger than what the only visitable section implies, since it spreads on to three levels.
NIANKHKHNUM AND KHNUMHOTEP
The mastaba of "the Two Brothers" includes a double chapel, where one finds the famous scene of the embrace of the two brothers. This can be explained by the exceptional character of this double mastaba for two characters to the same social status, and therefore sharing the same funeral status.
NIKAUISESI
Discovered in 1979-80, this mastaba is located immediately behind the one of Kagemni. It contains five chambers (four of which are decorated) plus a serdab and an inner courtyard with stairs which originally lead to the roof.
NYANKHNEFERTEM
Neighbour of the one of Merefnebef, which served as a model, this mastaba of the VIth dynasty is very well protected. Its decoration allows one to imagine the problems in the family of this funeral priest of temples annexed to the pyramids of Unas and Teti.
TY
The tomb of Ty at Saqqara is probably the best-known non-royal tomb of the Old Kingdom. It is remarkable for the range of topics shown in its reliefs, the quality of their execution and their excellent preservation.
WATETKHETHOR
The mastaba tomb of Watetkhethor, the wife of Mereruka and daughter of the pharaoh Teti I, is part Mereruka's total mastaba complex, occupying the south-west corner.
It contains 5 chambers, 3 of these and the connecting passages are decorated. Her burial chamber is accessed from the roof via a flight of stairs.