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Ancient Egypt /
1. Introduction
2. Gods
3. Concepts
4. Cult
5. Cult centres
6. Necropolises
7. Structures

Detailed articleAncient Egypt

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Mastabas from the 4th and 5th Dynasties. Giza. Egypt. The Pyramid of Khafre in the back.
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Mastabas from the 4th and 5th Dynasties at Giza. The Pyramid of Khafre in the back.

A lesser, unnamed mastaba with a secret entry. Giza, Egypt.
Wall decorations in the mastaba of Neferbauptah. Giza, Egypt.

The grand mastaba next to the Pyramid of Humi at Meidum.
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The grand mastaba next to the Pyramid of Huni at Meidum was used for several dignitaries.

Rectangular tomb-chapel belonging to Ancient Egypt, beginning to be constructed from the earliest dynastic era (around 3500 BCE). The mastaba both represents the forerunner of the Pyramids, and the simpler alternative to Pyramids throughout the centuries when the Egyptians were erecting their famous pyramids.
Mastaba are structures with flat roofs, and normally built from mudbrick or stone. The mastabas had burial chambers that often were dug out in the ground, deep under the mastaba, with shafts connecting to the entrance.
The theory is that the pyramid of Zoser in Saqqara was at first constructed as a mastaba, even if it differed from the ordinary mastabaa by being made all in stone. This mastaba was extended by building five new, and gradually smaller, squares on top of it. By adding these new "stories", the pyramid was born.
All over Egypt, there are thousands of mastaba with a great variety of wall paintings, many of high artistic value. These depict everyday life in Ancient Egypt, and the mastabas represent a central source of information from that period in world history. On the other hand, the wall paintings in the pyramids depicted life in the court and among the royals.

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By Tore Kjeilen