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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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Saff tomb

Simple saff tomb. Gurna, Egypt
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In Ancient Egypt, type of rock-cut tomb.
Saffs consisted of an open-air court and a chambers cut into the mountain side. The court was cut out in the desert terrace, sunken down from the terrain, but with an opening in front leading directly into it. The courtyard was simple; along the mountain side, there was a row of heavy, square pillars, behind which, chapels and burial chambers had been cut into the mountain side, but not running deep.
The development of the saff was purely Theban, independent of the burial traditions in the north, as these had been during the Old Kingdom.
Saffs were mainly used in the Tarif area north of Thebes, but private saffs have been found at Armant and Dendera too.
Saffs were the preferred tomb structure for the first kings of the 11th Dynasty. They would not survive this dynasty, but two dimensions of it did: Rock cut tombs would remain the preferred for future kings of Thebes, as the case was with the Valley of the Kings. And Mentuhotep 2, the 11th Dynasty ruler who united Egypt, elevated the saff structure to a combined rock cut/above ground structure at Dayr al-Bahri, which 6 centuries later be the model of Queen Hatshepsut's famous and larger temple.
The word comes from Arabic, meaning "row".

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By Tore Kjeilen