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The Mastaba Of Ptahshepses At Abusir

The Mastaba Of Ptahshepses

Southeast of the Pyramid of Sahure is a huge mastaba tomb, which is apparently devoted to a powerful high ranking official of the court of Sahure. The name of this official is “Prince, Councillor of Nekhen,” although there are a number of other names there too. In fact, the names of several high-ranking officials from Dynasty V can be found there, including Ptah the Memphis god.

The mastaba tomb is the second-largest mastaba, with the Mereruka at Saqqara being the largest. Jacques de Morgan was the first person to discover the tomb in 1893. The Czech Institute of Egyptology from the Charles University of Plague conducted an archaeological mission there more recently. They’re trying to restore the tomb as much as possible. The Mastaba of Ptahshepses was buried beneath 8 meters of debris. It took excavators 7 seasons to uncover the mastaba. Now visitors can visit it, even with archaeologists continuing to record their findings and explore the site.

Two elements of the mastaba feature a superstructure that was built out of masonry and mudbrick. Over the years, it has been enlarged as part of its evolution. The tomb’s grand front entrance was recently reconstructed, and it features a portico with 2 lotus columns. An elevated room containing 3 niches had statues devoted to the dead. This was likely where offerings were performed.

A huge courtyard exists in the south. Twenty different square limestone pillars support a portico that surrounds the courtyard. Ptahshepses relief decorations can be found on the pillars. There is an open court now where people can see these huge pillars for themselves. The court’s northwest corner contains a declining corridor that goes to the burial chamber, which contains Ptahshepses’ large granite sarcophagus.

Two pits shaped like a boat are found in the courtyard’s southern area. They were probably supposed to be solar boats or real boats, but that wouldn’t really make sense to have in a private tomb. But since Ptahshepses was a high-ranking court official, then anything is possible.

Updated on May 3rd 2020