The Museum’s Egyptian Expedition

Originally Published in 1930

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MR ROWE’S report for December states that he devoted the month chiefly to work on the large mastabah mentioned in the February Bulletin. He found that the tomb originally had been, unlike the majority of known mastabahs which are simple trapezoids in elevation, apparently very like the elongated Third Dynasty step pyramid of King Zozer at Sakkara, which is commonly assumed to be the earliest existing pyramid. At a later period of its history the upper part of the mastabah was filled in with rubble, and a casing was added to give the tomb the appearance of an ordinary niastabah. Its construction bears a close analogy to that of the Meydum pyramid itself, for in each case the nucleus was stepped and later covered with a single smooth casing. The only known parallel to this mastabah i the tomb of King Sa-nekht of the Third Dynasty, discovered by Professor Garstang at Bet Khallaf. Both seem to be links in the chain of development from mastabah to pyramid.

Two small boxes with concentric circle patters along the top edges
Plate V — Wooden Trinket Boxes
From the Museum’s Excavations, Meydum

In clearing the outer brick retaining wall Mr. Rowe continued to find many intrusive burials of the New Empire and of later periods. Of about forty tombs opened the majority had been disturbed and were of a poor sort, one only yielding a perfect coffin, beautifully decorated and inscribed. It belonged to a man named Ka-Gemesh or Gemesh and is decribed by Mr. Rowe as the finest of its type ever to have been found at Meydum. With it were pottery jar, amulets , scarabs, a basket, a head-rest, and a walking stick evidently used by the deceased during his life.

A little to the east of the great mastabah Mr. Rowe found a second, which had been anciently robbed. In a pit near its northeast corner, however, he found three contracted burials of the early Fourth Dynasty, with some tomb furnishings.

Cite This Article

"The Museum’s Egyptian Expedition." Museum Bulletin I, no. 3 (March, 1930): 7-10. Accessed July 15, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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