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Architecture in the Old Kingdom (about 2686-2181 BC)

The oustanding monuments of the period are the royal funerary complexes, comprising pyramid and temples. The funerary architecture for officials is also well documented. Little is known about the contemporary temple architecture: two 'sun-temples' of the Fifth Dynasty have been excavated, but these belong to the royal cult - some smaller provincial temples are well recorded (Elephantine, Tell Ibrahim Awad)

sun temples

Mastabas are the common tomb type in funerary architecture of high officials, following a tradition established in the Early Dynastic Period. Mastabas in the Third Dynasty and under Snefru are built in mud brick. Under Snefru stone became a common material, especially at the court cemeteries, but mud bricks never fell entirely out of use. Rock cut tombs appear for the first time in the Old Kingdom (about 2686-2181 BC) .

(click on the image for more information on the tomb types)

Rock tombs



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