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Tomb types: staircase Tomb

At the beginning of the First Dynasty rich people and even kings were still buried in large rectangular holes in the ground. As the tombs increased in size and depth, it became more difficult to bring all the burial goods into these tombs. In the middle of the First Dynasty a tomb staircase was introduced to give easier access to the underground chambers at death. There may also have been changes in religious belief, reflected in this change, but these are not recorded. In most cases the staircase entrance lay outside the mastaba and so the tomb could be built during the lifetime of the tomb owner. With a simpler form of tomb this was not possible: the mastaba could only be built after the burial.

Staircase tombs are typical for the second half of the First Dynasty to the Third Dynasty.

(click on the pictures to see the 3d models)

some examples for staircase tombs

Abydos tomb of king Den (First Dynasty) / Ballas / Qau tomb 507 (First - Second Dynasty) / Lahun Bashkatib 806 (Second Dynasty)

see other tomb types


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