Cemeteries of Qau-Badari-Mostagedda-Matmar
The cemeteries and some settlement and temple sites along the edge of the western desert were excavated between 1922 and 1931. The area investigated stretches about 36 km, from Qau in the south to Matmar in the north. About 7000 tombs were found, excavated, recorded and published with drawings or in tomb registers. The excavations are of outstanding importance in Egyptian archaeology for two reasons: they cover an entire region, and they cover every period of predynastic and ancient Egyptian history (see a movie on the development of the region). The conservation conditions for organic material are not very good at these cemeteries, therefore only a few wooden objects (for example coffins) are preserved.
Who was buried in the cemeteries of Qau-Badari-Mostagedda-Matmar?
It is clear from the arrangement of the cemeteries along the edge of the desert, that most cemeteries in the Qau-Badari region might once have belonged to the farming villages along the Nile in this region. The South cemetery at Qau is especially large, and might have been the cemetery of the provincial capital Tbw (Tjebu). The tombs of the provincial governors at Qau el-Kebir are located to the north of this cemetery. This locality, set apart from the other parts of the cemetery, might have been chosen for reasons of prestige (discussion: Seidlmayer 1990: 206-210).
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