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Burial customs from the late Old Kingdom to the Twelfth Dynasty
(about 2250 - 1850 BC)

The focus of a tomb at the end of the Old Kingdom moved to the Underground chambers; as a result:

The decoration of the mastaba with reliefs or paintings became less important, though it never disappears
the serdab with the statue in it disappears


Important developments now took place in the underground burial chambers

Development of a standard coffin type
Some chambers were decorated with offering lists and friezes of objects
First Intermediate Period and early Middle Kingdom (about 2025-1700 BC) coffin interiors are painted with religious texts and friezes of objects
a small statue of the tomb owner was placed near or in the coffin
wooden models showing craftsmen; servants or ships were placed near or on the coffin
the head of the dead was covered with a mask
under the head of the dead was placed a headrest; at the feet were placed sandals
tombs have often sex specific burial goods: women are buried with jewellery, cosmetic objects and grinding stones; men are buried with weapons and status symbols
Pottery symbolised the food provision. A flat bowl (drinking bowl) and tall jar (container of liquid) are very common.
the contracted position of the body becomes less and less common


Examples of tombs

the burial of a provincial governor with wooden models and model tools
Sixth Dynasty, wooden models; statues of the tomb owner in burial shaft
First Intermediate Period, with mummy mask, headrest and standard coffin
Early Middle Kingdom, with a set of wooden models and a standard coffin
First Intermediate Period, with button seal and mirror
the burial of a woman with grinding stone, mirror and jewellery
First Intermediate Period, with button seal, mirror
First Intermediate Period, with button seal, necklace, grinding stone
First Intermediate Period, simple burial with a button seal
First Intermediate Period, with button seal, beads, grinding stone



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