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flat, for the face of each course of masonry, formed of stones
squares of which are uni- 2% –"
Plan and position of mastabas.
Orientation of mastabas.
one yellowish, and the other black ; both sorts were sun-dried only. The bricks of a yellowish colour seem to have been used entirely during the earliest dynasties, and the black ones only appear with the second half of the IVth dynasty. However carefully the outside of the mastaba was built, the inside is composed of sand, pieces of stone thrown in without design or arrangement, rubble, rubbish, etc., and but for the outside walls holding all together many of them must have perished long since. The eastern face of the mastaba is the most important, for, four times out of five, the entrance
is in it; it is sometimes, but very rarely, bare. Some yards from the north-east corner is, at times, a very high, narrow opening, at the bottoin of which the masonry of the mastaba itself assumes the form of long vertical grooves, which distinguish the stelæ of this epoch ; a stele, with or without inscription, sometimes takes the place of this opening. At a distance of some feet from the south-east corner is generally another opening, but larger, deeper and more carefully made ; at the bottom of this is sometimes a fine inscribed calcare
ous stone stele, and sometimes a 7. The upper chamber, the small architectural façade, in the
pit, and the sarcophagus centre of which is a door. When chamber of a Maştaba.
the eastern face has the opening at the south-east corner which has just been described, the mastaba has no interior chamber, for this opening takes its place. When the maștaba has the façade in the place of the opening, there is a chamber within. When the entrance to the mașțaba is made on the north side, the façade is brought back to the end of a kind of vestibule, and at the front of this vestibule are set up two monolithic columns, without abacus, and without base, which support the architrave, which supports the ceiling. The entrance to the mastaba is
The stele in maş. tabas.
sometimes made from the south, but never from the west; the top of the mastaba is quite flat.
The interior of the complete maștaba consists of three The parts, the chamber, the serdab, and the pit. Having entered mastaba
chamber. the Chamber by the door in the side, it is found to be either without any ornamentation whatever, or to be covered with sculptures. At the bottom of the chamber usually facing the
east, is a stele, which, whether the walls are inscribed or not, is always inscribed. At the foot of the stele, on the bare ground, is often a table of offerings made of granite, alabaster, or calcareous stone; two obelisks, or two supports for offerings, are often found at each side of this table. Besides these things the chamber has no furniture, and it rarely has a door. B. M.
Not far from the chamber, oftener to the south than to the
narrow that the hand can only be inserted with difficulty, leads from the serdâb into the chamber; in the serdâb statues of the deceased were placed and the narrow passage served
1 A serdáb, ulo now, strictly speaking, is a lofty, vaulted, subterranean chamber, with a large opening in the north side to admit air in the hot weather.