Mastaba S3038 at Saqqara: a new perspective on old data
- Číslo 23 
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
Source documentPrague Egyptological Studies, 2019, 23, 106-124
First Dynasty, Saqqara, mastaba tomb, singular design, phased construction, mortuary practice
In 1937 Walter Bryan Emery excavated tomb S3038 at Saqqara and discovered some astonishing new construction features inside. The tomb had a stepped core over the burial chamber, which was built over with two successive platforms, accessible from the outside. The construction showed a succession of stages, defined as changes in design. The shape of the core made Emery think that this tomb was a precursor of the later step pyramids. This hypothesis did not find much support. A re-evaluation from a construction perspective of all available data, including the unpublished field notes of the excavator, leads to different conclusions. Each successive stage was purposefully constructed to fulfil a role in the mortuary practices. In other words, the construction elements were part of a singular and preconceived design. Based on the premise of practices reflected in the construction of this unique tomb, it is also possible to reflect on the design of other tombs of the First Dynasty at Saqqara.