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Comparison Between Egyptian Mastabas and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

CriteriaEgyptian Mastaba Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Images Egyptian Mastaba Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Usage - A sepulchral structure built aboveground. A tomb built in 350 BC at Halicarnassus for the Persian satrap Mausolus, and Artemisia 2 of Caria, his wife and sister.
Shape - Mastabas were built above a shaft at the bottom of which was situated a tomb
- The structure above the ground were relatively low
- Rectangular in plan with inward-sloping walls
- Flat roof.
- Built of brick and faced with limestone slabs.
- The tomb rose as a square tapering block to one-third of the Mausoleum's 45 meter height. This is broken down into 20 m for the stepped podium, 12 m for the colonnade, 7 m for the pyramid, and 6 m for the chariot statue at the top.
- Square in plan
- The pyramidal roof, comprised the final third of the height.
- The tomb was constructed with stone and faced in marble
Historical background - This type of structure was an elaboration of the Pre-Dynastic Period burial-pit and mound form. Mastabas were favored as funerary monument from the Early Dynastic Period on
- As the Egyptian craftsmanship increased in the Early Dynastic Period, mastaba such as those of the first dynasty at Saqqara, were elaborate, having many storage or offering compartments, housing funerary chapels, shrines, offering tables and were quite evidently close copies of contemporary houses.
- In the Old Kingdom, even after the Pharaohs began to be buried in pyramids, other royal officials were still interred in Mastabas, usually around the site of the pyramid.
The project was conceived by Mausolus's wife and sister Artemisia, and the construction might have started during the king's lifetime. The Mausoleum was completed around 350 BC, three years after Maussollos death, and one year after Artemisia's.
Decorations and examples Plain undecorated exterior
Mastaba exterior
- The interior of mastaba walls were decorated with texts and images, illustrating scenes from the daily life of the deceased, offering scenes and ritual hunt scenes.
- Complex internal plan - The Mastaba of Mereruka is the largest in Saqqara. It has 32 rooms.
Mastaba plan
- Mereruka was the Vizier to Teti 1, who was Pharaoh during the 6th Dynasty.
- He was also married to Teti's daughter, Hert-watet-khet. She is buried in the Mastaba as well as their son, Meriteti. The paintings on the wall in the entrance show Mereruka painting the seasons and playing a board game.
- The first three chambers are painted with scenes of furniture making, hunting and goldsmith working. There is a sacrificial chamber at the far end of the Mastaba with six pillars. In this chamber a statue of Mereruka was found intact.
- Hert-watet-khet's, Mereruka's wife, rooms are on the western side of the Mastaba.
- Simple symmetrical plan
- The first section of the tomb was a square block, Each of the external four sides was adorned with sculptural reliefs created by each one of four Greek sculptors ? Leochares, Bryaxis, Scopas of Paros and Timotheus. These reliefs showed action scenes, including the battle of the centaurs with the lapiths and Greeks in combat with the Amazons, a race of warrior women.
- On top of the first section, the burial chamber and the sarcophagus of white alabaster decorated with gold were located on the podium and surrounded by 36 ionic columns, nine per side, that rose another 1/3 of the height.
- Perched on the top of the structure, was a statue of four massive horses pulling a chariot in which rode Mausolus and Artemisia.

Photos of Mastaba Tombs

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By Ayman Fadl - Copyright © 2001-2014