The Mastaba of Mereruka is one of the largest in Saqqara with about 30 chambers. Excavated in 1893, by J. de Morgan, it is ... More
Mastaba of Mereruka
The Mastaba of Mereruka is one of the largest in Saqqara with about 30 chambers. Excavated in 1893, by J. de Morgan, it is the tomb and funerary temple of Mereruka, Vizier to Pharaoh Teti of the VI Dynasty. Mereruka was also married to the pharaoh's daughter, Hert-Watet-Khet, who was a priestess of the cow goddess, Hathor. Mereruka, his wife, and their son, were all buried in this mastaba. The murals, depicting Mereruka and his family, are interesting and well-preserved.
When you go to Saqqara and see the stepped pyramid complex of King Djoser, take the time to visit the Mastaba tomb of the high official of Teti, Mereruka. The tomb is actually enormous with 32 chambers in it and approximately 3000 square feet. Over half of the chambers are for Mereruka himself and the rest are for his wife and son and daughter. Mastaba means "bench" in Arabic and refers to the above ground shape of the chapel and offering chambers. The actual burial chamber is subterranean. Mereruka's offering chamber is pretty large with six columns and there is a life sized statue of him seeming to step right out of a doorway to receive his offerings - for the Egyptians, statues or paintings were animated with an "opening of the mouth" ceremony by the priests before the tomb was sealed so that the deceased could live on while the mummy was sealed in the chamber below.
The paintings of Mereruka's life cover the walls of his chambers, there are numerous animals, hunting scenes, farming, harvests, Mereruka and his wife banqueting while their daughter plays the harp and other activities.
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