Mastaba: Pyramids Structural Precursor &Afterlife abode "House for Eternity"

Mastaba, was a house structure in Ancient Egypt, with similar funerary deeds like to nowadays mausoleum, but were built with the idea give to their Ka or Spirit’s a contact Sky-Earth in afterlife, in other word, an imaginary mean to perform a links between the two worlds “Hear and Hear-after”.

mastaba at Giza

A Great number of Mastabas, were built at the West side of the Nile River, the right to make one of these funeral buildings honorable privilege, awhose price was only reachable to a few selected nobles and high level officials; the size, area and features of these buildings, was based on the position, and wealth of the person or family-standing; in fact, it was a more complex concept and much less accessible than today mausoleums; although mastabas have a single trapezoidal shape, with a flat roofed building, the main entrance to a mastaba is a door-opening or/and a Niche, some have added a window or windows like niches, which resemble door and windows whose admission to the interior, does go through as if they were kind of false doors and windows, made to represent or place objects for honoring or worshiping purposes.

Today Mastabas real name, has been forgotten, mastaba is a modern name that in modern Arabic, means Bench since their primary-form, look like a sitting-bench, something where to sit and relax that old houses had in front, in a portico, so people passing by can take a break.

Before the third Egyptian Dynasty Mastabas were built with sun-dried mud-brick, but then, in Sakkara a Wise man by the name of Imhotep, that means: The one that comes in Peace. Realize that by replacing the mud-bricks for roc-bricks during the 27th century B.C. CA gave to these buildings a greater and much resistance structural design-form, a characteristic of much significance at that Time, sine it permitted Imhotep superimpose six mastaba-like terraces, on top of the other and came up with a multi-stages building that now is known by the “Step Pyramid”, the first pyramid ever made, most likely the highest artificial structure in the world at that time.

mastaba trapezoidal construction

The Niche or fake doors in these buildings had an imaginary purpose, were thought as a way that permitted the Spirit of the deceased, return to this World to obtain nourishment needed to keep living his Ka, and for such deeds, family members, close friends and other persons, brought offerings and celebrated specific rituals, for this purpose.

The niches were built in the interior or exterior of the building, having different forms and sizes that run from small window-like niches to a series of niches with emplaced statue, and diverse decorations that also reveal a position status; in some locations, replaced by the real door at the entrance of the mastaba by Niches, or added columns at to decorate the entry way, probably to indicating the level of privacy that they wished for. In some niches of these mastabas have at the one or two representations of the same person, either sitting or standing as guarding the entrance way, guarding or greeting the entrance door to his dwelling place in paradise in an imaginary place in the Sky.

The walls, were also artistically decorated with painted or carved motives related to the person’s position, representing rituals or daily deeds in this life in relationship to the symbolic afterlife of the person’s daily deeds or/and his family.

Were supposed to be the point of contact with souls in the Afterlife word and this world

As well mastabas, were filled with plenty of things supposedly need to ensure satisfaction and wellbeing in the afterlife, and the comfort and possessions that he desired or/and used in this world, as well, a statue or multiple statuettes were placed, thinking that his Spirit will share its location, along with his mummified body, which was placed in a shaft deep below the building structure.

It is especially strange that ancient American Civilizations also shared this structural and decorative burial concept, people who also took their best worldly belongings to their tombs for their happiness in immortality rather than in this World.

For more information beyond the Tourism scope. (Click this link)