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Ancient Egyptian Tombs: The Culture of Life and Death

ISBN: 978-1-4443-9373-6
320 pages
June 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Ancient Egyptian Tombs: The Culture of Life and Death (1444393731) cover image


This book explores the development of tombs as a cultural phenomenon in ancient Egypt and examines what tombs reveal about ancient Egyptian culture and Egyptians’ belief in the afterlife.
  • Investigates the roles of tombs in the development of funerary practices
  • Draws on a range of data, including architecture, artifacts and texts
  • Discusses tombs within the context of everyday life in Ancient Egypt
  • Stresses the importance of the tomb as an eternal expression of the self
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Table of Contents

List of Figures ix

Preface xiii

Acknowledgements xv

Introduction 1

1 Nameless Lives at Tarkhan and Saqqara 7

Early Tombs and the Ka

2 Pits, Palaces and Pyramids 24

Royal Cemeteries of the Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom

3 Non-Royal Cemeteries of Dynasty 4 35

4 Unas, Teti and Their Courts 51

The Late Old Kingdom at Saqqara

5 The Tombs of Qar and Idu 68

Families and Funerals in the Late Old Kingdom

6 A Growing Independence 86

Court and Regional Cemeteries in the Late Old Kingdom

7 Ankhtify 105

A Time of Change

8 Osiris, Lord of Abydos 117

9 ‘Lords of Life’ 136


10 Strangers and Brothers 148

The Middle Kingdom in Middle Egypt

11 North and South 166

Middle Kingdom Tombs at the Royal Residence

12 Ineni, Senenmut and User-Amun 176

New Tombs for Old

13 Rekhmire and the Tomb of the Well-Known Soldier 190

Foreigners and Funerals in the Age of Empire

14 Huya and Horemheb 207

Amarna and After

15 Samut and the Ramesside Private Tomb 223

16 Sennedjem 233

Building and Buying at Deir el-Medina

17 Petosiris 245

A Dying Tradition

References 260

Further Reading 276

Index 281

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Author Information

Steven Snape is Senior Lecturer in Egyptian Archaeology at the University of Liverpool, Director of Archaeological Collections in Liverpool University’s Garstang Museum of Archaeology, and Director of its excavations at the Ramesside fortress-town of Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham. His books include Six Archaeological Sites in Sharqiyeh Province (1986), A Temple of Domitian at El-Ashmunein (1990), Egyptian Temples (1996), and Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham I: The Temple and Chapels (with P. Wilson, 2007).
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"This work is a rather ambitious attempt to summarize not only the development of the burial place in ancient Egypt and its architecture, but also the complex religious significance of the tomb, the attendant rituals and ritual objects as well as funerary texts. Admittedly, there is a great deal to be said about each of these aspects of the burial rite in ancient Egypt and the author has essayed a survey that includes a good deal of significant information as well as observation." (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 12 November 2011)


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