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A new funerary monument dating to the reign of Khaba: The Quesna mastaba in the context of the Early Dynastic-Old Kingdom mortuary landscape in Lower Egypt

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    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the following chapter: Rowland, Joanne; Tassie, G. J. / "A new funerary monument dating to the reign of Khaba : The Quesna mastaba in the context of the Early Dynastic-Old Kingdom mortuary landscape in Lower Egypt" in 'Abusir and Saqqara in the Year 2015: Proceedings of the Conference held in Prague (June 22-26, 2015)', ed. / Miroslav Bárta ; Filip Coppens; Jaromir Krejčí . Prague : Czech Institute of Egyptology, 2018. p. 369-389. For more information please visit: http://cegu.ff.cuni.cz/?req=doc:konference&lang=en

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbusir and Saqqara in the Year 2015
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Conference held in Prague (June 22-26, 2015)
EditorsMiroslav Bárta , Filip Coppens, Jaromir Krejčí
Place of PublicationPrague
PublisherCzech Institute of Egyptology
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9788073087586
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2018


King Khaba of the 3rd Dynasty is most closely associated with the site of Zawiyet el-Aryan (Dunham 1978; Lehner 1997; Dodson 2000) due to the finding of a series of stone vessels in and around mastaba Z500 inscribed with his serekh. Apart from a few serekhs on seal impressions found in Upper Egypt at Elephantine and Hierakonpolis, he is virtually unknown outside of the Memphite region. There are also unprovenanced references to Khaba, including the seal impression UC11755. Many have assumed that the king was buried in the Layer Pyramid, or mastaba Z500, although some, including Swelim (1983; Lehner 1996) have questioned this. In 2010 a mud-brick mastaba (14.1 x 9.0 m) oriented north-south, was discovered at the central Delta site of Quesna, with the excavation of this structure completed in 2014. From one of the two burial chambers within the mastaba, a mud seal impression bearing the serekh of King Khaba was identified. The initial analysis of the pottery vessels (2010) from this mastaba indicated a date from Huni to Khufu, but analysis of the most recently excavated vessels (2014) may include new types, and possibly inscriptions. A small number of stone vessel fragments were also located, which appear to be of a similar stone type to those from Zawiyet el-Aryan. The exact placement of Khaba in the succession of rulers of the 3rd Dynasty is much debated, and so the finding of this mastaba in the Delta brings fresh data which may contribute towards this debate. Architectural comparisons between Z500 and the Quesna mastaba will also help to illuminate this little known reign.

    Research areas

  • Egypt, Memphis, Cemetery, Old Kingdom, Delta , Quesna

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