Friday, August 23, 2013

Inscriptions of conventional False Door

False Door of Kha
Let us interest we closer in the inscriptions of a conventional false door (from the 4th dynasty).

This is the list of typical inscriptions for each elements of the false door (based of the material employed by the Egyptologist Reisner).

Upper Lintel

Full titles + name or offering formula + titles + name


Owner seated facing (commonly right) at table of offerings with titles, name, details of offerings

Lower Intel

Titles and name or offering formula (with titles + name introduced later)


Short titles with name or only name

Door Niche

Figure of owner facing (commonly to right), usually standing but sometimes seated or owner seated at table of offerings, titles and name, rarely offering formula

In thickness : commonly figure of owner standing with staff and wand facing out - sometimes : offering bearers facing in

Inner Jambs

Figure of owner standing usually facing in or figure of members of his family standing facing in

Outer Jambs

figure of owner, estates, offering bearers - even scenes from daily life

If you loved this article and if you wish to support this project, not to hesitate to download HIERO on the MacApp Store.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

From the archaic false door to the conventional false door !

Having analyzed the origin of false doors and the elements of a conventional false door, we are going to analyze the route through the time of our conventional false door (so characteristic from the 4th dynasty).

Dynastie 1

Archaïc Palace - Façade 1

Only for exterior of mastaba

Appearance of painting (example : red color for imitation of color of wood)

Better finish (mud plaster for finish layer, bricks of facing, line (stucco) of white color)

Round - Topped Stelae  2

Appearance of some rectangular stelae -> a first link with the conventional false door ?

1 origin from Lower Egypt

2 origin from Upper Egypt (mainly Abydos)

Dynastie 2

Round - Topped Stelae

Appearance of offering scenes

Archaïc Palace - Façade

Appearance (later than stelae) of inscriptions and pictorial representations (example : offering scenes)

Some reductions of palace - façades -> two doors appear (one great, one simple) -> appearance of "niche stone lab" (similar to the stelae ?)

The "niche stone lab" would be it the descendant of round - topped stelae ?

The "niche stone lab" can be considered as a ancestor of the panel of the conventional false door.

Dynastie 3

Archaïc Palace - Façade

Return in the palace - façade of the dynasty 1

Diminuation of the number of palace - façade (confined Eastern wall of the monument) - This type of facade will still appear till the end the Old Kingdom but has tendace to go out of use.

The panel are made wooden

Appearance doors in limestone with all components (side jambs, drum, central door niche) which are going to compose the elements of the future conventional false door

Round - Topped Stelae

It seems that the round - topped stelae do not participate any more (in any case in a important way) to the progressive evolution towards the conventional false door

Dynastie 4

Archaïc Palace - Façade

It is not any more used on the exterior of mastaba - it is transferred in chapels (Western wall)

The conventional false door is from now on the reference !

If you loved this article and if you wish to support this project, not to hesitate to download HIERO on the MacApp Store.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Elements of a conventional false door

Having analyzed the origin of false doors, let us hold we on the components of a conventional false door.

The conventional false door appears to the 4th dynasty - It is made stone.

It is an imitation of a door based on two ceremonial embrasures of a royal palace - it is used by the king, the royal family and "high-ranking" persons (in funeral context).

It is of type "palace - façade" (which is the most mature evolution of this type of false door).

It bases itself on the main elements of this type of facade with more representations and inscriptions  (example : name and titles) 1 than the elements of origin.

1 what can make vary the number of components of the false door (ex: number of jambs) according to the volume of inscriptions.

"Spaces" free of the bottom of the false door can be used, as to show the progress of the deceased through the door.

The false door for reminder is a part of the funeral equipment in the same way as the other components of a grave.

Components of conventional false door 2

© FM
2 we can find a false door with a single pair of jambs or a false door with only the upper lintel, the drum and the door niche.

To distinguish this type of false door : 
  • the prominence of the panel, 
  • the difference between the height and the width of the door niche, 
  • the position of the drum against the soffit of the door (still considered as a rolled - up curtain)


Rolled - up curtain - to protect from the sun (which allows to pass the air) or from the brilliant light.


similar to palace - façade panelling.


It is the first part of the false door must to have historically been developed except the primitive stone grave. The deceased is sat (or up) in front of a table of offerings (with time-honored formulae).

Door Niche

Created a deep illusion, a kind of passage (doorway - passage between the world of the alive and that of the death).

Its size has tendace to decrease for economic reasons (prominence given to the parts surrounding the door niche) and because of a more greater use of funeral models (repliques miniatures of equipments bound to the offerings).

The false door can not be decorated - mainly because of financial resources reduced.

If there is no decoration, there is no titles (or hierarchy of titles).

What means that there is either no construction of the social status - builds partially by the name of the deceased.

An aspect very important for the Egyptians.

If you loved this article and if you wish to support this project, not to hesitate to download HIERO on the MacApp Store.