Monday, October 14, 2013

Western Cemetery of Giza : Mastaba 2110

Mastaba 2110

Owner & others

Nefer -> Nfr

detail of plan of Cemetery, adapted from Reisner GIZA Necropolis I, map 5 - drawing by Roth Bigio

The wife of Nefer is : Wenankhes -> Wn-ˁnḥ=s

Her titles : mỉtrt -> miteret 1rḫt nswt -> royal acquaintance

1  this title seems to be a feminine title quite common in the Old Kingdom - its meaning is unknown for us

We found too the name of 14 funerary priests5 scribes2 butchers and 1 royal acquaintance.

A link with its global title of "overseer" (Cf. "Titles" section) ? Nefer wished that these persons can be honored (example : offering basin for Muti) ?

When we know the importance of the funerary decoration and the inscriptions for an Egyptian, a sign of life and continuity, we can wonder why of such a "generosity" from Nefer !

Funerary priest

Ari -> ȝr
Iymery -> ˁIy-mry
Iperi -> ˁIpr
Ankh -> ˁnḫ
wenu -> Wnw
Wenkaef -> Wn-kȝ=f
Persen -> Prsn
Mesi -> Msỉ
Nefru -> Nfrw
Nefermeket -> Nfrmkt
Nefershemem -> Nfršmm
Nenteni -> Nntnỉ
Khuenptah -> ḫw-n-ptḥ
Kairer -> k(ȝ)=ỉ - ỉrr


Weni -> Wnỉ
Nefru -> Nfrw
Nefru junior -> Nfrw - nḏs
KhentyKauef -> ḫnty - kȝw = f
Senenuka Keki -> Snnwkȝ Kkỉ


Reri -> Rrỉ
Seshemu -> Sšmw

Royal acquaintance

Muti -> Mwtỉ


ỉmȝḫ(w) ḫr nb=f (rˁ nb) -> revered under his lord (every day)

ỉmy-r pr-ˁḥȝ -> overseer of the weapons house

ỉmy-r pr-ḥḏ -> overseer of the treasury

ỉmy-r prwy-ḥḏ -> overseer of the double treasury

ỉmy-r ẖkrt-nswt nb -> overseer of every royal ornamented

ỉmy-r sš ˁ nswt -> overseer of royal document scribes

ỉmy-r sš ˁprw -> overseer of scribes of the regiments 2

ỉmy-r sš ẖry-ˁ nswt -> overseer of scribes of the portfolios of the king

ỉmy-r stỉ ḏf(ȝw) -> overseer of the double storehouse of provisions

[ỉrr ?] mrr nb=f -> [who does what] his lord loves

wr mḏw šmˁw -> great one of the tens of Upper Egypt

mry nb=f -> beloved of his lord

rḫ nswt -> royal acquaintance (or keeper of the king’s property) 

ḥry-sštȝ nswt m swt nb -> keeper of the secrets of the king in every place

ḥkȝ ḥwt -> chief of the estate

ḫrp ˁpr(w) nfr(w) -> controller of regiments of recruits 2

sȝb nḫt ḫrw -> tally man of the judiciary

sš pr-ˁȝ -> scribe of the palace

2  Titles for military executives in the Egyptian navy - "overseer of scribes of  the regiments" : the administration of the navy was assured by scribes more organized than that of the army - this kind of scribe accompanied the expeditions and landed with the staff.

Mastaba : dating & finds

This mastaba been a member of the "list of finished mastabas in the nucleus cemetery" (after the Egyptologist Reisner).

The characteristics of this core - mastaba are appropriate to the early reign of Khufu (examples : T-shapped burial shaft, reserve head 3, portcullis grooves).

Two stages for chapel development - first : a slab stela (?), second : replace it by exterior stone chapel probably later in Dynasty 4.

The final occupation of the mastaba seems to be to the reign of Khafre.

Main finds
  • Fragments of relief about Wenankhes and her titles
  • Fragment of slab stela (?)
  • Shaft A : reserve head (found in debris) - no bones of human skeleton
  • Offering basin for Muti
  • Fragments of coffin

3 link with decapitation - one of the ancient egyptian's most feared dangers mainly during the post mortem transition from earthly life to the afterlife - This theme is present from the first funeral corpuses.


This mastaba receive final exterior casing - it joins the elite of mastabas.

The successive developments made it more place take than planned - what explains the narrow with some of these neighbors.

It is interesting for evolution of slab stela, false doors and table scene.

Type core mastaba 2a 4  / cased mastaba type IX 4

Dimensions : 21,6 m * 12 m = 259,2 sq.m - height = 4,25 m

After Mastaba of Nucleus Cemetery 2100 - G2110, plan

We used a wooden door to enter in the chapel.

Dimensions : 7 m * 2,8 m = 19,6 sq.m (outside)

This chapel contains a offering - room.

The exterior niche (which represents a false door) was used for the cult - we put down the offerings intended for the deceased there.

It appears in the mastabas of the first historic periods.

The appearance and the use of this niche is previous to the appearance and to the use of the chapels which were included in the structure of mastabas more late.

The niche was able to coexisted in certain cases with the chapel, even to disappear with the arrival of this one.

The niche offers the advantage to the visitor of power, without going into the chapel (in principle closed), to make a libation or to recite a formula.

Shaft A

Dimensions : 2,1 m * 2,05 m / -11,05m in rock

Rock chamber type 4a 4

Dimensions : 3,45 m * 3,8 m = 13,11 sq.m - Height : 2,05 m

4 for more informations on the types of Mastabas and additions, Reisner GN 1

Decoration : inscriptions

Offering basin (Muti)

rḫ nswt Mwtỉ ḥtp ḏỉ nswt ḥtp (ḏỉ) ˁỉnpw ḫnty sḥ nṯr prt ḫrw <n> = s r(ˁ) nb (?)

"Royal acquaintance, Muti. A gift which the king gives, and a gift which Anubis, foremost of the divine booth, (gives), (consisting of) invocation offerings <for> her, every day(?)"

rḫ nswt Mwtỉ n = s prt-ḫrw rˁ nb tpy rnpt [tr]

"Royal acquaintance, Muti. Invocation offerings for her(?) every day, on the first of the year festival, [tr.]."

prt ḫrw m wp rnpt ḏḥwtt wȝg

"Invocation offerings on the new year’s festival, the festival of Thoth, the wag-festival"


Entrance (two drums found and reused on anothers mastabas)

ỉmy-r sš ḥry sštȝ ȝḫt-hwfw nb ỉmȝḫ ḫr nb = f ỉmy-r pr-ḥḏ Nfr

"Overseer of scribes, master of secrets of Akhet-Khufu, possessor of veneration before his lord, overseer of the treasury, Nefer"

ỉmy-r sš ˁprw ḫrp ˁpr nfr(w) sš ˁ nswt ỉmy-r pr-ḥḏ Nfr

"Overseer of regiment scribes, controller of regiments of recruits, royal document scribe, overseer of the treasury, Nefer" 

North Entrance Thickness

... ỉmy-r sš ẖry-ˁ nswt ỉmy-r ẖkrt-nswt nb ḫrp ˁpr(w) nfr(w) ... = f nb, ỉmy-r stỉ ḏf(ȝw) ỉmy-r pr-ˁḥȝ ... ỉmȝḫw ḫr nb = f rˁ nb wr mḏw šmˁw rḫ nswt Nfr ỉmy-r prwy-ḥḏ Nfr

"overseer of scribes of port]folios of the king,  overseer of every royal ornamented, controller of regiments of recruits, all his [...], overseer of the double storehouse of provisions, overseer of the weapons house (armory?), [...revered] under his lord every day, great one of the tens of Upper Egypt, royal acquaintance, Nefer;  overseer of the double treasury, Nefer"

sš Nfrw sš pr ḥry-wḏb Wnỉ sš ḫnty-kȝw = f sš Snnw-kȝ

"The scribe Nefru, the scribe of the house of reversion offerings, Weni, the scribe Khentykauef, the scribe Senenuka." 

South Entrance Thickness

... ỉmy-r pr-ḥḏ ... ḫrp ˁpr(w) nfr(w) ... ỉmy-r stỉ ḏf(ȝw) ... rḫ nswt Nfr

"[...] overseer of the treasury, [...] controller of regiments of recruits, overseer of the double storehouse of provisions, [...] the royal acquaintance, Nefer."

wt ḥm-kȝ ˁnḫ ḥm-kȝ ˁIy-mry ḥm-kȝ Pr-sn ḥm-kȝ Msỉ ỉˁ ˁwy snṯr ḥȝtt mrḥt msdmt wȝḏt ỉrp ḫt nb(t) bnrt t-rtḥ t-wrt

"Embalmer, funerary priest Ankh, funerary priest Iymery, funerary priest Persen, funerary priest Mesi,  implements for washing hands, incense, best ointment, black eye-paint, green eye-paint, wine, every (kind of ) sweet thing, baked bread, great loaf"

t ḫȝ ḥnḳt ḫȝ sš ḫȝ mnḫt ḫȝ ḏȝt r mȝ-ḥḏ ỉwȝ ḥry-ḏbˁ

"A thousand loaves of bread, a thousand jars of beer, a thousand alabaster vessels, a thousand pieces of cloth, crane, greylag goose, oryx, ox, suckled calf." 

East Wall

ḥm-kȝ ˁIy-mr y(?) ḥm-kȝ Pr-sn ḥm-kȝ ḫw(ỉ)-n-ptḥ sš Nfrw-nḏs sš <...> ḥm-kȝ

"The funerary priest Iymery(?), the funerary priest Persen, the funerary priest Khuenptah, the scribe Nefru Junior, the scribe <...> funerary priest"

South Wall

sȝb nḫt ḫrw, ḥḳȝ ḥwt mỉtrt Wn - ˁnḫ = s

"Tally man of the judiciary, chief of the estate. miteret [Wenankh]es"

West Wall

... nfr nb = f ... ḫrp ˁp r(w) nfr(w) ỉmy-r stỉ ḏf(ȝw) ỉmy-r sš ẖry-ˁ nswt ḥry-sštȝ nswt m swt nb ỉmy-r ẖkrt nswt nb ỉmy-r pr ˁḥȝ ỉmȝḫ ḫr nb = f mry nb = f [ỉrr ?] mrr nb = f wr mḏw šmˁw ỉmy-r prwy ḥḏ sš pr-ˁȝ rḫ nswt Nfr rḫt nswt Wn-ˁnḫ = s

"[...] (good?) his lord [...] controller of regiments of recruits, overseer of the double storehouse of provisions, overseer of scribes of port]folios of the king, master of secrets of the king in every place, overseer of every royal ornamented, overseer of the weapons house, revered under his lord, beloved of his lord, [who does what] his lord loves, great one of the tens of Upper egypt, overseer of the double treasury, scribe of the palace, the royal acquaintance, Nefer; the royal acquaintance Wenankhes"

ḥm-kȝ Wn-kȝ = f ḥm-kȝ k(ȝ) = ỉ - ỉrr ḥm-kȝ Nn-tnỉ ḥm-kȝ Wnw ḥm-kȝ ˁIprỉ ḥm-kȝ Nfr-mkt

"The funerary priest Wenkaef, the funerary priest Kairer, the funerary priest Nenteni, the funerary priest Wenu, the funerary priest Iperi, the funerary priest Nefermeket"

ḫrp ? sḥ ˁnḫ ḥm-kȝ Nfr-šmm ḥm-kȝ ȝrỉ sšm sšmw sšm Rrỉ

"[controller] of the dining hall(?), Ankh, the funerary priest Nefershemem, the funerary priest Ari, the butcher Seshemu, the butcher Reri."

False - door

ỉmy-r sš ˁ nswt ỉmy-r pr-ḥḏ rḫ Nfr
ḥtp ḏỉ nswt ḳbḥ ỉˁ ˁwy bd ṯȝ snw
snṯr ḥȝtt mrḥt wȝḏw msdmt ? ḥ... ḥtp-nswt ? šns-ḏwỉw-ˁbw-rȝ t-wt t-rtḥ
ḏsrt ḥnḳt-ḫnms šn[s]-ˁ-fȝt šns-ḏwỉw-šbw swt ḳbḥ bd nḥr(w)

"Overseer of royal document scribes, overseer of the treasury, the royal acquaintance, Nefer. A gift which the king gives: one container of cold water, hand washing utensils, two pellets of natron, incense, best ointment, green eye-paint, black eye-paint, [?], h[etja]-bread(?), [royal] offering(?),  repast: a bns-loaf and a jug, barley bread, baked bread, ale, friendly beer, serving of bread, food: a bns-loaf and a jug, sut-meat, container of cold water, natron, neheru-bread, 2 loaves, ..."

two rows : "haunch, ribs, swt, and trussed fowl: persea fruit, figs, zizyphus, loaf of zizyphus, carob bean,"

ỉrp ỉȝtt
sḫpt p [ḫȝ]
ˁgwt ḫnfw 2 ḥbnnwt 2 sṯt
šˁtw sẖt ḥḏt (sẖt) wȝḏt ḫt nb(t) bnrt rnpw(t) nbt

"wine, milk, sekhepet-drink, p[ekha]-drink, prepared grain, khenfu-bread, 2, hebnenut-bread, 2, setjet-bread, shatu-bread, white 6-row barley, green 6-row barley, everything sweet, all kinds of vegetables,"

rn ỉwȝ ḫȝ rn mȝ-ḥḏ ḫȝ ḏȝt ḫȝ r ḫȝ ṯ[rp] ḫȝ s ḫȝ

ḥnḳt ḫȝ t ḫȝ mnḫt ḫȝ sš ḫȝ

"a thousand young oxen, a thousand young oryxes, a thousand cranes, a thousand greylag geese, a thousand white-[fronted] geese, a thousand teal ducks, a thousand jars of beer, a thousand loaves of bread, a thousand pieces of cloth, a thousand alabaster vessels."

ỉdmỉ ỉfdw ḫȝ snwỉ ḫȝ, wˁ ḫȝ szf ḫȝ
šsr / šmˁt - nfrt / ˁȝ
št ḫȝ psḏỉw ḫȝ ḫmnỉw ḫȝ sfḫỉw ḫȝ
sỉsỉw ḫȝ, dỉỉw ḫȝ, ỉfdw ḫȝ, ḫmtw ḫȝ
snwỉ ḫȝ, wˁ ḫȝ, szf ḫȝ, ḥr ḫȝ

"idemy-linen, a thousand of 4 (cubits wide), a thousand of 2 (cubits wide), a thousand of 1 (cubit wide), a thousand of width sezef, esher-linen/fine linen/aa-linen: (sesher-linen): a thousand of 100 (cubits wide), a thousand of 90 (cubits wide), a thousand of 80 (cubits wide), a thousand of 70 (cubits wide), a thousand of 60 (cubits wide), a thousand of 50 (cubits wide), a thousand of 4 (cubits wide), a thousand of 3 (cubits wide), a thousand of 2 (cubits wide), a thousand of 1 (cubit wide), a thousand of width sezef, a thousand of width her,"

ỉt šmˁw ỉt Mḥ bdt swt
bšȝ d(w) ḏw bnrwt wˁḥ
ỉmy - [r] sš ˁprw ỉmy-r pr - ḥḏ Nfr

"Upper Egyptian barley, grain of Lower Egypt, emmer, wheat, malt, meal, dates, carob beans. Over[seer] of scribes of the regiments, overseer of the treasury, Nefer."


- Porter Moss III part 1 p 72-74

- Peter Der Manuelian « Mastaba of Nucleus Cemetery 2100 part 1 »

- Reisner GN 1

- RdE 40 JM. CHEVEREAU "Prosopographie des cadres militaires" p 25, 32

- JARCE 43 N. PICARDO "Semantic Homicide and the So-called Reserve Heads : The Theme of Decapitation in Egyptian Funerary Religion and Some Implications for the Old Kingdom" p 221 - 252

Useful links

3D Giza Project

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