Relatively low, rectangular structure which owes its name to the modern Arab word for "bench". This structure was favoured as a funerary monument from the Early Dynastic Period . Originally, the mastaba was built above a shaft at the bottom of which was situated a tomb. As the Egyptian craftsmanship and wealth increased, the mastabas became more elaborate, housing funerary chapels and shrines and offering tables where the cult for the deceased was held.
Unlike their royal counterparts -the pyramids-, which were left undecorated, the Old Kingdom mastabas offer us a variety of texts and images, illustrating scenes from the daily life of the deceased, offering scenes and ritual hunt scenes.