Old Kingdom Mastabas

The complex of Mastabas, officially dated by the Old Kingdom, is located in a kilometer to the south-west of the Red Pyramid and the same distance to the north-west of the Bent Pyramid.


Mastabas, located there, are built in several different ways. Here we see together - the processed limestone blocks, adobe, plaster and cement.








During the preparation of the expedition, while studying all the available material on Dahshur Mastabas of the Old Kingdom, we had assumption, that processed limestone blocks were taken from the surface of the Red and Bent Pyramids. These block could be delivered to the destination along the small rivers. The dried riverbeds are shown on the satellite image of Dahshur (in the top of the page).

If look carefully at the satellite image of Mastabas area, we can see the river and the "dam" (area 1). Considering the dried riverbeds near the Red Pyramid (area 2), we can see the number of small objects, looking like the "sunken blocks", which could be lost in the water while loading on the boats. Hence it could be quite logical hypothesis about traveling of the Pyramid's blocks per kilometer from home.

But! If we go to Dahshur and see all these by our own eyes, the "dam" turns into a small mound of pebbles:


The "sunked blocks" are appeared to be just the piles of stone smithers and rubble.

...And a version of using the facing blocks of the Pyramids for the construction of Mastabas, dissolved in the air of Dahshur.

But even if we assume theoretically, that the blocks were "borrowed" from the Pyramids, how we can explain that fact, that the half of Mastabas masonry is made of adobe? Why the Mastaba builders used adobe technology, while the valuable, "building material" is still waiting in it's "warehouse" in 100 meters from the Red Pyramid

Therefore, these limestone blocks, that forming the basenments of Mastabas, could be the elements of some unknown ancient building, that ever existed in the area of Mastabas present location.

In addition, the hole in a brick facing wall of one of the Mastabas, showed the fragment of the internal masonry - limestone block.

This fact, in conjunction with other facts, made us suggest a hypothesis, that these mastabas - are only the top of the iceberg, hiding beneath the sands of Dhashur. When looking at the Mastaba № 17 in Meidum, you would never think that it may hide inside itself like this ...



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