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A very interesting enigma with the serekh is that while its use is common in Dynasty 0, i.e. the depiction of this building, actual buildings which utilize this style, even tombs, are not found.

In the 1st Dynasty, however, not only do these buildings suddenly appear en masse in the form of very elaborate monumental tombs, but Egyptian material culture in general simply explodes in sophistication. Curiously though, several of these 1st Dynasty kings have tombs at Abydos (Umm el-Qa'ab) and Saqqara with the tombs at Saqqara being far superior with no palace facade at Umm el-Qa'ab (but they do have the serekh) and nothing but palace facade at Saqqara. The 1st Dynasty tombs at Saqqara, of which there are many, are truly marvelous. To look at Dynasty 0 then Dynasty 1, there is no doubt there is a sudden and fundamental change that occurred almost overnight. Stunning does not describe it.

While palace facade mastabas are found predominately at Saqqara, there are a few enigmatic exceptions to this rule, one of which the enormous very elaborate palace facade mastaba surrounded by a large enclosure wall at Naqada (Thinis) attributed to the early 1st Dynasty Queen Neithhotep (like thought to be the wife of Narmer/Menes early):

Neithhotep's name is found in a serekh implying she was a king in her own right, but instead of Horus above the serekh the symbol of the goddess Neith is depicted:

Interestingly, another queen, Merneith (buried at Abydos near Umm el-Qa'ab), perhaps a king as well, also bears the name of Neith.

The mastaba is very odd in that for one, it is in the middle of nowhere relative to royal cemeteries, some 80 miles from from the royal cemetery at Umm el-Qa'ab (Abydos) and farther still from Saqqara, but also that all of its internal structures including "burial chamber" are uncharacteristically above ground.

It was first excavated in the late 1800's and unfortunately by the time it was re-excavated decades later it had already begun to erode where today it is completely destroyed. Located south of the Naqada predynastic cemetery, I am reminded
again of the also seemingly out of place nearby massive mastabas at Beit Khallaf attributed to the 3rd Dynasty (Djoser/Senakht) which would have also been in the general area near Thinis, the early dynastic capital of Egypt before Memphis.

At any rate, we are left to wonder why this unusually large northern Egyptian palace facade style mastaba, literally at the very beginnings of Dynastic Egypt, was built in neither of the known royal cemeteries of the time.


I found this photo on Pinterest labeled "1938 Vintage Photo The Tomb or Hor Aha at Abydos second pharoah of Egypt" though I am certain it is not and is actually the mastaba of Neithhotep of whom Hor Aha is credited with building it for her under his reign.

From this ignored thread The Lost Early Dynastic Cemetery of El-Reqaqna I take an inventory of sites I have so far found that contain or may contain palace facade mastabas:
Quote

Notes to self:
Early Dynastic Cemeteries with monumental palace facade mastabas:
Saqqara
Helwan
Tarkhan
Giza (southern cemetery)
Abu Roash (Early Dynastic tomb superstructures found destroyed. Have yet to verify if any evidence of palace facade)
El-Reqaqna
Beit Khallaf (? Large mastabas, no, which is interesting, not sure about others.)
Naga ed-Deir

The 1st Dynasty supposedly lasted less than 200yrs yet here we find a vast, highly developed network of cemeteries right from the get go, most occurring within the first 130yrs or less depending on whose dating. In conjunction with the sudden arrival of monumental palace facade architecture, among other things, I am even more convinced this goes far beyond just the "unifying" of Egypt.

It is without precedent, and traditional explanation as I have argued, that such a vast scope of otherwise unknown architectural works in the 1st Dynasty could appear so suddenly and in abundance over such a relatively very short archaeological period without influence from an outside (Mesopotamian) source.

Further reading: Mesopotamian Origin of the Egyptian Serekh Palace Facade Building



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 13-Aug-18 03:34 by Thanos5150.

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The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 2287 Thanos5150 10-Aug-18 05:33
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 228 Open mind 10-Aug-18 13:30
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 207 Thanos5150 10-Aug-18 16:26
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 269 Thanos5150 13-Aug-18 03:44
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 163 Eddie Larry 13-Aug-18 04:40
Re: A Brief History of Predynastic Egypt 344 Thanos5150 15-Aug-18 04:22
Re: A Brief History of Predynastic Egypt 204 Audrey 17-Aug-18 05:32
Re: A Brief History of Predynastic Egypt 205 Thanos5150 19-Aug-18 16:07
Re: Same Motifs Found on Naqada II and Elam Pottery 156 Thanos5150 09-Sep-18 04:39
Re: Same Motifs Found on Naqada II and Elam Pottery 272 Thanos5150 10-Sep-18 04:44
Re: Same Motifs Found on Naqada II and Elam Pottery 108 Thanos5150 05-Dec-18 06:55
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 157 Koeeoaddi There 22-Aug-18 15:33
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 198 Thanos5150 22-Aug-18 23:13
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 147 Koeeoaddi There 23-Aug-18 10:04
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 174 Thanos5150 23-Aug-18 23:13
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 172 Audrey 24-Aug-18 04:16
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 143 Thanos5150 24-Aug-18 05:21
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 129 Koeeoaddi There 24-Aug-18 15:56
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 134 Thanos5150 25-Aug-18 15:01
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 143 Thunderbird 25-Aug-18 17:36
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 142 Thanos5150 26-Aug-18 01:52
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 161 Koeeoaddi There 28-Aug-18 16:25
Mod Note > Posting Images 127 Dr. Troglodyte 28-Aug-18 18:31
Thanks! 114 Koeeoaddi There 28-Aug-18 19:38
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 132 Manu 28-Aug-18 22:04
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 115 Koeeoaddi There 29-Aug-18 16:12
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 140 Manu 29-Aug-18 17:26
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 106 Koeeoaddi There 31-Aug-18 14:21
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 122 Manu 31-Aug-18 16:16
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 123 Thanos5150 28-Aug-18 23:40
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 142 Thanos5150 29-Aug-18 00:47
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 117 Koeeoaddi There 29-Aug-18 16:43
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 117 Thanos5150 30-Aug-18 05:09
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 114 Koeeoaddi There 29-Aug-18 16:32
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 130 Thanos5150 30-Aug-18 03:53
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 107 Koeeoaddi There 31-Aug-18 14:49
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 118 Thanos5150 01-Sep-18 14:50
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 120 Koeeoaddi There 02-Sep-18 13:40
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 152 Thanos5150 02-Sep-18 06:28
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 134 waggy 02-Sep-18 07:49
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 129 Thanos5150 02-Sep-18 16:00
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 127 waggy 02-Sep-18 19:41
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 127 Thanos5150 03-Sep-18 01:57
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 137 Thanos5150 14-Sep-18 22:55
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 113 Eddie Larry 15-Sep-18 00:11
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 119 Thanos5150 15-Sep-18 03:35
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 136 Eddie Larry 15-Sep-18 04:37
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 135 R Avry Wilson 03-Sep-18 01:01
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 156 Thanos5150 03-Sep-18 02:10
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 130 R Avry Wilson 03-Sep-18 07:31
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 134 Thanos5150 03-Sep-18 16:44
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 122 R Avry Wilson 03-Sep-18 19:20
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 121 R Avry Wilson 03-Sep-18 22:45
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 122 Thanos5150 03-Sep-18 23:28
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 129 Thanos5150 03-Sep-18 23:50
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 140 Corpuscles 04-Sep-18 06:05
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 113 Thanos5150 04-Sep-18 22:43
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 120 Corpuscles 04-Sep-18 23:52
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 122 Thanos5150 05-Sep-18 01:12
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 115 R Avry Wilson 05-Sep-18 03:57
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 106 Thanos5150 05-Sep-18 06:31
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 105 R Avry Wilson 05-Sep-18 07:10
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 125 Thanos5150 05-Sep-18 22:10
I plead Guilty as charged - Public Apology! 115 Corpuscles 05-Sep-18 06:39
Re: I plead Guilty as charged - Public Apology! 114 R Avry Wilson 05-Sep-18 07:31
Re: I plead Guilty as charged - Public Apology! 114 Eddie Larry 05-Sep-18 23:36
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 114 R Avry Wilson 05-Sep-18 03:40
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 127 Corpuscles 03-Sep-18 23:07
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 137 Thanos5150 06-Sep-18 02:00
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 137 Thanos5150 30-Aug-18 05:22
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 120 Koeeoaddi There 31-Aug-18 14:56
Re: Manetho Mentions 1st Dynasty Pyramids 127 Thanos5150 09-Sep-18 03:57
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 213 Audrey 14-Aug-18 05:38
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 184 Thanos5150 15-Aug-18 00:04
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 196 Thunderbird 14-Aug-18 19:44
Re: The URUK State Expansion 184 Thunderbird 24-Aug-18 17:38
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 160 Thanos5150 21-Sep-18 01:41
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 108 Thanos5150 29-Nov-18 06:13
Re: The Enigma of the Palace Facade Mastabas of the 1st Dynasty 112 Thanos5150 20-Dec-18 03:02


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