The Monumentality of Mastabas: Identity, Memory, and Experience in the Mastaba of Akhmerutnisut at Giza (Fifth Dynasty, c. 2494-2345)
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CitationTorres, In�s. 2021. The Monumentality of Mastabas: Identity, Memory, and Experience in the Mastaba of Akhmerutnisut at Giza (Fifth Dynasty, c. 2494-2345). Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation provides, for the first time, an in-depth, context-sensitive study of the Fifth Dynasty (c. 2494-2345 BCE) funerary complex (or mastaba) of the ancient Egyptian official Akhmerutnisut, originally located in the Western Cemetery at Giza (G 2184). Through an interdisciplinary analysis of the ¬¬funerary complex of Akhmerutnisut, drawn from visual and material culture studies, this dissertation aims to understand the relationship between the monument (the tomb), the person who commissioned the monument (the tomb owner), and the people who experienced the space (the tomb visitors).
This study shows that the tomb was not just a funerary space where the body of the deceased was deposited and his cult was performed; rather, it was also a social space where the deceased was memorialized and eternalized, and where kin-groups developed and performed rituals of relatedness. The memorialization of the deceased was partially dependent on the lived experience of the tomb visitor. The analysis of the mastaba of Akhmerutnisut conducted in this dissertation showed that the tomb was designed with the importance of the tomb visitor in mind, as an agent of remembrance and of the maintenance of the necessary funerary cult. By combining established architectural layouts, decorative themes, inscriptions, and funerary objects with architectural, iconographic, and textual innovations, the mastaba of Akhmerutnisut was used to craft a self-constructed narrative of the memory of the deceased.
Through the physical space and material environment of the tomb, the tomb owner communicated with tomb visitor, and the tomb visitor was in contact with the tomb owner. It was the built environment of the tomb which made the dialogue between the living and the dead possible. Therefore, the comprehensive analysis of the mastaba of Akhmerutnisut demonstrated that the relationship between tomb, tomb owner, and tomb visitor was one of interdependence.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37368426
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