Creativity and Innovation in Non-Royal Tombs of the Old Kingdom: The Mastaba of Akhmeretnisut at Giza

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


The Giza mastaba of Akhmeretnisut (G 2184), excavated in 1912 by the Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition, has been occasionally mentioned in the scholarly literature due to its innovative iconographic program. However, an exhaustive analysis of this unusual funerary complex has never been undertaken, thus providing an opportunity for a deeper discussion of the art, iconography, and architecture of private tombs of the Fifth Dynasty (c. 2494-2345 BC) at Giza.
This lecture will present the most recent research conducted on the mastaba of Akhmeretnisut and discuss the importance of this tomb for the understanding of private funerary monuments of the Old Kingdom. The decorative program of this mastaba is unparalleled in several ways: not only does it contain scenes unattested elsewhere, the spatial arrangement of the decoration is very unusual. Therefore, the mastaba of Akhmeretnisut is an excellent example of how the rules of decorum could be bent by the tomb owner to express creativity and display innovations in both iconography and architecture.
PeriodJun 2020
Held atAmerican Research Center in Egypt, United States
Degree of RecognitionInternational