Rock-Cut Tombs at Beni Hasan

Rock-Cut Tombs at Beni Hasan

Date ca. 1950-1900 BCE

Movement Egyptian | Old Kingdom | 11th and 12th Dynasties

Medium Painted limestone relief

Location Beni Hasan, Egypt

While mastabas and sunken tombs continued to play a role in funerary architecture, rock-cut tombs were popularized amongst the ruling elite, like this one seen here along the Nile’s east bank.  Rock-cut tombs shared many characteristics of mastabas, in that they would have been lined with painted reliefs and sculptures of the deceased. In this particular tomb, a niche would have housed the sculpture of the person to which this tomb was dedicated. As in the Tomb of Ti, rock-cut tombs like this one in Beni Hasan often contain reliefs that depict the deceased’s attendants performing their daily duties. These paintings were thought to be a source of nourishment or entertainment for the ka in the afterlife.