The Mastaba Mount Excavations extend southwards from a point about 200 metres S. of the large cliff quarries just to the south of the Sphinx. For 600 metres the concession follows southwards the low broken ridge which borders the Libyan desert plateau, then, extending westwards for some 750 metres, terminates at a promontory which rises 1,400 metres due S. of the Great Pyramid. Just 35o metres to the north, and intersecting this Pyramid line, are the Ancient Causeway ruins, shown in Perring’s Plates.
The above promontory is surmounted by this tomb no. 1 – an immense sub-brick structure (61 m. 27 cent. x 34 m. 53 cent.) of the 1st Dynasty. In this great Memphian necropolis such a fine site would naturally be selected by the builders of such a monument.

Just 11 metres to the east are the picturesque ruins of a large bluish-grey stone mastaba (about 28 metres  x 12 metres) excavated by Mariette.
This great structure was by far the most important of the 39 tombs, I discovered and cleared. It resembles as to exterior decoration the Royal tomb of Negadah discovered by M. J. de Morgan in 1897. These 39 tombs include : 15 various rock-cut burial shafts; 8 cave tombs (rock cut chambers with door entrances as distinct from shaft); 13 serdabs; 5 mastabas, and part of what seemed to be the outer court of a temple.
The entire concession seems to have been fully worked, many of the best savants having tested it. Mariette himself once referred to it as a hopeless field. From an Egyptological point of view, however, some of the tombs were interesting, and many of the objects and fragments we secured were of historical value. They represented the I, III, IV, V, VI and XXVI Dynasties.
Most of the eastward facing slopes of the hills in this district contain tombs which had been easily cut from the soft, sandy, fossiliferous limestone, and it was while following what I believed to be a serdab wall in the eastern face of the prominent hill which composed and yet concealed this great mastaba, that I discovered it. I first noticed a thin white broken streak of white casing mingled with the sand. This was
peculiar, for the sand covering the hill and district was free from such discoloration but thickly strewn with fragments of brownish coloured boulders and pebbles. By merely brushing aside but 0 m. 02 cent. or 0 m. 03 cent. of sand, the dark coloured tomb brickwork was exposed. This we followed for over 61 metres on the E. side, and 34 m. 50 cent on the N.; thus revealing tomb outlines, which encompassed the entire
hill. It was because the surface of the hill under which the great tomb reposed exactly resembled the pebbled dessert above which it rises that no one suspected its presence. The small bowl-shaped depression near the northern end, and the long sloping depression extending 17 metres to the south protective wall, though the results of former excavations, appeared but natural, and therefore attracted no
attention. The hill, including the N. depression, is shown in the 1903 issue of Baedeker. It is remarkable that this large building, so conspicuously situated, should have remained so long undiscovered. It is said that Mariette Pasha sketched the large adjoining mastaba from the top of this one, never suspecting that just a centimetre or two beneath his feet there reposed this interesting structure.
In early June 1902 with a force of 35 men and boys from the pyramid villages, and with Ibrahim Faid as Government reis, we cleared the upper part of the eastern, northern and small part of the western inner or main wall (as distinct from the outer or protective wall). We also cleared, but without result, the N. depression referred to, and the long deep 17 metres trench, terminating at the Roman tombs near the SE corner. The depression and the trench were very old excavations.
I then abandoned the tomb to excavate some smaller ones. This I did reluctantly, for recognizing the importance of the structure I desired to at once secure the details. However, 7 months later, in January the following year (1903) we resumed work there under much better, though far from perfect, conditions;
instead of pyramid people we were able to secure, thanks to Prof. Maspero and Mr. Quibell, a staff of 30 experienced men from up the Nile who had been well trained by Messrs. Petrie, Reisner, Garstang and other. Above all we had the benefit of the invaluable services of Mr. JE Quibell.
We began by trenching towards the W. protective wall, about 20 metres of which we cleared from the NW corner. Then cleared much of the surface of the main brickwork, exposing the Roman tombs built into the structure at the NE and SE corners, and the large step-shaped depressions (probably also used as Roman
tombs) above the NW corner. We then discovered and cleared the small 4-steps stairway leading into the N end of the great stairway passage. After which we cleared central portions of the outer faces of the N, S and E protective walls; thus securing the full dimensions of the tomb. A tremendous amount of heavy debris consisting of large stones, boulders, and caked sand in strata, filled the wide, deep stairway leading S into the main shaft. To avoid removing this we trenched through the brickwork on the E side 16 metres from the N and fortunately struck a crude rock stairway (no part of the original structure) which led down to the very top of the main shaft. We then cleared the 11 metres shaft, exposing at its base on the S side an immense oval limestone portcullis. Tunnelling around it we discovered and cleared a short passage leading into a large chamber, and several clay-cut galleries and tombs. Discovering an inner shaft sunk over 10 metres into the floor of the west chamber, we cleared it, exposing at its base a large flat square-cut portcullis which stood in its original position before the Sepulchral chamber. Passing over the stone without disturbing it we entered and partly cleared the chamber; thus completing the excavation.
Like all mastabas it is rectangular in shape, but the sides instead of sloping, are vertical; a distinguishing feature in this and other similar structures of the early archaic period.
The main structure orientated 9˚E of true N measures 54 m 97 cent from N to S, and 27 m and 99 cent from E to W, but including the enclosing or protective walls, which are of course, a part of the monument, the dimensions are 61 m 72 cent N to S and 34 m 53 cent E to W (about 202 x 113 ft). It is therefore 7 metres larger each way than its sister tomb at Negadah; the burial place, according to Prof Petrie, of Neithotep, Mena’s Queen.

From the south wall the incline for about 15 metres is greater than that at the N, for which reason, presumably, the S protective wall is much heavier than the others. From the foot of this heavy incline, a moderate slope extends SE to a ravine some 90 metres below.
From the east wall the short incline of a few metres terminates close to the interesting ruins of a large mastaba built of immense blocks of oyster-filled limestone, and previously referred to as having been excavated by Mariette Pasha.
The west wall: -While the ground level at the E of the tomb is just a little above the base of the protective wall there, the ground level at the west wall, and far beyond it, is almost even with the top of the protective wall, especially at the NW corner.
At and near the SW corner, however, there is a considerable slope. Now if the entire tomb, including, of course its protective walls, originally stood above the surrounding district, which is evident, then this great sweep of boulder covered desert, extending far west from the top of the west protective wall, must have formed there since the monument was founded – say 7,000 years ago (see E to W perspective sketch of tomb).
The entire hill was simply a huge mass of sun-dried brickwork. It rises in a somewhat regular slope on the N, E and W sides – particularly the W – while on the S side a rough 17 metres trench, about 4 metres wide and 6 deep at the northern or deeper end, had been cut right through the mass and deep into the red sand beneath it. It extended about 6.50 m from, and parallel with, the E wall, terminating at the small Roman tombs at the SE corner.
On the N.E. slope was another ancient excavation, a circular depression some 2.26 m deep, presumably made while searching for the shaft. Ancient because both the trench and depression were covered by the same peculiar firm sand formation, and strewn with the same kind of boulders and fragments of boulders, which entirely covered the hill and district, and which, consequently, had formed since the excavations were made. This deposit lightly, though effectually, concealed the entire tomb.
On the N. slope, near the N.E. corner of the tomb, were many large blueish-grey stones. These had formed no part of the structure, and had evidently come from some remote district. Many tons of them had been jammed into, and formed part of the heavy debris in the great stairway and shaft. They were roughly quarried and none of them had been worked.
Now structural evidence justifies us in believing that the sloping faced protective walls, though at present covered, were intended to be permanently exposed; thus giving the delicate structure an air of stability, and greatly preserving it. They are compactly built; the bricks in the exposed parts being large and well plastered. They measure some 0.24 m c x 0.12 m x 0.085 m. The white cement covering these protective walls is noticeably heavier than that on the finely grooved inner tomb walls, though apparently of the same grade. This fact also warrants us in believing that for many centuries this grand old structure stood out clearly and boldly above the surrounding district.
Time has wrought sad changes throughout the upper part of the tomb brickwork, including, of course, the fine white grooved walls. The great mass has been worn down and rounded by age, particularly at the NW corner where the height has been reduced to scarcely half a metre, also at the SE corner. However, with the exception of a shallow 0.90 m forced hole in the lower part of one of the N wall recesses, and a breach in the E protective wall, there were no wilful exterior mutilations. Even the thin white casing and delicate grooves of the main walls had remained undamaged; as though they had always commanded admiration and respect. This is remarkable, considering to what a great extent such structures are subject to damage. The excessive scaling of the white casing as the higher and exposed parts was due to natural causes.
The best preserved part is on the E side from 20 to 30 metres from the NE corner, where the walls at places are 2 m 70 cent high –their greatest and perhaps their original height. But even here there is nothing to indicate the original height or shape of the structure – nothing to assist us in defining its first form. It is certain however, that the brickwork at the centre of the tomb was originally, and is now, much higher than at the recessed walls. At present, in its reduced state, it is nearly 4 metres higher, the greatest height being just S of the main shaft, where it measures nearly 7 metres, and had apparently been much higher. Then again the bricks at the top of the small 4-steps stairway leading into the stairway passage were intact and firm, having been preserved by the heavy debris which filled and covered the stairway. If then, the tomb brickwork is of its original height at this point (3.39 m from the N wall) in what manner did it slope up to the centre of the tomb, where the brickwork is at present some 3 metres higher, and may have been much more? There is nothing whatever to indicate the original height of the tomb.
Durability is of course a conspicuous feature in Egyptian tomb work. Now a vertical face in brickwork is not, naturally, so lasting as one of moderate slope; hence it seems reasonable to suppose that the brickwork, which even now in its denuded condition rises about 4.30 m, above the top of the white vertical walls, and 7 metres above their base, was fashioned into, say, 2 sloping faced terraces or steps some 2 metres in depth, similar in shape to other step structures, and sloped at the same angle (75˚) as the outer or protective wall, thus harmonizing with them, and forming a complete well balanced structure somewhat of a step-pyramid type. For when the entire tomb, including of course its protective walls, stood out clearly as it did for many centuries, any perceptible differences in its facing angles would have marred its general appearance. This 75˚ is also the face angle of the 7 successively built mastabas which compose the core of Sneferu’s pyramid at Medum. Of course the present open stairway and shaft would not be consistent with a step structure, but then they may have been in some manner covered or protected.
If we do not accept this theory but contend that this tomb, like that at Negadah, was fully flat topped, we must then admit that the finely grooved walls rose vertically for at least 7 metres – the present height of the tomb, and without allowing for any reduction in the tomb brickwork; but it does not seem likely that a perpendicular sunbrick wall, so delicately designed, would be raised to such a height. Besides, if the protective walls, which is but 3.05 m, wide at the base, rose as its present face angle of 75˚ to a height of 7 metres in order to harmonize with and fully cover the main walls, its top would be almost pointed and the wall thereby rendered too insecure to serve its apparent purpose. The flattopped Negadah tomb in its reduced state was but 3 metres high. Its 26 chambers had been fashioned into the surface of the brickwork and covered by beams – there being no subterranean parts.
The bricks throughout varied but little in size, averaging 0.24 m x 0.12 m x 0.08 m. Those lining the walls, however, which carried the white casing, measured but 0.15 m x 0.07 m x 0.06 m. They are all sundried, of a dark grey shade, compactly made, and almost as heavy as stone.
For a space of some 2.5 square metres over the W side of the shaft, the usual brick coloured mortar had been discarded for that of a light yellow shade – heavier and finer. This light mortar was also found in the S wall of the SW open tomb chamber, which contained a single entire brick of the same material. So far as is known, this yellow plaster was confined to these two parts of the tomb.
A great quantity of bricks which had been thrown upon and outside the south and west protective walls had come from the excavated trenches, and had been taken out during the formation of the Roman tombs. Although they differed but little in size, it was easy to locate their dimensions the places from which they had been taken.
Sand drifts, and the tomb gradually became covered by it; but the formation of the layer of evenly interspersed split boulders and pebbles, which completely covered, though scarcely concealed, the high tomb brickwork, just as it does the district above which the tomb so prominently rises, appears difficult to explain.
The main walls throughout are vertical; those of the N and S, measuring 27.95 m in length, contain 7 recesses (or chapels) and 8 abutements; while the E and W walls, measuring 54.97 m, contains 14 recesses and 15 abutements, the recesses and abutements being of course alternately placed. Extending for 0.60 m into each of these recesses is a firm inner abutement (1.30 mt wide) of the surrounding protective walls. M de Morgan believed that the recesses in the Negadah tomb were used as chapels.
Aerial denudation and rain have so rounded off this great mass of brickwork that the walls at the corners are very low at the NW – corner, hardly a half metre in height, but they gradually rise to perhaps nearly their original height at the centre.
Fortunately, a few of the E wall recesses show a height of 2 m 70 cent – probably their original height – the brickwork sloping up to a further height of over 4 metres towards the centre of the tomb.
The recesses and abutements, regularly constructed, averaged in width 1 m 75 cent and 2m 01 cent respectively. A delicate type of structural beauty is shown in the long narrow (0 m 07 1/2 cent) grooves which vertically line their faces, and which are strangely in contrast with the massiveness of the monument.
The walls are covered by a full half centimetre coating of crumbling but once firm white plaster.
The upper parts, softened and swollen by rainwash and moisture, have flaked and fallen away; losing to some extent their first outlines.
Their original delicacy of design, however is not lost. The small bricks (0m 07c x 0m 06 1/2c) carrying this white casing were specially adapted to the design. A brick mastaba, discovered by M Mariette at Sakkarah, contained a serdab, the west wall of which was of the same pattern as this. He states it was the most ancient tomb found at Sakkarah, and that there was no reason to believe that it is not of the 1st Dynasty.
Its orientation differed from this by one degree; it being 10˚, instead of 9˚, E of true N. The main walls of M de Morgan’s Royal tomb of Negadah were also exactly of this design, but instead of white casing they
were covered by a brick coloured plaster, while M Amelineau found at Abydos an early Ancient empire mastaba whose exterior walls were also like these. But except that they were built in sun-dried bricks, the early dynasty structures discovered and cleared by Prof Petrie at Abydos, did not in any respect resemble
this tomb no 1 at Ghizeh, although much of the pottery was similar.
The tomb is surrounded by a heavy, well built enclosing or protective wall, measuring at base 61m 72 cent from N to S and 34m 53 cent from E to W – its full and original dimensions. It was evidently built to protect the inner or main walls, the architectural details of which it did not completely conceal; the main wall rising some 0m 25 cent above the top of the enclosing one. While serving its purpose a protection for the finely designed face of the tomb, this heavy outer wall also gave it an air of stability which fully harmonized with the general structure.
While clearing the surface of the brickwork 3 m. 40 cent. from the N. wall and about the centre of it, we discovered 4 narrow steps (0 m. 86 cent. wide) leading downwards from W. to E. into an open passage 1 m. 58 cent. wide and 1 m. 47 cent. deep. This passage boldly spreads southwards for over 17 metres
terminating in a squarely built almost vertical brick wall 5 m. 40 cent. wide at the top, and a tapering downwards for about 7 metres to the mouth of the large rock cut shaft. This shaft which is 2 m. 34 cent. wide at the top, in turn leading to the great portcullis nearly 8 metres below. The portcullis base would therefore be about 17 m. 50 cent below the highest part of the tomb at this point. At nearly 3 metres from the N. end of this passage we discovered several of the upper steps of a large brick stairway which led southwards to the shaft below. They were 1 m. 58 cent. wide, and probably narrowed to 1 m. 26 cent. at the lower end; which is the width of the shaft at the point where the stairway would intersect it. According
to the angle of the exposed upper part of this stairway it would measure in length some 12 m. 50 cent. and would strike the shaft some 7 metres above its base.
We did not clear the stairway owing to the immense mass of heavy debris which blocked it, and therefore could not secure the full stairway and shaft details.
However, from the size of the shaft at the top of the large portcullis (2 m. 30 cent. N. to S.) and from the angle of the upper part of the stairway, we were able to secure a fairly accurate sketch.
The stairway and shaft are not oriented with the mastaba walls, which are 9˚ E. of\ N., but are nearly true N.; the N. end of the passage at the 4 small steps being 0 m. 48 cent. W. of the centre of the tomb, while the portcullis is 0 m. 54 cent E. of it.
To avoid clearing the compactly filled stairway and passage we made a cutting into the E. side of the tomb some 16 metres from the N., where we struck a roughly constructed stone stairway which fortunately led directly to the top of the shaft, about 7 metres below. The shaft was filled with somewhat clean sand containing few small stones, the debris being distinctly different from that which filled the great stairway. The stairway debris, composed almost entirely of heavy stones in soiled and caked sand, towered for over 12 metres above the bed of sand on which it rested at the portcullis, and was a constant menace to those using the shaft. at a point opposite the top of the portcullis I removed with my hands a little of the sand upon which the debris rested; exposing a small hollow, at the back of which could be seen the N. end of the shaft. as I made this discovery after we had finished the excavation, and was alone at the time, I could not continue the investigation; for the removal of another handful of sand might have brought down the entire mass upon me.
The shaft for nearly 8 metres is roughly hewn from sand stone containing much iron oxide, but throughout is regularly shaped. It is nearly 2 m. 40 cent. wide at the top, slightly narrowing towards the base; which for nearly 3 metres is cut from light streaked, brownish clay. Between the top of the shaft, and the great mass of tomb brickwork above it, is a metre deep course of light reddish sand, the colour due to much salts of iron. The S. wall just above this contained a 0 m. 70 cent. forced hole (depth unknown) blocked by large stones; which we did not remove.
On the western side of the shaft rough footholds had been cut at irregular distances, and had previously been but little used. Although difficult to use, we found them very helpful.
The portcullis, 4 m. 50 cent. high, 1 m. 92 cent. wide, and 0 m. 67 cent. thick, is an immense oval evenly chiselled from white limestone. The face and reverse are slightly rounded, but the sides, and the top and base, are cut almost into a half round. It is placed erect, before and against the short passage leading southwards directly into the main chamber of the tomb. It extends for 1 m. 40 cent. above that passage, and sinks for nearly half a metre into the clay below it. It is not truly placed; the west side being a little to the N., but this seems to have been its original position.
Much clay had previously been cut away from the west side of the portcullis by explorers who desired to gain access to the tomb chambers without shifting the great white stone, and we entered by the same forced passage.
The tomb chambers, which consist of a large main chamber, a central corridor and several galleries with and without tombs are, cut throughout from a firm brownish clay, showing at places grey and reddish grey streaks, which are often of a peculiar wavy pattern, similar to that in other tombs in the district.
They are oriented with the exterior tomb structure, and slope considerably from N. to S. There is a considerable irregularity in the construction; the corners and long lines seldom being true. The floors slope, and the walls when long, are noticeably curved.
The walls of the main chamber, corridor, and west chamber (the most important of the tomb), held patches of smooth, clear white plaster or cement; which would indicate that they had been entirely covered by it. The scaling of the clay had caused it to fall away. This cement resembles, and is probably similar to, that used on the exterior tomb walls. There were no decorations nor inscriptions of any kind.
The little ornamentation, which is very plain, is confined to the corridor and the west chamber.
A short, level passage (1 m. 22 cent.) leads southwards from the portcullis directly into the main chamber of the tomb. This chamber, which measured 11 m. 90 cent. from E. to W., is only 2 m. 06 cent. wide, and of an average depth of 2 m. 62 cent. We found it about two thirds filled with debris of clay and stones, which contained many fragments of early Ancient Empire pottery. Sand had sifted in heavily upon this from the short passage leading to the portcullis.
The N. or portcullis side of the chamber contains 3 tombs some 4 m. 50 cent. long, 1 m. 50 cent. wide and 0 m. 80 cent. deep; their floors being some 1 m. 70 cent. above that of the main chamber. The end of the tomb to the W. of the portcullis (B) had been forced for 1 m. 75 cent. and so skilfully done that it was difficult to distinguish the forced part from the real. Over half the floor of the eastern tomb of these 3 (D) had been very roughly hewn away, and to the same floor level as the chamber.
From the E. end of the main chamber, and at the same level, a 4 m. 12 cent. gallery led to a tomb (E) nearly 2 metres long, 0 m. 80 cent. wide and 0 m. 80 cent. deep, which was cut into the N. wall of the gallery 1 m. 82 cent. above its floor.
From the W. end of the main chamber, and 1 m. 73 cent. above its floor, the long narrow west gallery (A), without tombs, extends W. for 3 m. 45 cent., then E. for 3 m. 30 cent.; thus almost enclosing the west chamber containing the interior shaft which leads to sepulchral chamber over 10 metres below. The floor of this west gallery was entirely but lightly covered by clay particles, which scaling from the walls, had fallen upon many fragments of pottery. These had been scattered somewhat evenly from the entrance to the remote end of the gallery. Over this layer of clay a light dust had settled.
From the S.S.E. corner of the main chamber, and at the same floor level, is a gallery (F) over 5 metres long, the E. side of which contains a medium sized tomb (G) 1 m. 72 cent. above the gallery floor. This gallery contained much loose clay which had been dumped into it from either end, leaving the centre clear. It extended S. to a similar one (the S.E. gallery), but which was without a tombchamber.
The corridor (L), extending southwards from almost the centre of the main chamber,and opposite the portcullis passage, is nearly 5 metres long (exclusive of its extension), 1 m. 75 cent. wide and about the same height as the main chamber (2 m. 62 cent.). It slopes some 8˚ from N. to S., and was over half filled with clay andstones.
An irregular forced hole some 0 m. 60 cent. X 0 m. 80 cent. and 0 m. 40 cent. deep had been cut just above the floor near the centre of the E. side. Distinct marksshowed that a 0 m. 019 mill. Or 3/4 inch chisel had been used. From the ceiling a thick mass of clay, nearly 2 metres X 1, had fallen, exposing the natural rock above it; otherwise the ceilings throughout were firm.
Extending from floor to ceiling on either side of the entrance to this corridor, and facing the portcullis, is a false door some 0 m. 95 cent. in width, on the E. side, and 60 only on the W. The panels are 0 m. 24 cent. wide, and cut 0 m. 02 cent. into the clay. Much of the wall at the base of these had fallen, or been broken away. Great patches of white plaster still adhered to these and to the adjacent walls, and most likely the entire corridor was likewise covered.
The tops of the side walls of the corridor were bordered by a plain peculiar design which strangely exaggerates the corridor slope; and this seems to have been the intention of the designer. The borders, which are cut 0 m. 02 cent. into the clay, measure 0 m. 22 cent. wide at the N., or higher end, gradually increasing for 2 m. 40 cent. (just half the corridor length) to a width of 0 m. 39 cent. Here is a 0 m.
17 cent. ratchet shaped notch which reduces the border to its original width of 0 m. 22 cent. and the remaining half is throughout in this size. These unique side borders terminate at the lintel over the doorway of a small chamber (1) (1 m. 88 cent. X 1 m. 21 cent.) which is really an extension of the corridor. This 10 m. 05 cent. lintel, which was neatly rounded, was surmounted by two small square cut
shoulders. It greatly relieved the sever lines of the corridor.
From the E. side of this linteled chamber the south east gallery (H) 6 metres long, without tombs, connected with the main chamber, S.S.E. gallery (F). Gallery (H) and the linteled chamber were nearly filled with debris, but contained only a few fragments.
From the W. side of the corridor a downward sloping passage (J) 1 m. 73 cent. long and 1 m. 35 cent. wide, the ceiling 0 m. 29 cent. below that of the corridor, led into the west chamber. The inner or chamber end of this passage was plainly ornamented at the sides and top by a single square cut shoulder.
The west chamber 4 m. 80 cent. long N. to S. (same as corridor) 1 m. 80 cent. wide, and nearly 2 m. 50 cent. high, was very irregularly constructed. The walls, although vertical, were rather curved; the ceiling and floor had a southward slope of some half a metre, and the corners were of course much out. Considerable white cement casing still adhered to the N. and E. walls. The debris of clay and heavy stones which nearly filled the chamber contained a great quantity of fragments.
The W. wall near the N. contained a squarely cut alcove 2 m. 73 cent. wide and 1 m. 77 cent. deep; across the top of which was a neatly turned lintel of the same diameter (0 m. 10 1/2 cent.) as that over the corridor extension. Like a protectivearm the long, narrow tombless west gallery (A) referred to, almost surrounds thisalcove.
On the S. side of the alcove, cut into the wall midway between the floor and ceiling, is a small recess chamber (K) 0 m. 98 cent. X 0 m. 75 cent. X 0 m. 82 cent. – the smallest in the tomb. The short roughly forced passage connecting this recess and the alcove may have been the enlargement of an original passage. The debris which almost filled this small chamber contained only the fragments of 4
different of discs; none of which were complete.
Sunk into the floor of this west chamber and just across the lintel-spanned alcove, is the interior shaft.
The interior shaft, squarely cut throughout from firm clay, and extending from side to side of the alcove above it (2 m. 72 cent.) is 1 m. 15 cent. wide, and nearly 10 m. 50 cent. deep – about the same depth as the upper or main shaft.
The debris of clay, which contained but few fragments, was so solidly packed in the shaft that its entire removal was not necessary. At three places great quantities of it extended almost across the shaft, and remained suspended while we worked beneath.
The 7th recess (from N.) in the wall of the tomb above, which contains two small wood lintels – the only linteled recess on the W. side – is at a point directly opposite this interior shaft. On the S. side of the shaft, before the short passage leading into the sepulchral chamber, stands the interior portcullis, the shaft having been enlarged from 1 m. 15 cent. to 1 m. 70 cent. to accommodate the stone.
This interior portcullis (measuring 2 m. 65 cent. deep, 1 m. 46 cent. wide, and 0 m. 28 cent. thick) is evenly chiselled from white limestone, which was of a finer quality than that of the upper or main portcullis; and, unlike that huge stone, its sides are perfectly flat, and the corners and edges cut square. It was in its original position E. to W. with the tomb, and apparently had never been disturbed, just enough clay, however, had been cut away from the top of it to enable one to enter the short sepulchral chamber passage. This opening was so small that neither a sarcophagus nor even an unbroken mummy could have passed through it.
The sepulchral chamber measures nearly 5 metres long, 2 wide, and 2 deep, and the walls, corners, etc., like those in the main tomb above, were not truly shaped.
It should perhaps be noted that this lower chamber is about the same length as the west chamber and corridor above.
The west wall near the entrance passage contained a recess 2 m. 45 cent. long, 1 m. 50 cent. wide, and of the same height as the chamber. The chamber and recess which were hewn from the same kind of clay as the tombs above, had been cut right down to a bed of natural rock. Just before the recess this stone floor had been shattered in several places, and a small triangular piece removed.
There was no trace of a sarcophagus, nor could one have been there; for its removal would have entailed the shifting of the interior and upper portcullis, neither of which had been disturbed. Besides, the construction of this tomb antedates the period at which that mode of burial was introduced.

L Dow Covington
COVINGTON, Lorenzo Dow (fl. 1902-1910)
American excavator; being of independent means he made excavations at the Pyramids and the neighbouring mastabas of Gizeh, 1902 — 10; he also explored Wadi el-Kattar; he was assisted in his work by J.E. Quibell; he published reports of his discoveries in ASAE 6, 9, and 10.