Final Project: The Early Dynastic Mastabas at Saqqara – A Spatial Analysis

Details of a group assignment by a member of the UCLA class that conducted this interesting exercise.

Published archaeological plans of north Saqqara are laid on the satellite imagery, geo-referenced, and the building footprints are traced into the GIS and digitized:

Image by Aria Klucewicz

Image by Aria Klucewicz

“Methods: Using a basemap given by GIS, I georeferenced 8 different maps of the necropolis. One of the maps has 1m contour lines, which I vectorized using ArcScan. I then added elevation values by hand. Several of the maps had the tomb locations outlined, although there were discrepancies in size and location. I made a best estimate to draw polygons in the tomb locations…”

Klucewicz - Geography

Intro: For my project, I looked at the necropolis Saqqara in Egypt. This is the location of the famous Stepped Pyramid, as well as several other pyramids and many smaller mastaba tombs. I looked at the distribution of these mastaba tombs in Northern Saqqara. These tombs are from the earliest periods of Dynastic Egypt, Dynasties 1-3. They belonged to elite individuals of the society. Tombs of the 1st Dynasty are along the eastern cliff, while those of the 2nd and 3rd Dynasties move further and further west. The 1st Dynasty mastabas are much more elaborate than those of the 2nd and 3rd Dynasties with an outer niched facade. They were brightly painted, in contrast to the plain white color of the later tombs. I wanted to see if there was an explanation for the shift toward plainer and farther from the cliff. I first theorized that the 1st Dynasty…

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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
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2 Responses to Final Project: The Early Dynastic Mastabas at Saqqara – A Spatial Analysis

  1. ritaroberts says:

    Interesting post Diana, Thank you. I just love Egyptian history. !!


  2. ergamenis says:

    Thanks for sharing!


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