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x Mastaba of Mereruka

Mereruka held the title “Vizier of the King (Teti) of Upper and Lower Egypt”, an office which made him the second most powerful person in the state, as both Prime Minister and Chief Justice. Not only was he a vizier of Teti, but also the husband of his daughter, who was also buried in the mastaba. The mastaba was discovered by J. de Morgan, the then director general of the Services of Antiquities, in July 1893. It is located in the north-east section of the Necropolis of Saqqara, not far from the edge of the Giza Plateau, just to the north of the Pyramid of Teti, the first pharaoh of Sixth Dynasty. During this time, the large aristocratic families attained increasing power which became apparent in the size and quality of the decoration of their mastabas. Power of the pharaohs, on the other hand, was decreasing as can be seen in the comparatively small size and poor construction of their burial pyramids. The largest mastaba in the necropolis, it comprises 32 rooms, the internal height of the ceiling of which is currently just over 4 metres. It dates back to the Fourth Dynasty, during the reign of King Teti. The entrance to the mastaba faces south. A low temenos wall, decorated with repeated figures, names and titles of the owner, formed a forecourt in front of the facade. On the wall, appear fantastic scenes topped by a surviving kheker pattern. These scenes depict funerary equipments as well as different moments and activities of the daily life of the deceased like hunting and playing games. Decoration combines both painting and relief, cut into the limestone surface and painted.

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