Mastaba: From c.3400 BC, these were built for the ruling classes; they consisted of an underground substructure (a brick-lined pit to accommodate the burial), and a superstructure (to mark the grave above ground and to provide storage for funerary possessions). They were built of mudbrick and, later, of stone. Egyptologists use the term 'mastaba' because the superstructure has the shape and appearance of the mastaba (Arabic 'bench') placed outside Egyptian village houses. The pyramid, built as a burial-place for royalty, probably developed from the mastaba tomb, but the nobility retained this structure for their own burials throughout the Old Kingdom.
    Rock-cut: later, in the Middle Kingdom, rock-cut tombs replaced mastaba tombs for the nobles' burials. These were cut in the cliffs in the various nomes (provinces), and incorporated burial chambers and offering chapels. By the New Kingdom, the kings abandoned pyramids in favour of rock-cut tombs in the Valley of the Kings; their queens and princes were similarly buried in the nearby area now called the Valley of the Queens, while the high officials occupied rock-cut tombs scattered across the area.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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