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Fragment of an Old Kingdom False Door

Date: 24–23th century B.C.
Medium: limestone
Dimensions: 31 x 22 cm
Classification: architecture
Inventory Number: 51.2141
Department: Egyptian Art

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+Description

Fragment of an Old Kingdom False Door

The deceased who were buried in mastaba tombs in the Old Kingdom went to their burial places with the desire to maintain regular communication with the living who brought them offerings. They also wished to have free passage between their tombs, heaven and the afterlife. This was possible through so-called false doors, which were set into tomb walls but did not function as real doors. In effect, they were inscribed stelae forming part of an architectural structure and temporarily took over the role of the more ancient stelae (used from the first quarter of the 3rd millennium B.C.) from the period of Dynasty I. The deceased were thus able to occupy their due place among the dead through these false doors, as is commemorated in the elaborate hieroglyphic inscription of the fragment executed in the low relief style.