A CASE OF REASSEMBLY OF THE DEAD BODY
BURIAL 14 (PIT I)
Zbigniew E. Szafranski
In the late Ptolemaic and Roman Period the funerary function
of the mastaba of vizier Meref-nebef was revived. In its area,
a densely crowded burial-ground of commoners gradually came
into being.1 The simple burials, found in upper strata (around and
above the tomb), with or without coffins and with but humble
funerary equipment point to the relatively poor inhabitants of what
will have been an agricultural settlement not far away.
Stratigraphically the deepest (level-9,04) in Pit I, and
chronologically probably the earliest, was the burial containing the
painted cartonage (Burial 4). It was found in the anthropomorphic
case hewn in the rock of the early court. The cartonage is dated to
the late Ptolemaic Period.2 3
Interesting observations could be made on the skeletons. First
part of an anthropological analysis has been elaborated by Henryk
1 K. Mysliwiec and T. Herbich, with contribution by A. Niwinski, Polish Research at
Saqqara in 1987, in: ET xvii, Warsaw 1995, pp. 186-195; K. Mysliwiec, Saqqara,
Excavations 1996, in: PAM VIII, 1996 (1997), p. 109. See also K. Mysliwiec, Saqqara,
Excavations 1997, in: PAM - this volume.
2 After A. Niwinski, in: K. Mysliwiec et al., o.c., 195, Figs. 15-17. See also colour
photographs (by K. Mysliwiec) of the cartonage, in: Z. E. Szafranski, Na zachod od
najstarszej piramidy swiata w Sakkara, Archeologia Zywa (= AZ) 1/1997, 30.
3 Skeletons from Burials 5-20, 22-28 and 32-33, Pit I, have been examined,
cf. H. Rysiewski, Sprawozdanie z pobytu naukowego w Arabskiej Republice Egiptu
w miesiqcach wrzesieh - pazdziernik 1997 roku, [Warszawa 1998], an unpublished report
(in Polish) stored in the Polish Centre of the Mediterranean Archaeology. I thank Henryk
Rysiewski for his kind help and information.