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definition of the word mastaba

by the Wiktionnary

From Arabic مِصْطَبَة (misTabat), bench).



mastaba (plural mastabas)

  1. A wide stone bench built into the wall of a house, shop etc. in the Middle East.
    • 1855, Sir Richard Burton, Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah, Dover 1963, p. 68:
      A wooden shutter which closes down at night-time, and by day two palm-stick stools intensely dirty and full of fleas, occupying the place of the Mastabah or earthern bench, which accomodated purchasers, complete the furniture of my preceptor's establishment.
  2. (architecture) A rectangular structure with a flat top and slightly sloping sides, built during Ancient Egyptian times above tombs that were situated on flat land. Mastabas were made of wood, mud bricks, stone, or a combination of these materials. Some are solid structures, while others can contain one or more rooms, sometimes decorated with paintings or inscriptions.
    The pyramids at Giza are flanked by large cemetaries containing hundreds of mastabas.
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