Ancient Egypt 2675-332 B.c.e.: Architecture and Design - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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Rock-Cut Tombs of the Middle Kingdom

Location, Plans, and Political Power.

One indication of the central government's control over its officials in ancient Egypt was the location and plan of official's tombs. At times when the central government exercised strong control over the provinces, officials wanted to be buried near the king. This was clearly the case in the Old Kingdom when cities of the dead surrounded the pyramids. These Old Kingdom mastabas were gifts from the king to his top officials. In general their plans were similar since they were all built in the same place by the same people. In contrast, during the early Middle Kingdom, provincial officials preferred to locate their tombs in their home provinces. Nomarchs, the officials who ruled the 42 Egyptian provinces that Egyptologists call nomes, established their own cities of the...

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