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Giza: Mastaba Tombs near the Pyramid of Cephren

Tombs lining the route to Ceprhren's pyramid (Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Aegypte und Aethiopia 1849).

The German expedition to Egypt and Nubia, led by Carl Richard Lepsius in 1843-1846, provided a comprehensive study of the monuments and inscriptions of ancient Egypt, following the French Expedition of 1798-1800. Lepsius himself is considered one of the greatest Egyptologists, and the heir to Champollion's successful translation of heiroglyphic writing, which began the historical study of ancient Egyptian texts. During the German Expedition, Lepsius and his colleages copied thousands of inscriptions and made accurate drawings and plans of numerous sites in Egypt and Nubia (today's Sudan, then called Ethiopia). These were published over the next 20 years in the multi-volume report entitled Denkmäler aus Aegypte und Aethiopia (Monuments of Egypt and Ethiopia).

This drawing, published by Lepsius in 1849 in the first volume of 
Denkmäler, shows part of the dense cluster of mastaba tombs along the processional route leading from the valley temple and sphrinx to the mortuary temple of Cephren. Many of the tombs, details of whose architecture and inscriptions were first described in detail in the Denkmäler, date from the Old Kingdom.


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