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Chronological Developments in the Old Kingdom Tombs in the Necropoleis of Giza, Saqqara And Abusir

Toward an Economic Decline during the Early Dynastic Period and the Old Kingdom

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At the end of the 6th dynasty the 500 year old established order of the Old Kingdom fell apart, which, according to the interpretation given to various contemporary literary sources, started a period of social unrest and economic decline. The magnitude of the economic investment bestowed by the members of the higher social strata on the monuments that would be the abode for their after-life leads to the hypothesis that an economic decline could also manifest itself in the dimensions of the various architectonic elements of these monuments. The dimensions of the tombs have been chosen as the subject of this study. The preliminary part of the study is performed on the tombs in the necropolis of Giza. The results of the study are compared with the same measurements in the necropoleis of Saqqara and Abusir. The conclusion is that the economic decline started already at the early dynastic period and not as a result of the caving in of the Old Kingdom. An interesting ‘side-effect’ of the study is that the dimensions of the tombs can serve as a method to check a dating that has been proposed based on other aspect of the tomb. 21x29, Brossura, pp. 144, Ill. b/n