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Fragment of an Old Kingdom False Door

Place of production Egypt
Date 24–23th century B.C.
Object type architecture
Medium, technique Limestone

31 x 22 cm

Inventory number 51.2141
Collection Egyptian Art
On view Museum of Fine Arts, Basement Floor, Ancient Egypt, Daily life

The inscribed wall fragment was reported to have been found in 1852, during a house construction in Óbuda from where it was transported to the Hungarian National Museum. The remaining fragment was the upper section of a typical element of the Old Kingdom mastabas, the so-called “false door” which usually occupied the west wall of the offering chamber. It had a twofold function within the tombs: on the one hand it indicated the place of the funerary cult where the relatives of the deceased person could present offerings; on the other hand it provided a passage to the soul of the deceased between the realm of the living and the Netherworld. The inscriptions make three references to the designation imakhu, “venerated one”, a status which the deceased wished to achieve by different deeds in his/her life. In return, the king and the gods guaranteed the provisions for him/her in the afterlife.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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