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Fragment of an Old Kingdom False Door

Date 24–23th century B.C.
Object type architecture
Medium, technique limestone
Dimensions

31 x 22 cm

Inventory number 51.2141
Collection Egyptian Art
On view This artwork can be displayed at the permanent exhibition

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.

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