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Mastaba of Mereruka

 

Who was Mereruka?

Mereruka was alive during the time of Teti, and held several important posts and moved within the royal circles, indeed it appears that Mereruka was promoted by Teti himself to many of these positions:

Chief Justice and vizier,

Inspector of Priests attached to the Pyramid of Teti,

Scribe of the Divine Books,

Chief Lector Priest,

Overseer of the Royal Record Scribes

The Family of Mereruka

His mother, Nedjetempet, whose title 'Royal Aquaitance' links her with royalty (possibly showing her to have been one of a previous king's many granddaughters) allowed Mereruka to move within the royal court - he was married to a daughter of Teti, Seshseshat (also known as Waetetkhethor) - "King's eldest daughter of his body". Mereruka and Seshseshat had three children, one male, Meryteti, and two females, Nebetpernesut and Ibneitnub.

Mereruka also had five sons with an unknown wife - Memi (also known as Pepyankh), Khenti, Apref, Khenu and Nefer.

 The Mastaba of Mereruka

This huge Mastaba (located northwest of the enclosure wall of the pyramid of Teti) was discovered in 1893 - it was found to contain three tombs:

A - Mereruka,

B - Seshseshat

C - Meryteti:

The tomb of Mereruka

Scenes in this section of the Mastaba are of Mereruka hunting along the banks of the Nile, crocodiles are seen attacking hippopotami, Mereruka's cattle are shown crossing a marsh evading a watching crocodile.

Another scene introduces another family member - the brother of Mereruka, Ihy.

 

Craftsmen shown at work - weighing metal (with the results being recorded by the scribe Ikhi), six men seated around a furnace use blowpipes to raise the temperature, molted metal is then poured out - this is then made into jewellery.

Also shown are images of the lawcourts to hold sentence over non-payment of tax, the mayor of one village failed to meet the tax quota and so is tied naked against a whipping post and beaten.

The Burial Room

A shaft leads down 14.5 metres to the burial chamber, Mereruka was buried in a limestone sarcophagus - ancient tomb robbers had heaved the lid forward and then hacked through Mereruka's mummy in a search for jewels.

The Cult-Chapel

A six-columned hall holds an enshrined statue of Mereruka standing above an alabaster offering table (his eyes have been gouged out by robbers):

 Also in the cult-chapel are further scenes of wildlife along the banks of the Nile, an otter killing a fish, a crocodile and a fish. Next are scenes of Mereruka's coffin being conveyed to his tomb, including the journey across the Nile of the funeral procession. Scenes of animal husbandry also abound - the force feeding of the livestock so that they gain excess weight, this does not only apply to oxen and antelopes but also bound hyenas.

Mereruka's wife - Seshseshat - shown in minature scale next to Mereruka's leg.