The Mastabas of Qar and Idu G 7101 and 7102 - Digitally Revised and Enhanced Edition


Section 3 - Preface

Section 3 - Preface

Publications February 26. 2019

The tomb complexes of Qar (G 7101) and Idu (G 7102) lie just north of the edge of the great Eastern Cemetery of the Cheops pyramid near its western end, just south of the top of the pyramid causeway, and north of the great double mastaba of Kawab, the son of Cheops (G 7110- 7120). The area was excavated by George Andrew Reisner, as director of the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Expedition, in December, 1924, and January, 1925. He was assisted by Alan Rowe, who completed the work after Reisner’s departure for America on January 21, and T. R. D. Greenlees. This volume consists of a publication of the two tombs and the shafts with burials in the vicinity which were assigned numbers in relation to the two tombs (G 7101 A-Z, and G 7102 A-G), although many of the shafts have no real relation to them. In February and March of 1925, tomb shaft G 7000 X, the reburial of Hetepheres I, was uncovered, and the attention of the expedition was concentrated on the difficult task of conserving and recording its contents.

The chapels of Qar and Idu lie below ground level, although at least in the case of Qar the upper staircase reliefs were above ground. As discussed briefly later, one might question the application of the term mastaba to their no longer extant superstructures. Reisner reconstructed both as mastabas with below-ground chapels, to which the rock chapel beneath the mastaba of Mersyankh III serves as a partial analogy.

At the time of their discovery the chapels and site were photographed by the expedition photographer, Mohamadani, to whom we owe almost all of the photographs illustrated. The line drawings of the Qar reliefs in situ were made by Hansmartin Handrick, as subsequently corrected by Wm. Stevenson Smith in 1951, and the undersigned and Lynn Holden in 1973 and 1974, and redrawn by Suzanne Chapman in 1974. The blocks of Qar in Boston were drawn and inked by Suzanne Chapman in 1973 and 1974. The line drawings for the tomb of Idu were incomplete. In the summer of 1974 Messrs. Nicholas Thayer, Lynn Holden, and Charles Ewell traced the entire tomb, and the final tracing and inking was accomplished by Mr. Thayer during 1974 and 1975. Several blocks which can be assigned to the area of Idu, and now in the Boston Museum, were traced and inked by Dr. Timothy Kendall of the Museum staff.

An initial descriptive text for this volume was prepared by Dows Dunham and substantially extended and revised by the undersigned. Reisner’s own text was subsequently located and various observations incorporated. Timothy Kendall prepared the list of objects from the many shafts and burials, to which observations in Reisner’s text have been added. Work on the layout of the photographic plates was accomplished by my student aide at Yale University, Robert Murowchick, and various measurements in the chapels were checked by Miguel de Bragança of the Museum staff.

The initial recording of the site in 1924 and 1925 lies at the base of the present publication. Wm. Stevenson Smith in 1951, as mentioned above, verified and corrected many of the drawings made at the time of the discovery. Finally, in the summer of 1974, several weeks were devoted to the tombs by the Pennsylvania-Yale Archaeological Expedition to Egypt in cooperation with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The members of Reisner’s staff have been listed in his earlier publications. The members of the 1974 staff consisted of Messrs. Thayer, Ewell, Holden, de Bragança, and the undersigned. In connection with the 1974 project our thanks are extended to Dr. Gamal Mukhtar, Director of the Egyptian Antiquities Organization, Dr. Hamdy, Director of the Antiquities Department, Dr. David B. O’Connor, Co-Director of the Pennsylvania-Yale Archaeological Expedition, Mr. Nasif Mohammed Hassan, Chief Inspector for Giza, Mr. Zahi Hawwas, Inspector for Giza, and Mr. Mohammed Hafiz, Inspector for Giza. We also thank Mr. John Dorman of the American Research Center in Egypt and Dr. Cecil Byrd, President of the American University in Cairo, and his staff, for their help in many ways.

The field work in 1974 was carried out through the financial support of the Pennsylvania-Yale Expedition by a grant from the Bureau of Cultural and Educational Affairs of the United States Department of State (SCC 29368) prepared by Messrs. Carl Bartz, Norman Runkles and Mrs. Henrietta Bachmann. Costs of the preparation of the manuscript have been borne in part by grants to Yale University from the Bollingen Foundation and the A. W. Mellon Fund, but the major costs of printing the volume have been borne by the Publication Fund of the Department of Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Art of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Miss Mary B. Cairns of the Museum has typed the many drafts and final version of this manuscript.

The chapels of Qar and Idu have been discussed and illustrated in part by many scholars, particularly Lüddeckens and Wm. Stevenson Smith. This integral publication attempts to provide as complete a coverage as seems practical with as full a description as warranted by the material. An exhaustive treatment of the scenes with parallels and a study of all lexical and grammatical points have not been attempted. I am indebted to Messrs. Henry G. Fischer and Edward Brovarski for many suggestions incorporated in the text.

I note that I have rendered the pyramid name of Pepy I as Meryre-mennefcr, whereas the order Mennefer- Meryre is to be preferred.

I wish to thank Messrs. J. W. Arrowsmith Ltd. of Bristol for the typesetting of the text, Mr. Edward Higgins of Eastern Press of New Haven for his care in the printing of the volume, and Mr. James W. Boyden of New Haven for overseeing its production.



Curator, Department of Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Art, Museum of Fine Arts,

Boston Co-Director, Pennsylvania -Yale archaeological Expedition to Egypt

April 6, 1975

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Section 2 - Archeology and History, the Mastabas of Qar and Idu Revisited

Written by Peter Manuelian

After Thanksgiving Day on November 27, 1924, the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition staff at Giza focused on clearing the area east of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, around the first queen’s pyramid to the north (labeled G I-a) and reaching the north end of the mastaba-tomb Reisner had numbered G 7110.


Section 1 - About the Qar and Idu Digital Edition

Written by Krisztián Vértes

With the digital re-release of William Kelly Simpson's 1976 volume, The Mastabas of Qar and Idu, we had the golden opportunity to re-evaluate past practices concerning publications with wall scenes in focus. Due to a successful collaboration between the Giza Project at Harvard and the Epigraphic Survey of the Oriental Institute, a digital version of the book is presented here for the first time, re-structured as an online publication.