Serdab

Serdab-statue of MereroukaA serdab (modern Arabic for 'cellar', pr-twt 'statue house' in ancient Egyptian) is an enclosed and inaccessible chamber of a tomb in which the ancient Egyptians stored statues. The earliest dated example of a serdab is the chamber at the foot of the Djoser pyramid at Saqqara. At the same time, serdabs appeared in some private tombs there. In Dynasty 4 serdabs became frequent in large mastabas at Saqqara and Giza. The serdab was then connected to the offering chapel by a slot or aperture, before which the offering ceremonies were performed. The statues of the deceased faced the slot and offering room, as this was where the deceased was provided with the necessities for the afterlife. Towards the end of the Old Kingdom, serdabs increased in size. Some larger tombs had several serdabs, provided with dozens of statues. By the middle of the Dynasty 5, the tomb of Rawer at Giza contained 25 serdabs with over a hundred statues. At that time, statues of the tomb-owner and his family were joined by servant figurines. In the late Dynasty 5, there was a tendency towards placing the statues in the burial chamber. From Dynasty 6 onwards, the servant figurines were placed there as well. During the First Intermediate Period the use of serdabs was discontinued.