an oblong structure with a flat roof and sloping sides, built over the opening of a mummy chamber or burial pit in ancient Egypt and used as a tomb
Origin of mastabaArabic maṣṭabah
An ancient Egyptian tomb with a rectangular base, sloping sides, and a flat roof.
Origin of mastabaArabic mas&tlowdot;aba, ma&slowdot;&tlowdot;aba, stone bench, from Aramaic mas&tlowdot;abtā, ma&slowdot;&tlowdot;abtā, bench, dais, perhaps from Greek stibas, bed of straw, bed, grave, or perhaps of Iranian origin; perhaps akin to Persian satāvand, portico, balcony.
- A wide stone bench built into the wall of a house, shop etc. in the Middle East.
- (architecture) A rectangular structure with a flat top and slightly sloping sides, built during Ancient Egyptian times above tombs that were situated on flat land. Mastabas were made of wood, mud bricks, stone, or a combination of these materials. Some are solid structures, while others can contain one or more rooms, sometimes decorated with paintings or inscriptions.
- The pyramids at Giza are flanked by large cemeteries containing hundreds of mastabas.
From Arabic مِصْطَبَة (misTabat, “bench”).