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One theory was that one of these sets of tombs, either at Saqqara or Abydos, were cenotaphs, or ceremonial tombs.All of these tombs in both locations were severely plundered during antiquity, most were at least somewhat destroyed by fire, and there were no bodies found belonging to any of the early kings.
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However, further research seems to indicate that those at Saqqara were not the tombs of kings, but rather their highest officials, irregardless of the fact that some of them were larger and more elaborate than the royal tombs at Abydos.
There is evidence for three distinct types of tombs in Egypt during the 1st Dynasty, largely distinguished by the class of people who built them.
Most of these tombs also had boat-pits for funerary barges.
The second class of tomb was built by retainers and artisans.
For the royalty and wealthier classes, the principal materials used in the tombs were wood and sun-dried brick The wood was mostly imported from Lebanon, while the bricks were a mixture of Nile River clay and chopped straw or sand. 3357 dating to the reign of Hor Aha is the earliest known mastaba of the Saqqara necropolis.
However, limestone and granite, even at this early stage, were sometimes used for flooring, roofing, retaining walls or doorways. The monumental aspect of this tomb, indirectly emphasized the king's power.
These tombs consisted of an oval or oblong pit where the body was placed, sometimes on a reed mat, in contracted position and surrounded by their earthly possessions.
These pits were then roofed with branches and matting to hold the mound of sand and rubble that was piled above it.
Our results show that radiocarbon dating can be used to accurately determine wine vintages and therefore reveal the addition of unrelated materials of natural and synthetic origin.
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The pits would then be roofed over with timber and a low, rectangular superstructure was build of rubble.