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

Part I - Qar G 7101

Section 1 - Superstructure
Feb 25, 2019

Figure 1. Plan of area north of G7110-7120; Qar (G7101) and Idu (G7102) (Click to enlarge)

The limestone superstructure of the mastaba of Qar has almost entirely disappeared, but may be traced in its lowest course to a width of ca. 7.50 m. east-west along its northern edge (fig. 1)  .

For the complex of Qar, see Porter and Moss, Top. Biblio. III, 2nd ed., Part 1, 184-185; Reisner, Giza Necropolis I, 314, 368, 370; Smith, Hist. of Sculpture and Painting, 93, 190, 206, 211, 319, 349, fig. 84 a; Baer, Rank and Title, No. 495, pp. 136-137.


Its north-south dimension can no longer be traced. Except for the upper part of the approach stairway, the complex is excavated in the natural rock just north of the large mastaba tomb of Kawab (G 7110-7120), south of the sloping causeway leading to the destroyed temple of the Cheops pyramid, and just west of the related rock chapel of Idu (G 7102). Thus it lies high on the plateau not far from pyramid I a. It consists of an approach stairway descending southward from the surface to a landing, and thence continuing down eastward (figs. 1, 2; pls. II, III).

Figure 2. Qar (G 7101). Section from A to B (Click to enlarge)

Mastaba Complex of Qar, Various Views

Pl. II a. Mastaba complex of Qar, looking south. Descending stairs, serdab beneath measuring stake, shaft G7101 M to rear of measuring stake

Pl. II b. Qar, looking north. b. Court C in foreground, upper stairs top left

Pl. III a. Qar, looking southeast

Pl. III b. Qar, looking northwest

The decoration of the side walls of the lower stairway was executed in limestone blocks laid over the natural rock, many having been anciently displaced or broken up so that reconstruction of the scenes cannot now be complete. At the base of the lower stair a doorway gives access on the south to a large square court open to the sky. South of this court an east-west statue chamber is reached through two openings in the south face divided by a central pillar. Reached through a doorway in the west wall of the statue chamber is a smaller inner room containing a large stela above an offering slab. A room opening out of the east wall of the statue chamber consists of a corridor running east with a chamber as its extension at right angles to the south. This chamber appears never to have been finished and is entirely undecorated except for the rough form of a stela and an offering slab.

The north, west, and south walls of the court were lined with fine white limestone blocks on which their decoration was well cut. The east wall of the court and all walls of the statue chamber and the chamber to its west are of natural rock with any representations executed in a coating of plaster. Some of the latter has fallen away and is lost.

Several comments should be made about the now destroyed superstructure, as it was envisioned by Reisner. Only one course of masonry was preserved, which gave the line of the northern face of the mastaba and the end of the east and west sides. The north wall was 7.50 m. east-west, the east wall 4.40 m. extant toward the south, and the west wall 3.90 m. long toward the south. If these east and west walls had continued south to the north face of G 7110-7120, the east wall would have crossed over the mouth of the shaft G 7101 A, which is clearly associated with the secondary offering room (F) of the mastaba of Qar, perhaps both shaft and chamber belonging to Qar’s wife, and the west wall would have crossed over the western side of shaft M, the shaft leading to the burial of Qar himself. West of the southern end of the west wall and southwards are stones in place which appear to indicate that the mastaba was indeed wider than the projection of the west wall to the south, and the same may be true of the east wall. If the south wall of the mastaba of Qar abutted on the mastaba of Kawab (G 7110-7120), the north-south dimension was 11.85 m. A mastaba 11.85 m. long (north-south) by 7.50 m. wide (east-west) results in an area of 88.87 sq. m. and a proportion of 1/1.58. A slightly wider reconstruction would yield an area of approximately 100 sq. m. In any case, as Reisner notes in his text  the type of mastaba is anomalous with its unroofed open court and its stairway probably entered from a doorway in the north face above ground level.

Reisner, MS on eastern cemetery mastabas (draft).


Perhaps, as may be also the case with the adjacent tomb of Idu (G 7102), the superstructure should not be reconstructed as a traditional mastaba but regarded as a walled area with a rock cut chapel and burial chambers reached through traditional mastaba type shafts. Reisner's attempt to see both the tombs of Qar and Idu as mastabas poses the problems he himself recognized. In particular, it is difficult to envision how the open courts were treated within the mass of the mastabas; they would have required substantial internal retaining walls to prevent the mass of the mastaba from falling into the courts.

The serdab of the tomb of Qar lies west of the west wall of the open court (C) at its northern end, oriented east-west, in the area between the upper landing at the turn of the stairs and the main shaft (G 7101 M). It is cut in the rock below, built of masonry above, with a pent roof with irregular slabs, the cavity measuring .90 x 1.80 m.; 1.62 sq. m. It is connected to the west wall of the court by a window slot (fig. 1; pl. III b). It was found open and empty and overbuilt with a crude brick bin of the Ptolemaic period.

The chapel of Qar can be dated to the reign of Pepy I or later on the basis of the official’s titles in connection with this ruler  .

Ḫnty-š Mn-nfr-Mry-RꜤ, “tenant farmer of the pyramid Mennefer-Meryre."


It is generally assumed that Qar of G 7101 is the father of Idu of the adjacent G 7102. However, reasons can be cited for regarding the opposite to be the case, the Idu is the father of Qar  .


Pl. X b. Qar, Room D, north wall, east end

Pl. XXIV a. Idu, south wall, left part, registers 1 and 2

Pl. XXIV b. Idu, south wall, left part, registers 2, 3, 4

Pl. VIII Qar, Court C, north wall with Qar seated before offerings (above) and procession with sarcophagus (below)

In particular, the sister of Qar represented in his tomb named Bendjet (pl. X b: fig. 26 b) may be the same individual as Idu’s daughter Bendjet represented in Idu’s chapel (pl. XXIV; fig. 38) and the Bnḏyt with the title ẖkrt wꜤtt nswt buried in G 7215 D, 1, a location which may indicate that she died much later than the completion of the Qar and Idu complexes. Since Qar’s mother was apparently Khenut (pl. VIII; fig. 24), he was not the son of Idu and his spouse Meretyotes. Idu is attested with his earlier title sš mrt in the Abu Sir papyri (Posener- Kriéger and Cénival, The Abu Sir Papyri, pl. 68). Baer, Rank and Title, 288, 294, dates Idu between Merenre and year 15 of Pepy II and Qar to years 15 to 35 of Pepy II on the basis of the title sequences. An obvious relationship exists between Qar and Idu, and perhaps the best solution is to regard Qar as a son of Idu by a marriage earlier or later than Idu’s marriage to Meretyotes.


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