G7102; Tomb of Idu

Idu’s mastaba lies to the east of Queen Hetepheres pyramid in the Great Pyramid complex. He was an official of the sixth dynasty, probably during the reign of Pepi I. He held the titles “Scribe of the Royal Documents in the presence of the king”, “Tenant of the Pyramid of Pepi I”, and “Inspector of the wab-priests of the Pyramids of Khufu and Khafre“. Idu is thought to be either the father or the son of Qar, the occupant of tomb G7101.

A descending stair leads down to a large rhomboid vestibule with an entrance corridor connecting it to a rectangular chapel. On the south wall there are detailed depictions of the purification tent and the funerary procession.

Plan tomb G7102

On the western wall, there is a scene depicting men and cattle returning from the marshes, while on the northern wall, there are a number of scenes depicting the preparation of food and drink, the presentation of offerings, people dancing and children playing.

Tomb of Idu
License Diego Delso CC BY-SA 3.0

False Door of Idu, Egypt Archive
False Door, Egypt Archive

On the west wall of the chapel there are five niches containing high-relief statues of the deceased and (possibly) family members. One is thought to be Qar, but some scholars consider the others to be the deceased at different ages. There is an unusual false door in the western wall of the chapel with a statue of Idu rising from the floor to receive his offerings. Above the door is a beautiful depiction of the deceased and his wife, Meretites.

Idu's family, Egypt Archive
Idu’s family, Egypt Archive
Tomb of Idu
License Diego Delso CC BY-SA 3.0

There is apparently a curse inscribed on the western doorjamb of the entrance which reads, “As for every man who shall enter this tomb, without purifying himself as the purification if a god, one shall make for him a painful punishment”.

  • Bard, Kathryn (2008) An introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
  • Simpson, William Kelly (1976) The Mastabas of Qar and Idu
  • Snape, Steven (2010) Ancient Egyptian Tombs: The Culture of Life and Death

Copyright J Hill 2016