Tomb T at Umm el-Qa'ab


Den continued the move south at Umm el-Qa’ab for the location of his tomb, labeled “Tomb T” by Petrie, building it to the southeast of the tombs of Den and Merneith. That his tomb was located next to both the tombs of Djet and Merneith, could perhaps confirm that Djet was his father, with historical sources already having confirmed Merneith as his mother.

Interactive map of the tomb of Den at Umm el-Qa’ab. Click or tap the little circles to learn more.

As was the case with the tombs of his predecessors and mother, Den’s tomb consisted of a pit dug into the ground. It measures 15.2 by 8.5 metres internally, surrounded by mudbrick walls between 2.1 and 3.8 metres thick, making it the second largest royal tomb of the 1st Dynasty.

Unlike the tombs of his predecessors, however, Den’s tomb features a 23.77 metres long staircase descending down into the burial chamber from the northeast. The staircase consisted of 2 parts, probably separated by a wooden door. 
A second feature that was new to the royal tombs, was that the floor was made of granite.

Among the finds in the tomb were 20 year labels, recording rituals and events that occurred during Den’s reign.

136 subsidiary graves were found surrounding the tomb, mainly on the north, east and west sides, and substantially less on the south side. In one of the graves a stela for a dwarf named Ser-Inpu, was found.

The tomb of Den at Umm el-Qa’ab was surrounded by 136 subsidiary tombs.

The tomb of Den at Umm el-Qa’ab was surrounded by 136 subsidiary tombs.

© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017