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In order to create a single distortion-free mosaic, we digitally estimate and remove these distortions [read more].We begin with sixteen photographs with nearly full coverage of Sennedjem's burial chamber.The extensive distortions are due to the curved ceiling, the wide-angle lens, and the inherent effects of perspective projection.Under these conditions it is nearly impossible to obtain a complete distortion-free view of the burial chamber.It is ironic that the Ancient Egyptian tombs, once sealed, were not intended to be seen by outsiders.Yet the highly valued and often reproduced tomb decorations have had a profound influence on art and have contributed significantly to our understanding of the Ancient Egyptian culture.Among the tombs built during this time are Amenemhat I's funerary monument at El-Lisht; Sesostris I's funerary monument; Amenemhat III's pyramid at Hawara, which includes an elaborate labyrinth complex; and Sesostris II's pyramid at Illahun.The construction of pyramids declined toward the end of the Twelfth Dynasty, as instability led to the decline of the Middle Kingdom. Starting in the First Intermediate period, wooden models became very popular, often depicting everyday activities that the deceased expected to continue doing in the afterlife.

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Unlike the Old Kingdom, however, Middle Kingdom royal pyramids were not quite as well constructed, and so few of them remain as pyramid structures today.The standard coffin was rectangular and brightly painted, often including an offering formula.Unlike the Old Kingdom, objects of daily use were not often included in the tombs; however, they reappeared toward the end of the Middle Kingdom.Used from the Middle Kingdom until the end of the Ptolemaic Period nearly 2000 years later, most shabtis were of a small size, often covering the floor around a sarcophagus.Exceptional shabtis were of larger size, or produced as a one-of-a-kind master work.The Old Kingdom is the name given to the period in the third millennium BC when Egypt attained its first continuous peak of civilization – the first of three so-called "Kingdom" periods (followed by the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom) which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley.The term itself was coined by eighteenth-century historians and the distinction between the Old Kingdom and the Early Dynastic Period is not one which would have been recognized by Ancient Egyptians.At its beginnings, the site was mostly used to offer the city's elite impressive burials – and indeed rich and elaborate rock tombs dating to the Old Kingdom have been found in the past.However, it was later extended to bury people from more modest backgrounds, among them young children.Inhumations dating back to the late Old Kingdom Period (5th and 6th Dynasties, 2750 – 2181 BCE) and Ptolemaic and early Roman Period (332 BCE – 1st century CE) have been identified there.The later graves coincided with the end of the ancient Egyptian civilisation.


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