A mastaba was a flat-roofed, rectangular building with inward sloping sides that marked the burial site of many eminent Egyptians of Egypt's ancient period. Mastabas were constructed out of mud-bricks or stone.The word Mastaba comes from the Arabic word for bench, because when seen from a distance it looks like a bench. Inside the mastaba, a deep chamber was dug into the ground and lined with stone or bricks. The body would be placed in this deep, sealed chamber. Because the remains were not in contact with the dry desert sand, natural mummification of the remains could not take place. In order to preserve the remains, the ancient Egyptian priests had to devise a system of artificial mummification.The mastaba structure was constructed directly over the underground shaft holding the remains of the deceased. The above ground structure was rectangular in shape, had sloping sides, and was about four times as long as it was wide. This above ground structure had space for a small offering ch
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