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Difference Between Mastaba and Pyramid

Mastaba vs Pyramid

When a person dies, he is usually buried in a tomb. In different parts of the world, people have different ways of burying their dead. Hindus practice cremation while other people bury their dead in jars or hanging coffins. In Egypt, they buried their dead under structures such as mastabas and pyramids.

A mastaba is a flat-roofed and rectangular ancient Egyptian tomb where most of ancient Egypt’s most important people are buried. Later, it is also used as burial site for the common people. It is made of stone or mud bricks which are arranged in such a way that they slope outwards. On the outside it resembles a bench, thus the name “mastaba” which in Arabic means a “bench of mud.” The term also means “house for eternity” or “eternal house” referring to its function as a final resting place for the dead.

It is usually 30 feet high with at least 2 chambers. One chamber has a false door and serves as a chapel for offerings where family members and priests offer food and other things for the deceased. Another is hidden and contains a statue of the deceased. In later years, use of mastabas as tombs for Egypt’s elite ended, and they have been used as tombs for the common people. Pyramids have replaced mastabas as tombs for Egypt’s ruling class and Pharaohs.

A pyramid is a triangular structure which converges at a single point. The most common design of the pyramid is the square pyramid with four triangular outer surfaces and a square base although pyramids may also be trilateral or any polygon shape. Pyramids can be found in every part of the world, with the earliest having been found in Mesopotamia. In Mexico, ancient Indians built pyramids with the Pyramid of the Sun as the world’s third largest pyramid structure.

Pyramids are also found in China, Sudan, and the Canary Islands, but the most famous and largest pyramids are found in Egypt. Egypt has more than 135 pyramids with The Great Pyramid of Giza as the largest. They are made of bricks or stone which are piled in such a way that most of the structure’s weight is concentrated near the ground with less material on top making them stable and durable.

There are very few mastabas which survived compared to pyramids mainly because of the materials used in constructing them. Mud bricks used in mastabas are not as durable as the stones or bricks used in the construction of pyramids.


1.A mastaba is an ancient Egyptian tomb which is made of mud bricks or stones while a pyramid is also an ancient Egyptian tomb which is made of stones or bricks.
2.A mastaba is rectangular in shape while a pyramid is triangular in shape.
3.Both were used as tombs for Egypt’s elite. While the mastabas were later used for the common people, the pyramids were exclusively for the Pharaohs and Egypt’s rulers.
4.Mastabas have flat roofs while pyramids have pointed roofs.
5.Because of the materials used, more pyramids than mastabas survived

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