History Research Paper on FALSE DOOR OF EGYPT


Artifact location: Ancient Egypt mortuary, Tombs and temples.

Town: Ihnasya el Medina, South Cairo


Civilization prospered in ancient Egypt from of the years 3100B.C.E to 332B.C.E. due to the unification of the Southern and Northern Kingdoms under one Pharaoh.[1]During this period, Egypt recorded early advancements in various disciplines ranging from medicine, construction and mathematics. The advancement by the Egyptians exhibited unique capabilities, pointing to Egypt as a leading country in the vast North African desert. The Egyptians constructed vast temples, unique tombs and numerous monuments as preservation to the achieved civilization.

The river Nile served as Egypt’s source of livelihood and the pillar to its civilization. The vast desert limited construction materials as trees were mostly found around the river Nile.[2]Thus, the Egyptians resorted to alternative building materials such as dried mud, sandstone or limestone for the construction of royal buildings. As such, Egyptians have renowned architecture with iconic association throughout the world. The Egyptian construction work encompassed significant elements of Egyptian beliefs and culture. The walls of the Egyptian buildings assumed an alignment with the sun to honor the god Ra. The false door is an iconic architectural structure found in the ancient Egyptian third empire (2650-2575).[3] Moreover, the false door is also a symbolic construction work of the new monarchy in the ancient Egyptian history. The false door served as a channel of passage where offerings connected the immortal world and the real world. As such, the construction of the false door connected the living world and the spirit world. The false door, created by the ancient Egyptians, is a significant artifact that played an important role in social, economic and political civilization[4] and thus, it is a beneficial artifact. Therefore, in this essay, I will discuss the false door. In order to be successful in this endeavor, I will examine the historical context of the false door, social, economic and political significance of the false door, analyze it and finally benefits of this artifact
Historical context of the false doors

The history of Egyptian culture recorded about 3000 years ago is a significant phase in Egypt’s history as it shaped her beliefs and culture. The 1stdynastywas between the years of 2920 to the year 2720BCE. Some of the rulers in this era included Horus Aha and the Djer pharaohs. The 2nddynasty also called the middle monarchy was between the year 2720 and the year 2650 BCE. The 3rd phase of the hierarchy named Old Kingdom took place between the year 2650 and the year 2575BCE.[5] Egyptian architecture has gained popularity because of the unique tomb constructions and the false doors. In addition, Egyptian artworks and paintings record historic culture.

Egyptian refinement and culture include architectural aspects that bewilder world marvels. The history of the false door construction dates to the 3rd empire devoted to the ancient gods. The false doors are an example of an ancient Egyptian civilization with marked religious framework and funerary.[6]

Since the ancient Egyptians believed that netherworld existed Westside, they placed the false door on the western side of the wall in “the chapel of a private tomb.”[7] The false doors were mainly of two types namely, the decorated and the palace-façade. The decorated false door depicted the scenes such as the dead man’s offerings, family and foods. A false door had an offering formula, title of the dead person and an inscription such as the will, and legal messages.[8]

The false doors recorded historical moments with specific family titles.[9]The decoration of the false door varied from each dynasty with a representation of the deceased family member. The history of the false doors engraved names and hierarchy of dead family. The features of the false door included formulas of curse spells and offertory. The curse served to protect the dead from harm by other communities or family enemies while the offertory formulas were for blessing community members who presented sacrifices. The false doors included an inscribed text with an eye of a hierarchical pharaoh of the dominating dynasty.[10]

Economic, social, political significance of the false door

The false door served as an indicator to the ancient Egyptian civilization records marked by the inscriptions on the doors. Various individual titles described the deceased with relevance to the assigned duties in the Egyptian society.[11]The inscribed information defined the economic transactions executed within the Egyptian communities. Moreover, the significance of the inscription also conveyed important information such as Jaya representing victory. Titles portrayed in the false door also included Maharaja meaning a great king. Other significant titles found on the false doors included Aditya meaning a rising sun and Isvara meaning lord. The high ranking family members or royal lineage also used titles such as Sanskrit names. Vrah Kamraten is another symbolic name used to define gods within the Egyptian society. Thus, the Egyptian False doors represented a solid ceremonial and inherent aspect of the responsibilities allocated to kings.[12]

An honorific name inscribed on the false doors also included Mratan to represent a male Egyptian. The title also marked considerable responsibilities assigned to such individuals. The title Mratan Klon is a personality assigned territorial duties. As such, the Mratan Karun assumed the role of king within the same territory. Other inscription on the false door represented women duties during ceremonial occasions. The title Tan represented a minor female official defining a social status. The Egyptian communities allocated captions duties to both men and women for the false door decorations. The team of decorators included iron smelters, herdsmen, perfume grinders and basket weavers. Artisans obtained various names with preference of individual skills and creativity. Agricultural laborers acquired significant titles for the eventual analysis of a false door decoration. Rice also played a role in the economic aspect of the ancient Egyptian offertory at the false door.[13]

Analysis of the false door

The Egyptian false door has a unique design, decoration and structure that assume a civilization element. The false door has unique subdivisions and parts relevant to the history of Egypt. Exemplary parts of the false door are the subthemes that portray various definitions and catalogues. Location values of several themes have significant implication and relevance to the history of Egypt. As such, every period curves of the false door is a combination of theme used to establish given chronicle developments. The door panel or doorjambs are an important part of the false door that signifies any recorded chronicle developments. The developments include ingress of subthemes, offering formulas and subtheme shifts. The various cult emphasis or decoration skills explain the realized developments. These observations relate to the changes in offertory formulas for the deceased.[14]

A noteworthy subtheme evident on the false door is the tomb owner revealed during the offertory ceremony. The false door’s construction targeted to serve a cultic role of the chapel.[15]The initial function of the door served as an entrance to where the deceased initially lived. As such, a change of the interpretation of the door’s cultic meaning signified a chronicle development. Important parts of the false door include the side slots, doorjambs, door recess and door panel.[16]The archives and drum at the false door are other segments with the noteworthy civilization information. The drum bears the name of a given tomb owner, and the side slots contain engraved v family member names. Doorjambs on the false door contained captions of the tomb owner, title and name of the priest. The door panel consisted descriptions of offering formula, offering list and individuals at the offering table with the owner.[17]

Benefit of the false door

The false door served as the dominant segment in the ancient Egyptian culture and beliefs. The false door offered a platform for sacrificial rituals uniting the living with the spirits. The false door acted as significant portals of communications. The structure also served as an allegiance of the ancient Egyptian communities to the gods. The history of the false doors exhibits a close association of rituals and offering during ceremonies. This structure offered a hearing podium located at the back of numerous Egyptian temples. The unique location also provided ample sacrifice offering position due to the strategic view of the temple.[18]

False doors functioned as mortuary elements for funerary usage by the Egyptian tribes.[19]As such, the false doors are an important aspect defining the tomb complexes. The decoration on the structures renders this construction as important architectural features. The false doors are iconic for both the royal complexes and regular tribesmen household institutions. The associated name of the false door symbolized the spiritual potential to go through the door. The false door structure included a assuming a hetep symbol for offertory purposes. The slab denoted a loaf placed on a sleeping mat for serving food and various drinks for the dead.[20]


The Egyptian false door is noteworthy artifact recording Egyptian’s early form of civilization. As such, funding the collection of such important artifact presents a tangle link between the present world and the past. The link suits a historical purpose of relating progressive civilization drawing justifications from the early life forms. The process of gathering the artifacts or funding such programs is an inspiring act considering the vital information portrayed by the artifacts. The collection of such artifacts is a way to secure historical information recorded by the several captions. The false door is at risk of vandalism or destruction by natural calamities. Other artifacts of such relevance may lack proper preservation depending on the location discovered. As such, funding the collection and storage of these artifacts is an appropriate measure to curb such complications. The inscription on the artifacts also preserves the history passed through various generations of the world.

The Egyptian artifact has considerable returns when sold with high value at various market levels. The artifacts are a source of cultural appreciation for various communities with the same historic identity. Moreover, the Egyptian false doors offer a great source of information that easily promotes scientific research. The Egyptian false door contains various precious material used during the construction work.[21] As such, initiating a preservation program helps to understand a given people’s identity and belief. The process of identifying the given sites of such artifacts offers an opportunity to discover other historical monuments. The funding program easily engages other significant activities of preserving historical sites. The conserved antique sites act as tourist attraction centers that eventually generate income to the donor.


Abdel rahiem, Mohamed. “The Treasurer of the King of Lower Egypt Meru.” Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur (2003): 1-8.

Andreu, Guillemette. Egypt in the Age of the Pyramids. New York: Cornell University Press, 1997.

Hawass, Zahi A. The pyramids of ancient Egypt. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 1990.

Leprohon, Ronald J. “The Sixth Dynasty False Door of the Priestess of Hathor Irti.” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt (1994): 41-47.

Shaw, Ian, ed. The Oxford history of ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Takenoshita, Junko. “When the Living met the Dead: The Social Functions of False Doors in Non-Royal Funerary Culture with references to examples from the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom.” Masters diss., University of Birmingham, 2011.

[1]Guillemette Andreu, Egypt in the Age of the Pyramids (New York: Cornell University Press, 1997), 5.

[2]Ronald J Leprohon, “The Sixth Dynasty False Door of the Priestess of Hathor Irti,” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt (1994): 41.

[3]Andreu, Egypt in the Age of the Pyramids, 15.

[4]Andreu, Egypt in the Age of the Pyramids, 20.

[5]Mohamed Abdelrahiem, “The Treasurer of the King of Lower Egypt Meru,” Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur (2003): 4.

[6] Abdelrahiem, “The Treasurer of the King of Lower Egypt Meru,” 5.

[7] Takenoshita, “When the Living met the Dead,” 5.

[8]Andreu, Egypt in the Age of the Pyramids, 22.

[9]Junko Takenoshita, “When the Living met the Dead: The Social Functions of False Doors in Non-Royal Funerary Culture with references to examples from the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom” (Masters diss., University of Birmingham, 2011), 6.

[10] Takenoshita, “When the Living met the Dead,” 8.

[11]Takenoshita, “When the Living met the Dead,” 10.

[12]Takenoshita, “When the Living met the Dead,” 13.

[13]Ian Shaw, Ed., The Oxford history of ancient Egypt (Oxford University Press, 2000), 85.

[14]Andreu, Egypt in the Age of the Pyramids, 20.

[15]A. Zahi Hawass, The pyramids of ancient Egypt (Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 1990), 24.

[16]Takenoshita, “When the Living met the Dead,” 21.

[17] Takenoshita, “When the Living met the Dead,” 22.

[18]Takenoshita, “When the Living met the Dead,” 23.

[19]Andreu, Egypt in the Age of the Pyramids, 22.

[20]Leprohon, “The Sixth Dynasty False Door,” 42-43.

[21] Leprohon, “The Sixth Dynasty False Door,” 44.