2006 年 49 巻 2 号 p. 110-132
The Old Kingdom (ca. 2687-2191BC: 3-6 Dynasties) saw the emergence of large-scale private mortuary cults for the first time in Egypt. This can be observed in the textual attestations of private funerary domains and in the legal documentation pertaining to the administration of mortuary cults. It is however unknown for how long these cults continued to be perpetuated after the death of the tomb owner, nor are the processes of maintenance and abandonment of private mortuary cults during the Old Kingdom well understood. This paper will explore these issues, concentrating primarily on the evidence for architectural modifications to existing cult spaces, the material remains of ritual practice and the archaeological contexts in which such ritual objects have been found. The results of a study of these categories of evidence from five private mortuary cults in the Memphite area are presented in this paper. It is contested that in all cases, the cult continued to be practiced for at least ca. 50-100 years after the death of the beneficiary of the cult. In some cases, the scale of the cult was expanded, possibly due to the integration of additional mortuary cults belonging to individuals buried nearby into a collective cult. Abandonment of the ritual activity is shown not merely to have possibly been a result of the passing of time, but also to have been closely linked to the possible decline of the royal cemeteries at the end of the Old Kingdom.