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A burial pit or pit grave was the earliest form of an ancient Egyptian burial. They were simple, shallow oval pits, with a few burial goods consisting primary of pottery, weapons, and tools. Sometimes multiple people and animals were placed in the same grave.


In Predynastic Egypt, all ancient Egyptians, both the rich and the poor, were buried in shallow pit graves that were situated in the desert. Although more sophisticated tombs would appear later in the dynastic periods, this simple pit grave would continue to be used for the burials of the lower classes. The pit-graves would evolve slightly over the years - even by the end of the Pre-Dynastic period the pits would have a lining of wood or stone, a roof and then small chambers were added. Eventually bodies were places in wooden or terracotta coffins. Some pit graves found at Saqqara have small brick structures above the ground, gradually evolving into mastabas.


A typical Nubian type of pit grave also found in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period and early Eighteenth Dynasty was called a Pan-Grave. They were shallow, circular burial pits containing distinctive black-topped red bowls.