from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An ancient Egyptian tomb with a rectangular base, sloping sides, and a flat roof.
- n. A wide stone bench built into the wall of a house, shop etc. in the Middle East.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
And there is in Egypt another form of pyramid called the mastaba, which, like the Mexican, was flattened on the top; while in Assyria structures flattened like the Mexican are found.
A mastaba is a flat-roofed, rectangular tomb with outward-sloping sides.
It's truly Damascene with the low benches and cushions, almost like a mastaba, but with a craftsman-style wood pergola above.
"Engineering an Empire: Egypt" had a comprehensive re-creation showing the different construction phases of Djoser's tomb starting out as a moderate mastaba (a one story, rectangular burial structure with slanting sides) and evolving into the large step pyramid still standing today.
As Margaret passed under the lintel of the outer door, which led into a quiet courtyard, of Hadassah Ireton's house, a Nubian servant rose from the stone _mastaba_ -- the guards' seat -- upon which he had been lying half asleep; he conducted her with the silence of a shadow to the gate of the inner or women's courtyard.
The word 'mastaba' comes from Arabic 'maṣṭabba' ('stone bench').