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The tomb was built for Amir Tashtimur whose life story full of drama and suspense ended in a violent death. The Amir was the saqi, or Cup-Bearer of the illustrious Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad, and after the Sultan’s death became entangled in intrigues surrounding the succession. His protégé Ahmad I made Tashtimur the Viceroy of Egypt after the Amir had put Ahmad on the throne, but soon the ungrateful Sultan had him sent to Syria in chains and executed there.

Tashtimur was known under a nickname Hummus Akhdar, or ‘green chickpeas’. Similar monikers were not unusual among the otherwise rapacious and bellicose Mamluks.

His tomb is the oldest in this part of the cemetery. It is a good example of the early Mamluk style that had changed very little from the preceding periods. The plain ribbed brick dome sits on a simple base, but the design and craftsmanship of the stone tomb chamber are of outstanding quality. This dome, and the neighbouring ones also dating from the 14th century, make an interesting comparison with those of the nearby complex of Sultan Qaitbey, showing how far Mamluk architecture progressed in the less than 140 years between them.

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