Presented here in this book is a preliminary crystallization of thinking about questions, problems and aspects that presented themselves during research into the iconography of Old Kingdom elite tombs in the so-called Leiden Mastaba Project (LMP, started in 1980 for teaching advanced students). Since the Egyptian culture has been given shape mainly in connection with the residences of the kings, the elite tombs of the Memphite area only were incorporated into the database. The original paper database consists of individual files on each tomb, giving a plan, wall scheme, a concise description of each sub-theme and its accompanying texts (if present). The subject matter is very complex and difficult; therefore this book is to be regarded as an essay on the subject. It does not pretend to complete the study in any depth and in order not to interrupt the main text too much; the notes and glosses are rather extensive and might have been incorporated in the main text.