Meresankh III

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For other women named Meresankh, see Meresankh (given name).
Meresankh III in hieroglyphs
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Meresankh
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HetepheresII-and-MeresankhIII-PairStatue MuseumOfFineArtsBoston.jpg
Queen Hetepheres II (left) embraces her deceased daughter Meresankh III (right) (MFA 30.1456)

Queen Meresankh III was the daughter of Hetepheres II and Prince Kawab and a granddaughter of the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu. She was the wife of King Khafre.

History[edit]

Her parents were brother and sister. She married the pharaoh Khafra of the Fourth dynasty of Egypt and bore him four sons: Nebemakhet, Niuserre, Khenterka and Duaenre as well as a daughter named Shepsetkau.[1] She held the royal titles of King's Daughter and King's Wife, Great of Scepter.[2]

When she died some time shortly after the reign of Khafra, Meresankh was buried in an extensively decorated mastaba tomb at Giza along with a rock-cut chapel (G7530-5440). Inscriptions on the tomb provide both the time of her death and the date for her funeral, which followed some 272 days after her death.[3] She apparently died during the first regnal year of an unnamed king, possibly the pharaoh Menkaure.[4]

This tomb was originally planned for her mother Hetepheres II, but she instead donated it for her daughter's use—which suggests that Meresankh's death was sudden and unexpected.[5] Hetepheres also provided her daughter with a black granite sarcophagus decorated with palace facades for Meresankh's burial.[6]

Her tomb was discovered by archeologist George Reisner on April 23, 1927,[7] with subsequent excavations undertaken by his team on behalf of Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Her sarcophagus and skeleton are today located in the Cairo Museum; the latter reveals that she was 1.54 metres (5'1") tall and between 50–55 years at her death.[8] The tomb also contained a set of the earliest known canopic jars.[9] A limestone statue depicting Queen Hetepheres embracing her late daughter Meresankh was found in her tomb and is today located in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.[10]

Meresankh III's Children[edit]

The children of Meresankh and Khafre include:

  • Prince Nebemakhet Buried in Mastaba 8172. His titles include scribe of the (divine) book, elder of the snwt-house of his father, chief justice and vizier, hereditary prince, king's son of his body, chief lector-priest, khet-priest of the Great One, khet-priest of (?) Temp. Khephren to Menkaure or a little later. In the mastaba Duaenre, and Niuserre are mentioned. As well as a brother named Ankhemre. Nebemakhet's wife was named Nubhotep, Prophetess of Hathor Mistress-of-the-Sycamore in all her places, etc.
  • Prince Duaenre Mastaba G5110 Vizier of Menkaure. Possibly the father of vizier Babaef.
  • Prince Kenterka. Mentioned in Meresankh's tomb. Khenterka is assumed by some to be a son of Meresankh III.
  • Prince Niuserre (A) (Ny-user-Re-ankh (?) is mentioned in Meresankh's tomb) King’s son of his body, Chief lector-priest of his father, Treasurer of the King of Lower Egypt, etc. Middle to end of Dyn. IV. (Unfinished Rock cut tomb in central field)
  • Prince Ankhemre King's son of his body. Mentioned in the inner chapel of his brother Nebemakhet.
  • Princess Shepsetkau (mentioned in Nebemakhet's Mastaba).

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Meresankh III
  2. ^ Tyldesley, Joyce. Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt. Thames & Hudson. 2006., p.45. ISBN 0-500-05145-3
  3. ^ Tyldesley, p.48
  4. ^ The Queens of Egypt's 4th Dynasty
  5. ^ Meresankh III
  6. ^ The Tomb of Meresankh III (G 7530-40) at Giza
  7. ^ Finding the Pharaohs
  8. ^ Aidan Dodson & Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson (2004), p.60
  9. ^ Tyldesley, p.48
  10. ^ Dodson & Hilton, p.57