|Wife of the king, Mother of the king|
|Reign||circa 2450 BC|
Abusir, mastaba AC 30
|Religion||Ancient Egyptian religion|
Discovery of the tomb
On January 4, 2015, the discovery of her tomb by Czech archaeologists was announced by Egyptian authorities. According to Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty, there had been no knowledge of the existence of Khentkaus III before this discovery. Two earlier Egyptian queens with the same name have been identified previously, however.
The tomb of Khentkaus III – marked as AC 30 – was excavated in Abusir, where there are several pyramids dedicated to pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty, including Neferefre. The tomb was found near Neferefre's funerary complex by a Czech archaeological team led by Miroslav Bárta of Charles University in Prague, with Egyptian collaboration.
The name and rank of Khentkaus was inscribed on the inner walls of the tomb, probably by the builders. Her burial place is a mastaba with an underground burial chamber that is reached via a shaft. The reliefs in the tomb identified her both as "the wife of the king" and "the mother of the king", implying her son ascended the throne. Statuettes and twenty-four travertine utensils, along with four copper utensils (which were part of the funerary objects), also have been found in the tomb. The tomb is dated to the middle of the Fifth Dynasty.
The archaeologists who uncovered the tomb believed it to be that of Neferefre's wife, because it was close to his complex, in a small cemetery southeast of the complex. Eldamaty stated: "This discovery will help us shed light on certain unknown aspects of the Fifth Dynasty, which along with the Fourth Dynasty, witnessed the construction of the first pyramids."
- Verner, Miroslav (2014). Sons of the Sun. Rise and decline of the Fifth Dynasty. Prague: Charles University. p. 58. ISBN 978-8073085414.
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