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Neferirkare Kakai was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the third king of the Fifth Dynasty. The eldest son of the previous pharaoh, Sahure, he reigned for eight to eleven years, sometime in the early-to-mid 25th century BCE. His contemporaries viewed him as a kind and benevolent ruler, willing to intervene on behalf of his courtiers. During his rule the number of administration and priesthood officials increased, and they used their expanded wealth to build sophisticated mastabas (tombs) where they recorded their biographies for the first time. He was the last pharaoh to significantly modify the royal naming conventions, separating the throne name from the birth name, in front of which he added the "Son of Ra" epithet. In the royal necropolis of Abusir he started a pyramid for himself conceived as a step pyramid, a form not seen since the Third Dynasty about 120 years earlier. A modified plan represented the monument as a true pyramid, the largest in Abusir, but this pyramid was never completed. (Full article...)
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