- GIZA -
“I had fixed April 23  as the final pay-day.
Queen Meresankh III was the daughter of Hetepheres II - the Queen of the IV Dynasty (2723 to 2563 BC) and Prince Kawab, the granddaughter of Khufu - the King of the IV Dynasty of the Old Kingdom and the wife of Khafre - the 4th King of the Fourth Dynasty. Meresankh died shortly after the end of the reign of Khafre and was buried in the Mastaba, built in the Necropolis of Giza (G7530). The inscriptions on both sides of the entrance to her tomb tell us that the burial of the Queen was made 272 days after her death:
«The King's daughter, Meresankh: year 1, month 1 of the third season, day 21 : her Ka was at rest and she proceeded to the wa'abet (place of embalmment)." On the left a similar line reads, - "The King's wife, Meresankh: year 2, month 2 of the second season, day 18; she proceeded to her beautiful tomb».
Originally, the Mastaba was planned for her Mother - Queen Hetepheres II, but the death of Meresankh was unexpected, and Hetepheres donated her tomb and her granite sarcophagus for her daughter. The inscription on the sarcophagus reads: "I gave the sarcophagus to my daughter - Meresankh, who was loved."
After the preparation work, subsequent excavations were resumed on May 4, 1927 by the archaeological group of Harvard University and Boston Museum of Fine Arts under the leadership of George Reisner. Photos, taken while these excavations are shown below.
Scheme of Mastaba of Meresankh III.
The sarcophagus was originally located in the underground Burial Chamber. The vertical shaft, leading into it is indicated (b) on the plan above.
The sarcophagus, made of black granite, was removed from Mastaba and taken to Cairo Museum of Antiquities in Tahrir. The size of the sarcophagus is 2.16x0.87x0.80 m in height, and its lid is 18 cm thick.
Unfortunately, the contents of the sarcophagus and the mummy of the Queen were completely plundered by ancient robbers. The surviving remains of the Royal mummy were carefully examined by anthropologists, after which it was concluded that Meresankh died in the age of 50-55 years old, and her height was 152 cm.
Below are photographs, made by the ISIDA Project expedition, showing of the environs and interior structure of Mastaba of Meresankh III.
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