Three queens with the same name - Chentkaus I.

Written by Sonja Hanousková on .

Decline of the 4th dynasty end is enveloped in many mysteries. Even more mysteries than with the rise of the dynasty. Close towards the dynasty we meet the woman – queen Chentkaus I. Unfortunately we did not know anything about her. Everything was covered by mystery. Gradual excavations which were discovered said us that the queen was very important for the end of 4th dynasty and the rise of 5th dynasty.

Discover Chentkaus’s tomb

In 30th years of 20th century were running the excavations so called 4th pyramid. Archeologists Holscher and Reisner were persuaded that the discover tomb belongs to pharaoh of the end of 4th dynasty – Shepseskaf.

Chentkaus's tomb is put together form two levels with almost square base and made of limestone and granite. Walls gradient is 74°. That is the reason why the tomb reminds bevel vertical pyramid. The interesting fact is that the west wall was decorated by niche – motif of early dynastic period. The first level is made of granite, the second one is made of limestone. The second level looks like sarcophagus and is not square, but rectangle form.

Now we face the assumption of the second level of the tomb. The second level was built probably later than the first one, because it does not stand over the centre of the original building, but it moves to the west side. Whole surface of the tomb was put from limestone.

Who really was Chentkaus I.?

In Chentkau’s tomb complex were many incredible discoveries. However the egyptologists took up the inscription on the archway made of granite. "Mother of two kings of Upper and Lower Egypt mother, God's daughter, all good things which God orders are carried out for her, Chentkaus."

The inscription contained queen's unconfirmed title - "nesut bitej mut nesut bitej / mut nesut bitej nesut bitej." This title we can interpret as "mother of two kings of Upper and Lower Egypt" or "king of Upper and Lower Egypt". The second one said that Chentkaus I. reigned as royal mother - regent. Current experts incline to the second explanation. However the egyptologists took up the inscription on the archway made of granite. Although the other researches passed through in 70th years of 20. century, too, Chentkaus is still enveloped in mystery.

Interesting point of view, Chentkaus I. had not following titles "royal daughter" and "royal wife", it means she probably had an ordinary mortal man or prince of side branch. We think she had two sons. The first one probably was Šepseskaf (last pharaoh of 4th dynasty) and the second one probably was Veserkaf (founder of 5th dynasty).

Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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