Interior of the Tomb of Meresankh III
The tomb Meresankh III was discovered by archaeologist George Reisner on April 23, 1927, with subsequent excavations undertaken by his team on behalf of Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Queen Meresankh III was the daughter of Hetepheres II and prince Kawab and a granddaughter of king Khufu. She was the wife of king Khafre.
Meresankh III was one of the most famous Queens in the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. She lived approximately 2600 BC. Her grandfather was King Khufu, an important ruler in the 4th Dynasty, who is well known as the builder of the largest pyramid on the Giza plateau.
“She held the royal titles of King’s Daughter and King’s Wife, Great of Scepter. On April 23, 1927 the tomb was discovered and excavated by George Reisner. with subsequent excavations undertaken by his team on behalf of Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
They found extraordinarily preserved statuary and colorful relief sculpture with a remarkable emphasis on the female figures. Meresankh’s husband, King Khafre, was not shown in the tomb at all. This indicates the importance of female nobility during the queen`s life.
Detail of the Queen and her titles: king’s daughter of his body, she who sits with Horus, follower of Horus Meresankh. These are typical titles of a queen in the Old Kingdom. Surprising is the title of the king’s daughter of his body because Meresankh’s father never became king.
Possible, this title expresses her relation to her grandfather Khufu, or possibly her royal stepfather adopted her (in this case it would be surprising that she depicted her real father Kawab in her tomb!).
The queen is depicted standing in a very elegant way, wearing a short wig, choker and broad collar, bracelets on her wrists. Her dress is long white dress with shoulder straps and without sleeves. Her left hand is hanging on her chest and her right hand is beside her.”
— Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt: From Early Dynastic Times to the Death of Cleopatra, by Joyce Tyldesley (#aff)
Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty, ca. 2613 to 2494 BC. Tomb G7530-5440, Giza.