Powerful Women of the Fourth Dynasty
Around 2500 BCE, the Fourth Dynasty is ending. Menakaure (ep. 8) passes without heir, and the throne is unstable. So, a royal woman steps into the breach; her name is Khenty-Kaus, and she is a boss.
Khenty-Kaus (“She is Foremost”) places her son Shepses-kaf on the throne, and this gives us a golden opportunity to focus on the oft-neglected royal women of the Old Kingdom.
The only known representation of Khenty-kaus, from her tomb at Giza. (Source: Verner, 1994).
Queen Hetep-heres II and Mery-sankh III of the Fourth Dynasty, from a tomb at Giza (Source: Boston MFA).
Menkaure and an unknown queen, discovered in a robber’s pit at Giza (Source: Boston MFA).
The rock-cut mastaba/pyramid of Khenty-kaus I, built at Giza (Source: the author, 2013).
Vivienne Gae Callender, In Hathor’s Image: the Wives and Mothers of Egyptian Kings from Dynasties I-VI, 2012 (Amazon).
Aidan Dodson & Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, 2010 (Amazon).
Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, 1994 (Amazon).
Erik Hornung, Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: the One and the Many, 1996 (Amazon).
Barry Kemp, Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization, 2005 (Amazon).
Mark Lehner, The Complete Pyramids, 2008 (Amazon).
Gay Robins, The Art of Ancient Egypt, 2008 (Amazon).
John Romer, A History of Egypt: from the First Farmers to the Great Pyramid, 2013 (Amazon).
Robert Wenke, The Ancient Egyptian State, 2009 (Amazon).