Episode 12: I Make the Soul Beautiful


Neferirkare and Khentykaus II

The reign of Sahure draws to a close, and soon the throne passes to his mature son Neferirkare Kakai (“I make beautiful the soul of Re”). 

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The great wife of the king, Khenty-kaus II (right) wields enormous influence the royal household and the kingdom itself. Even represented wearing the uraeus upon her brow, Khenty-kaus seems to have held near-kingly influence (if not authority).

She is entombed in a pyramid within the complex of Neferirkare, and her mortuary temple is endowed with regular provisions for many years to come.

But…with the Sun Temples ascending to an integral component of the king’s pyramid complex, and public representation, how does the royal household’s authority respond?

The brother of Neferirkare, Raneferef, reigns for a short time.


The pyramid complex of Neferirkare, with that of Khenty-kaus II at left. Note the huge, elaborate mortuary temples attached to each pyramid.


Miroslav Verner, Abusir III: the Pyramid Complex of Khentkaus, 2001.

Paule Posener-Kriéger, Les Archives du Temple Funéraire de Neferirkare Kakai – Les Papyrous d’Abousir, 1976.

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