Hetepheres

Queen c.2613-2589 BC.
    The wife of *Sneferu and mother of *Cheops, Hetepheres outlived her husband and was probably originally buried by her son in a tomb at Dahshur. In 1925 G. A.Reisner and the Harvard expedition were excavating the area to the front of the east side of the Great Pyramid at Giza when they uncovered the concealed entrance to a tomb-shaft which led to a second and secret tomb belonging to this queen.
    In about the fifteenth year of his reign, *Cheops, learning that his mother's original tomb had been plundered, ordered the removal of her surviving burial goods to a new tomb near his own pyramid. This was carried out with the utmost secrecy to avoid any further desecration, and the alabaster coffin, chipped by the thieves who had tried to remove the lid, was taken to the new tomb. The archaeologists found this to be empty, but the viscera from the queen's body remained, contained within a separate alabaster canopic chest which had been hidden in a niche in the wall. These viscera are of considerable importance because they indicate that mummification (in which the viscera were removed from the body through an abdominal incision) was already in practice for the royal family in the early Fourth Dynasty.
    Silver bracelets inlaid with stones representing butterflies, have survived from the queen's jewellery. She was also supplied with a carrying-chair, a gold-cased and inlaid bed and canopy, an armchair, pottery, linen and gold toilet objects. The furniture had collapsed but it has been carefully and skilfully restored and can now be seen in the Cairo Museum. Hetepheres' funerary goods are important because they provide an insight into the quality of design and the materials which were in use at that period.
BIBL. Reisner, G.A. and Smith, W.S.A. History of the Giza Necropolis, Vol. 2: The Tomb of Hetepheres, the mother of Cheops. Cambridge, Mass. 1955.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David
* * *
   The name of several princesses and queens of Dynasty 4. The most important was Hetepheres I, the wife of Snefru and mother of Khufu. Her intact burial missing a body was recovered at Giza by George Reisner during an expedition from 1925–1927. Hetepheres II was the daughter of Khufu, wife of her brother Kawab, and mother of Meresankh III.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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