Biography of Shepseskaf

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Mykerinos was succeeded by his oldest surviving son, Shepseskaf. His wife, Bunefer, bore him a daughter, Khamaat, who married the Memphite high-priest Ptah-shepses.

According to the Turin King-list, Shepseskaf's reign lasted for only four years.This may correspond well with the fact that the highest attested year for this king is the year after the first cattle count. This, however, left him with sufficient time not only to erect his own funerary monument but also to hastily complete his father’s mortuary temple.
Again according to the Turin King-list, his reign was followed by a two year reign of an unknown king, who may be identified with king Thamphthis recorded by Manetho.

Shepseskaf chose not to have a pyramid, but a sarcophagus-like mastaba as a tomb and he moved back to the cemetery of Saqqara. This is seen by some Egyptologists as a sign of shifting beliefs, by others as a sign that he wanted to distance himself from the building policy of his forefathers. Others again see it as proof that the building policy of Kheops and Khefren had completely exhausted the resources and wealth of the royal family. This latter argument, however, is contradicted by the fact that Shepseskaf completed his father’s mortuary temple.


© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017