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Gizeh Plateau

 A necropolis west of Cairo set on a high limestone plateau and its south-facing slope, which together with Saqqara and Western Thebes is one of the most important necropolis in Egypt. It has a unique group of early stone constructions: the pyramid and cult precincts of Khufu, Khafre, Menkaure and Khentkawes I, the great Sphinx, the Hermakhis temple and hundreds of mastabas and rock tombs of the IV-VI Dynasties, among them the historically significant complexes of the royal families and the royal households of this kings. Associated pyramid towns and royal residences in the fertile area have disappeared. Only a few monuments of a later period exist here and there ("Campbell's Tomb"). Some large tombs of an early period exist to the south. Some buildings have suffered damage caused by medieval building activities in Cairo.


Gizeh Plateau

mastaba western field

aeriel view of Giza Plateau

boat pit close Khufu pyramid


Next to the mortuary temple of Khufu there are three pyramids of royal wives of the pharaoh, Meritit and Henutsen as well as his mother’s, queen Hetepheres (1).


G1a - Hetepheres (1) G1b - Meritit G1c - Henutsen

The northernmost, was earlier attributed to queen Meritit but today Mark Lehner considers instead to be the tomb of queen Hetepheres I. The core of G1a, which oryginally consisted of three or perhaps even four steps, was built of yellowish gray limestone. The entrance in the north wall is located slightly above the base of the pyramid. The descending corridor turns to the right and comes out in a small burial chamber that was cut into the rock and surfaced with limestone blocks. A sarcofagus was not found in it. Before the east wall of the pyramid stood a small mortuary temple. South of G1a, a pit for a boat burial was dug in the rock, but no traces of the boat have been found

The pyramid is resembles G1a. No remains of a buried boat were found. Hence it is not clear which queen was buried there - it may have been Meritit, who was probably one of Khufu's older wives. She is thought to be the mother of prince Kawab and perhaps made the transition from Snefru's harem to Khufu's.  

The southernmost of queens'es pyramids, G1c, is thought to be that of queen Henutsen. According to George Reisner, its casing remained unfinished. In many respects its architecture resembles that of the other two pyramids. In opinion some scholars, this pyramid was not part of the oryginal plan of Khufu's complex. If Stadelmann is corect in thinking that the double mastaba belonged to prince Khufukhaf before he became king and was known as Khafre, the letter was probably the builder of pyramid G1c.

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