The Mortuary Temple of Khentkaus II is the temple of the Queen of Egypt. She was the wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Neferirkare and the mother of Nefererfre and Nuiserre. Her reign has been mostly traced to the Fifth dynasty of ancient Egyptian rule. The construction of her pyramid started during the time of her husband’s rule when she was still the rightful Queen of Egypt.
However, the construction took an abrupt halt when the King passed away. Nevertheless, it was resumed again in the reign of her son. This time her title was that of the King’s Mother. Thus it is evident that women were always recognized for the relationship they shared with the present King, and thus she was mentioned as Queen and King's Mother instead of her own recognition.
Pyramid Of Khentkaus II
The pyramid of Khentkaus II has been constructed beside the tomb of her late husband Neferirkare. In ancient Egypt, it was believed that the wife or the wives of the King should be buried beside them or at least in their burial complexes so that in the next birth, too, they would beget queens as those they had in their present birth. This pyramid was founded in the year 1906. But it was not until the 1970s when the Czechs had proper research conducted on this site that the entire pyramid design and purpose came into focus. In fact, not only her but also the pyramids of her husband and sons were excavated and thorough research was undertaken to find out about this wiped-out dynasty which reigned around 2000 B.C.
Damage To The Pyramid Of Khentkaus II
The pyramid in question has undergone a lot of changes since the time it was built. In fact, during the Middle Kingdom of this civilization, it was opened to bury a dead child as well. Interestingly, since many of these smaller pyramids go unnoticed in history, they have been popular sites for robberies and looters. The pyramid of Khentkaus II has been robbed many times of its riches. Stones from this pyramid have also been taken to other construction sites which had experienced a shortage of stones during its construction. Many valuable items have been stolen, lost in history and have sometimes been discovered in other tombs not far away from where they were originally buried.
The presence of a mortuary temple was a must in the tombs of the Kings and Queens of ancient Egypt. Khentkaus II's pyramid also has a mortuary temple. This temple was exactly built in a fashion that other mortuary temples were built, but history shows that this temple has been robbed more than any of the other temples of this dynasty. It had beautiful inscriptions, paintings, and carvings on the walls. Most of these have been damaged and degraded due to rough handling, destruction of the temple, and robberies over time. What exists today are some faint paintings and inscriptions showing funerals, agricultural prosperity, ritual offerings, and similar scenes.