- King 2500-2496 BC.
Shepseskaf was probably the son of *Mycerinus by a secondary wife. He was the last important ruler of the Fourth Dynasty whose reign witnessed the gradual disintegration of the dynasty and consequent political and religious upheaval. He completed the pyramid complex of *Mycerinus and dedicated the building for his father in a decree set up in the pyramid temple.Shepseskaf broke away from Fourth Dynasty tradition by choosing south Saqqara as his burial site and by building a tomb which was not a pyramid; this is the so-called Mastabat Fara'un which appears to revert to some of the architectural forms of earlier dynasties. Constructed as a mastaba-tomb, it is built with sloping sides, a bevelled roof and vertical ends, and has the appearance of a great rectangular stone sarcophagus. The internal burial chambers were also constructed with granite, but the outer court and causeway were built of mudbrick, and the monument was probably finished after the king's death. Queen Bunefer (who was probably his wife) apparently performed the funerary cult here for Shepseskaf, and she herself was buried in a rock-cut tomb at Giza.Shepseskaf may have attempted to break away from the stranglehold that the priests of Re (the sun-god) increasingly imposed on the kings, and his tomb may reflect that independent stance. His decision to be buried in a mastaba-tomb may signify a rejection of the pyramid because it had close associations with the sun-cult. With his death, the Fourth Dynasty also passed away, and was replaced with a line of kings who clearly proclaimed their allegiance to Re's priesthood.BIBL. Jequier, G. Le Mastabat Faraoun. Cairo: 1928.Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David* * *(reigned c. 2503–2498 BC)Ruler of Dynasty 4. Successor and possibly son of Menkaure. The waning power of the monarch is demonstrated by his failure to build a pyramid. He was buried in a large mastaba tomb near Saqqara.Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier
Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. EdwART. 2011.
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