Mastabat el-Fara'un

Mastabat el-Fara'unShepseskaf was buried not within a pyramid but under a huge mastaba, now known as the Mastabat el-Fara'un or ‘Pharaoh's bench', at South Saqqara. Originally encased with fine white limestone, except for a bottom course of red granite, it may have risen in two steps and certainly took the form of a ‘Buto shrine' - having a vaulted top between two vertical ends. Inside, a passage descending from the north passes through a corridor-chamber and a set of three portcullises before ending in the antechamber. A short passage slopes down to the burial chamber to the west, which features a false vault carved into the undersides of the ceiling slabs, similar to that of Mycerinos. Here, remains were found of a stone sarcophagus that was also similar to that of Shepseskaf's predecessor, carved with niches, panelling, and a cavetto cornice. From the southeast of the antechamber another short passage leads to six niches similarly arranged to those in the tombs of Mycerinos and Khentkawes at Giza. Outside, the mastaba was surrounded by two mudbrick enclosure walls and bordered on the east by a small mortuary temple, which consisted of an offering hall and false door flanked by five magazines and preceded by a smaller inner court and a larger outer court. The long causeway, which actually bypasses the mortuary temple, led to a valley temple that has never been excavated.

The factfiles below are based on M. Lehner's 'The Complete Pyramids', London, 1997 and P.A. Clayton's 'Chronicle of the Pharaohs', London, 1994.

Mastabat el-Fara'un
      Shepseskaf
   

Pharaoh :
Shepseskaf
      Birth name
:
Shepses-ka-f ('His Soul is Noble')
Dynasty :
4
           
Location :
South Saqqara
      Father :
Menkaure
Ancient name
:
'The Purified Pyramid'
      Mother
:
?
            Wife
:
Bunefer
Base :
99.6 x 74.4 m
      Son(s)
:
?
Height :
18 m
      Daughter(s)
:
Khamaat
Volume (cu.m)
:
148.271
           
            Burial :
Sarcophagus-shaped mastaba, South Saqqara