Digital Giza

Black granite sarcophagus and lid of Meresankh III. View item.


Not much is known about the death of Queen Meresankh III, but the little that we understand originates from her sarcophagus that was discovered in-situ in the burial chamber of her tomb.

Inscribed on the sarcophagus, the name of her mother, Hetepheres II, was crossed out, and underneath, the name of Meresankh was etched.

Along with the etching of Meresankh’s name, there was an inscription left by her mother, which read, "I gave the sarcophagus to my daughter - Meresankh, who was loved."

Her sarcophagus, currently in the Grand Egyptian Museum, still held the remains of Meresankh when it was found. The Master of Fine Arts Bulletin about the Art and Archaeology of Meresankh mentions, “The inscription on the red granite sarcophagus indicates that Hetepheres II outlived her daughter Meresankh III, while the bones in the sarcophagus are those of a small adult female about fifty years old.”

You can view the burial chamber of Meresankh where the sarcophagus was found along with a reconstruction of what the burial chamber might’ve looked like when she was buried there in the virtual tour of her tomb:

Reisner also writes “Nowhere in the tomb is any mention of the name of the king to whom Meresankh was married.” Instead, in the western room that was never finished, unfortunately (more evidence that Meresankh’s death was sudden or unexpected), you see stone-cut reliefs of Meresankh and Hetepheres embracing each other and holding hands.

Stone-cut relief statues in the tomb of Queen Meresankh III. Giza Project at Harvard University. View item.

To continue learning about the tomb of Queen Meresankh and burials in Ancient Egypt, read about the excavation of the Tomb of Queen Meresankh III and the artifacts inside.