The mastaba of Ptah-shepses


Ptah-shepses , a man of unknown but obvious aristocratic origin, rose in the ranks to become Vizier during the reign of Niuserre of the 5th Dynasty. He was married to princess Khamaat, the daughter of the last (?) king of the 4th Dynasty, Shepseskaf and his wife Bunefer.

The fact the he was allowed to marry a woman of royal birth indicates that Ptah-shepses was of noble birth as well, perhaps even a distant member of the royal family.

Ptah-shepses started his carreer as royal hairdresser and manicurist, but rose through the ranks of priesthood and the government to end his life as Vizier, one of the highest authorities in the country, next to the king.

He was buried in an elaborate mastaba tomb in Abusir, near the pyramid of Niuserre, during whose reign he died.

Originally, in 1843 Richard Lepsius thought that it is a pyramid, and described it as "pyramid no. XIX" in his "Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien". Jacques de Morgan's excavation of the site in 1893 revealed the site was actually part of a mastaba. From 1960 to 1974 where have been made excavations organized by the Czech Institute of Egyptology.