Pyramid of Ankhesenpepi II

The Pyramid of Ankhesenpepi II is a notable structure built in ancient Egypt during the 6th dynasty. The pyramid is located at Saqqara, a necropolis complex situated around 30 km south of Cairo. Ankhesenpepi II was one of the queens of King Pepi I and the mother of King Merenre I. The Pyramid of Ankhesenpepi II is also known as Pyramid Lepsius XXIX due to its identification by Karl Richard Lepsius, the Prussian archaeologist who conducted research in the area during the mid-19th century. The pyramid exhibits unusual characteristics, such as its rectangular instead of square base and a stepped core structure, which made researchers believe that the pyramid may have been the result of a hasty construction.

Studies also revealed that the pyramid was unfinished. Its construction stopped due to unknown reasons and never resumed, leaving the pyramid without a facade. The sarcophagus of Ankhesenpepi II was not found in the pyramid, leading researchers to speculate that the queen may have been buried elsewhere, or her remains may have been looted. Another notable aspect of the Pyramid of Ankhesenpepi II is its mortuary temple, which is located to the east of the pyramid. The mortuary temple was built using mudbrick instead of the typical limestone, making it less durable and prone to erosion. The temple’s walls contain decorations and inscriptions that depict the queen’s life and cultic activities. The cultic activities were of great importance, as they ensured that the deceased queen would be able to receive offerings to sustain her afterlife.

Aside from the mortuary temple, the Pyramid of Ankhesenpepi II also featured other structures, such as the valley temple, a causeway, and a pyramid town. The valley temple was built close to the Nile River to receive the queen’s body as it arrived for burial. The causeway connected the valley temple to the mortuary temple and was used during funeral processions. The pyramid town was a complex that provided support and housing to the workmen who constructed the queen’s pyramid.

In conclusion,

the Pyramid of Ankhesenpepi II is an intriguing structure that highlights the technical capabilities of ancient Egyptian builders. Its stepped core structure and missing facade are indications of an unfinished project. Nonetheless, the mortuary temple and other supporting structures of the pyramid demonstrate the queen’s importance and her people’s efforts to ensure her successful afterlife.