Episode 38: Burial Rites

The International Fame of Nubkaure Amenemhat II.


Life is good in Egypt: Nubkaure is the third ruler of Dynasty XII to live a long life (ruling 35 years) and to lead the country capably. He despatches fleets to the Levantine coast, where items bearing his name and those of his family are found as far afield as Syria, at Ugarit.

His pyramid complex at Dashur is the source of an incredibly rare find: the intact burials of Princess Ita and Queen Khnumet, both his daughters (Khnumet married Senuseret II, his successor). Their gorgeous funeral jewellery are masterpieces of the art.


The diadem (crown) of Queen Khnumet, daughter of Nubkaure. (Image source: Flickr user Ancient Egyptian Jewellery).

The collar of Khnumet, described by Jacques de Morgan in his excavation report. (Image source: Flickr user Ancient Egyptian Jewellery).

Princess Ita's dagger, found in her tomb. (Image source: The New York Times, 1899).

The annals of Nubkaure, from the city of Memphis. (Image source: the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology Classroom - Brown.edu)

Illicit digging pits (centre) encroaching on the pyramid complex of Nubkaure (bottom left). (Image source: Google Maps).


Jacques de Morgan - Fouilles a Dachour 1894-1895. 1903 (Free Download).

The New York Times, 1899 - Jacques de Morgan speaks to the American Archaeological and Numismatic Society on his discovery.

Reshafim.org - the Biography of Khnumhotep II, of Beni Hassan (Menat Khufu).

Wolfram Grajetzki - The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. 2006.