Queen Henutsen

Queen Henutsen

Queen Henutsen lived during the fourth dynasty (Old Kingdom) of Ancient Egypt. She was the daughter of Sneferu and the wife of Khufu. She was probably also the mother of Khafre , Khafkhufu I (or Khufukhaf I), and Minkhaf. According to Herodotus she was the daughter of Khufu who was prostituted by her father in order to raise the funds to build the great pyramid. Of course, there is no contemporary evidence in support of this rather unlikely story.

The “Inventory Stela” found nearby states “he (Khufu) built a pyramid for the king’s daughter Henutsen, beside this temple” (the temple being the temple of Isis which was built much later). However, it has been noted that G1c was not part of the original plan for Khufu’s pyramid complex and the south side of the pyramid instead follows the line of Khaftkhufu’s mastaba.

It is sometimes proposed that Khaftkhufu was the name of Khafre before he became pharaoh. In this mastaba the prince is depicted with a woman described as “His mother who bore him, she who sees Horus and Seth, great of affection” which is a very similar title given to Queen Hetepheres I in her role as mother of the king, and so it is likely that this woman is his mother – Queen Henutsen. Even if the Inventory Stela is inaccurate, it is still the consensus that G1c is the pyramid of Henutsen.

Further reading
  • Dodson, A and Hilton, D. (2004) The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt
  • Lehner, Mark (1997) The Complete Pyramids
  • Rice, Michael (1999) Who’s Who in Ancient Egypt
  • Verner, Miroslav (1997)The Pyramids

Copyright J Hill 2015