- Nefermaat and Itet -

Nefermaat was a son of Snofru, the founder of the 4th Dynasty. His mother is not known with certainty, but she is sometimes assumed to have been Snofru's eldest daughter, Nefretkau. As such he was the (half?) brother of Rahotep and Kheops, the second king of the 4th Dynasty.

His wife was a woman named Itet, who bore the title 'known to the king'. This title is often taken to indicate ap person that was part of the royal entourage. The parents of Itet are not known.

The names of five of Nefermaat's sons are known: Buneb, Shepsesneb, Ankhreshet, Nebkhenet and the most famous of them, Hemiunu, the architect who built the pyramid of Kheops at Giza.

Nefermaat's titulary was elaborate and impressive, including general titles such as member of the elite, priestly titles such as priets of Bastet and civil titles like royal seal bearer and vizier. A relief found in his tomb (see image to the right) describes him as 'he is the one who made his gods in writing that cannot be erased', an indication that he was looking for ways to make reliefs more durable.

He was buried in a mastaba at Meidum, near the pyramid built there by his father. As Snofru was finally buried in the so-called Red Pyramid at Dashur, some 40 kilometres to the North it is very likely that Nefermaat died when Meidum was still intended as the royal cemetery. As recent archaeological research has led to the assumption that Snofru abandonned Meidum between his 15th and 28th year, Nefermaat probably died before Snofru's 15th year. In any case, he died before his father did, since it was his younger half brother Kheops who became the next king.

This tomb has become famous for a fragment of painted plaster, representing some geese, that have come to be known as The Meidum Geese.

Nefermaat and his wife Itet, in a relief found in their tomb.

  Ancient Egypt From A To Z   Old Kingdom   Meidum
  Nefermaat and Itet   Hemiunu    


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