Ancient Egypt Research Associates

Archaeology always presents fun puzzles to be resolved. Mike House recently found a puzzling structure while excavating a road or ramp within the Khentkawes complex.


Part of the road at the Khentkawes Temple.

Part of the road at the Khentkawes Temple.


The structure consists of a possible square mud brick plinth or platform (1.90m x 1.70m) with an additional mud brick extension to the east. The platform and extension were plastered, and only the lowest courses survive. Selim Hassan recorded it in the 1930s as a Wabet (w’bt) tent, although its function is unclear.


Its position in the road may suggest a different use; it may represent an administrative platform with steps leading up to it inside of a building.


Within, a small amount of a marl plaster floor survived to the north and east, extending up to an enclosing wall (represented by a single mud brick course). The west side of the feature has been slightly truncated by the later robbing trench excavated by Ana Tavares in 2008.


To the south of the platform structure, there appears to be an-out-of-phase wall, which appears at first inspection to be truncated by the platform. However, the plaster on the outside of the platform continues down between the wall and the platform. This phasing sequence leads me to believe that the wall may in fact be a form of partial collapse, which appears on Hassan’s plans as a wall.


To the east of the platform, the top opening for the drain leading into a water basin appears. The opening of the drain’s mouth is parallel with the limit of our northern wall. This alignment may suggest that the platform and its associated building was some form of administrative structure connected to the acquisition and control of water for the Menkaure Valley Temple or its associated town. The greater function of the basin is yet unknown; it could be either religious or secular (based on Lisa Yeoman’s field report).