Who's Who of Egyptian people, queens and family: Debhen


4th Dynasty

The actual status of Debhen, who lived during the reign of King Menkaure, the builder of the Third Pyramid at Giza, is not known, but he was of sufficient importance for the king, on a visit to inspect work on his pyramid, to issue instructions for the building and equipping of Debhn's tomb nearby (LG 90). Fifty men were deputed by the king to work on its construction. Although the decoration of his tomb is in a fragmentary state, enough remains to show that it was important in the history of tomb development. That Debhen was himself important is suggested by the fact that an inner wall in the tomb was lined with stone to give a better surface for the reliefs carved on it, the earliest example of this technique recorded. The most remarkable scene which it contained indicated the tomb's location on the Giza plateau; it shows men climbing a ramp to burn incense before a statue at a shrine on its summit. The tomb evidently contained a line of statues of Debhen. It is also notable for some of the earliest evidence of funerary ceremonies and priests participating in the funeral rites, which later became customary in the Old Kingdom.

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Last Updated: June 20th, 2011