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Ancient Egypt Name _______________________________________ Date ________________________ Hour _______ The Pharaohs The Pharaoh Khufu The Pharaoh Khufu, or commonly known as Cheops, ruled in the 4th Dynasty (2551-2528 B.C.) He was the second Pharaoh of the period and he ruled for approximately 23 years. He was the son of King Sneferu and Queen Hetepheres. During the peak of King Khufu’s life, he was married to two women, Queen Merey-it-is and Queen Henutsen. One of his many sons, Djedefre, also known as Khafre, became king after his death. While the great Khufu was in charge, he was found to be a cruel, yet organized leader. It was assumed that during his life, Egypt was a highly structured society and that Pharaoh Khufu must have attained great wealth. Not much else is known about the Pharaoh’s personal life or his accomplishments. His most known and famous undertaking was the Great Pyramid of Egypt. Before King Khufu started the construction of his pyramid, large tombs were not as popular. Until this time, pharaohs were buried in small bench-shaped mounds called Matsabas. Khufu’s father, Sneferu started before him by building first step-pyramids and later tried for his own great pyramid, called the bent-pyramid, which failed because it was built on a loose, sandy, foundation. There are two main theories surrounding the construction of his pyramid. The first theory, suggested by experts, suggests that slaves were forced under daily hard labor to work until the task was completed. The more logical and more supported theory, however, suggests that the Great Pyramid of Egypt was built by hundreds of skilled workers who camped near the pyramids and worked for a salary until the construction of the pyramid was completed. King Khufu’s Great Pyramid was made of some 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite. The limestone was found on the plateau on which the pyramid is located, and the granite was found almost six hundred miles away at Aswan. The blocks had an average weight of 2.5 tons; some of them weighed up to fifteen tons. King Khufu chose the site of the pyramid himself. The Great Pyramid lies on the west bank of the Nile, to the north of the remainder of the pyramids. The great king’s final resting-place was built in the location it was because of the vast plateau of limestone. The limestone from the plateau was the limestone that was used in the construction of the pyramid. The pyramid’s base is 568,500 square feet. Each side was originally 754 feet, but the walls are now all nine feet shorter. When King Khufu’s great tomb was finally completely constructed, it was 481 feet tall. Currently, the pyramid only stands at 449 feet because the smooth limestone cap on the outside of the pyramid has either eroded or been removed. Although he organized the construction of the pyramid, not much is known about his life due to the fact that his tomb was robbed. No remains of the mummy have ever been found and there is only an empty sarcophagus that lies in the center of the King’s Chamber located inside the pyramid. However, a statue was found in the temple of Abydos and it is thought that maybe this might give a slight insight into the Pharaoh’s world and who he really was. Sarcophagus The Pharaoh Khafre Pharaoh Khafre was the son of Khufu. Pharaoh Khafre is best known as the owner of the second pyramid at Giza. As with the other Kings of that dynasty, written records that tell exactly when he was king are scarce. It is known that he also had two wives; Meresankh II, the daughter of his brother Kawab, and his chief wife, Khamerernebty. His eldest son, Menkaure, who was builder of the third pyramid at Giza, succeeded him to the throne and became the next pharaoh. Pharaoh Khafre built his pyramid at Giza next to that of his father. His pyramid complex has survived better than many others, in part because he used core blocks of limestone. Next to Khafre’s valley temple, the Great sphinx lies inside its own enclosure. Its position next to Khafre’s pyramid and certain architectural details indicate that it was an important part of the Kharfre’s pyramid area. The Sphinx, which is a colossal lion statue with the head of the King, carved out of a sandstone outcrop, represents Khafre as the god Horus presenting offerings to the sun god. The face on the sphinx is believed to be that of Pharaoh Khafre. The Pharaoh Menkaure Menkaure is the son of Khafre and the grandson of Khufu. He built the smallest pyramid at the Giza plateau. The pyramid is remarkable because it is the only pyramid in Dynasty IV that was cased in 16 layers of granite. Menkaure planned to cover the whole surface with granite, but he could not because of his sudden death. He died before his pyramid was finished. The pyramid complex of Menkaure was completed by his son and successor Shepseskaf. Shepseskaf completed the pyramid complex of his father with mud-brick and left an inscription inside the Valley Temple indicating that he built the temple for the memory of his father. At the pyramid's entrance, there is an inscription that records that Menkaure died on the twenty-third day of the fourth month of the summer and that he built the pyramid. Egyptologists had found a sarcophagus inside the pyramid with a skeleton of a young woman in it. The sarcophagus was lost in the Mediterranean Sea when the ship that was transporting it to Europe sank. It is unknown who the mummy was, but Menkaure's main queen and wife was Khamerernebty II, who is portrayed with him in a statue found in the Valley Temple. She is believed to also be buried in Giza. Archeologists do still have the lid from the wooden coffin found inside the pyramid, which bears the cartouche of Menkaure.