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Basic Pharaoh Khufu Facts
- Khufu was the 2nd pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty in the Old Kingdom.
- Khufu's reign over Egypt spanned more than twenty three years from 2589 BC through 2566 BC.
- It is believed Khufu became Pharaoh while in his twenties.
- It is widely believed that his father was Pharaoh Snefru; due to the fact that the oldest son of the Pharaoh usually inherited the throne and Khufu followed Snefru as ruler of Egypt.
- His mother was Queen Hetepheres.
- He married Meritite who was either his sister or half-sister. She was his principal wife; it is believed that he had at least two other wives referred to as "lesser wives".
- He had nine sons and fifteen daughters.
- He died in 2566 BC. The cause of his death was never recorded.
Interesting Facts about Pharaoh Khufu
- Pharaoh Khufu is also called Cheops which is his name in Greek.
- His full name was Khnum-Khufwy which translates to "Khnum protect me". Khnum was one of the earliest Egyptian gods.
- Khufu started work on the Great Pyramid as soon as he became Pharaoh realizing that it would take many years to complete.
- In building the Great Pyramid at Giza Khufu demonstrated his power and wealth. This massive structure took decades to build and involved thousands of laborers moving gigantic limestone blocks with an average weight of over 2 tons over several miles.
- The only statue ever discovered of Khufu was a tiny 3 inch (7.5 centimeters) high ivory sculpture. This artifact was discovered in 1903 in the ruins of a temple in the ancient Egyptian city of Abydos. It is the smallest sculpture of ancient Egyptian Royalty ever found which is quite interesting when you consider his tomb, the Great Pyramid at Giza, was one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World.
- Pharaoh Khufu's Chief Chancellor was his nephew Hemiunu. He was the second most powerful man in ancient Egypt during Khufu's reign and was also a member of the royal family. He is famous for being the architect of the Great Pyramid.
- A man named Djedi served the king as a combination physician and prophet. He most likely had considerable influence with Khufu.
- Khufu's mummy has never been found. His empty sarcophagus sits in the King's Chamber inside the Great Pyramid.
- It is assumed that, as with all the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, Khufu must have been buried with an amazing treasure. None of this treasure has ever been found; it was stolen by grave robbers most likely in ancient times.
- Upon Khufu's death his son Djedefre became Pharaoh. Just how long he reigned over Egypt is disputed. After Djedefre Egypt was ruled by another of Khufu's sons named Khafre. Khafre also built a huge pyramid at Giza; smaller than his fathers pyramid.