The Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu or usually recognized by his Greek name Cheops ruled as the second pharaoh in Egypt during the Fourth Dynasty found on the Bible Timeline. His full name was Khnum-Khufu. He succeeded to the throne after his father died. It was believed that he reigned for about 23 years when Egypt was flourishing economically and the country was enjoying peace.
He was the son of King Snefru and Hetepheres I and had a sister named Princess Hetepheres. He was married to Queen Meritites and Queen Henutsen. He had nine sons and fifteen daughters. His son with Queen Meritites, Kawab was his leading successor, but Kawab died first before Khufu. It was his other son, Djedefre who ascended the throne after him. His other son became the Pharaoh Khafre later on while one of his daughters became known as the Queen Hetepheres II. The Papyrus Westcar contains accounts about the sons of Khufu while others were identified from their tombs also located in Giza.
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Little is passed on about the personal life of King Khufu. It is largely because his tomb was looted even before it was discovered by the archaeologists. Among the other things that were robbed was the mummy of the pharaoh himself. Only the tiny miniature statue resembling Khufu in the Red Crown with his right hand holding a flail is left today. This was found by Flinders Petrie at the temple of Osiris in Abydos on 1903.
He was known for founding the royal graveyards in the city of Giza among which is the infamous Great Pyramid. It is believed that the Great Pyramid standing in Giza was constructed mainly to serve as a tomb for Khufu.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the biggest and the first to be built among the three pyramids found in Giza Necropolis. This tallest man-made building that ever existed was constructed with the initiation of Pharaoh Khufu. His son Khafre was the one credited for building the second largest pyramid and the famous sphinx. When Khafre died, his son Menkaura completed the Three Pyramids at Giza after constructing a smaller pyramid of his own.
For many years, the information about the builders of the Great Pyramid was only shared through myths and legend until the recent discoveries providing facts about them. There were two assumptions regarding these builders: the first is that slaves were pushed to engage in hard labour until the completion of the pyramid; the second and widely accepted today is that the pyramid was built by a group of paid skilled workers.
According to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, the construction of the pyramid was one of the struggles that the Israelites experienced under the Egyptians. But the Great Pyramid was already there before the time of the Israelites. The pyramids that the Israelites constructed were believed to be of lower quality compared to that of the Great Pyramid.
Further, Josephus relates that Abraham taught the Egyptians about astronomy. It was a knowledge discovered and shared by Seth and his descendants. Afraid that this knowledge might be lost after the Great Flood, they built two pillars; one made of brick, one made of stone. They wrote their discovered knowledge on both so that if ever the flood would raze the pillar made of bricks, the pillar made of stone would be there to share the knowledge with future generations. And this pillar can now be found at the “land of Siriad” referring to Egypt. The pillar made of bricks was believed to be the Benben stone mentioned in the Pyramid Text. While the pillar made of stone was pointing to the Great Pyramid of Giza.
As of today, the method of building the Great Pyramid is still debated.
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