Khufu: The Builder Of The Great Pyramid At Giza

1745 Words7 Pages
Son of Snofru by queen Hetepheres I, father of Khafre and Djedefre the great pharaoh Khufu was the builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza. The Turin Canon records 23 years of rule and Manetho (priest of Heliopolis) writes that about his reign for 63 years. Unfortunately, besides the Great Pyramid Complex, which can be found in saqqara, there are few archaeological sites, artifacts and more importantly primary texts which shed more light about King Khufu’s reign in the fourth dynasty. Therefore, this paper aims to look at the possible primary sources which give us more information about his life. The kind of sources that I will be looking at are descriptions and stories in the Westcar Papyrus (most likely in the Middle Kingdom), writings of the Greek philosopher Herodotus (5th century BC)1 and writings of priest Mantheo (3rd century BC)2. However these primary sources were written much after Khufu’s recorded death and since they were developed over time as many such evidences tend to be, they become distorted and the descriptions highlight a cruel and godless pharaoh, which means not much about his life is actually noted. The Palermo Stone which is one of seven surviving fragments of a stele known as the Royal Annals of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, mentions the existence of a colossal statue which is approximately seven meters high and another statue which is made of pure gold which could potentially be King Khufu. The evidence suggested by the Palermo Stone could be compared with stories written by Herodotus, which describes King Khufu as a tyrant who harassed his people by forcing them to build colossal structures. Other primary sources which will be analyzed to uncover facts about King Khufu, are traces found at Bubast... ... middle of paper ... ...higher ranking positions. This explains as to how Khufu’s son Rahotep became high priest of Re, his nephew Hemiunu had the title ‘greatest of the five of the House of Thoth’ and his half-brother was second vizier. This way Khufu was able to gain a lot of power. From the primary texts that have been interpreted in this paper, it is possible to conclude that King Khufu was a key figure in the changes that ensued his reign10; both social and religious however he followed a very different approach to his father. Khufu primarily maintained diplomatic relationships with his people and during his period of rule he conducted a religious shift towards Heliopolis (capital of Upper Egypt). Textual evidence as well as expeditions to quarries that have uncovered inscriptions help monumentally to studying the 4th dynasty and understanding the truth behind King Khufu’s existence.

More about Khufu: The Builder Of The Great Pyramid At Giza

Open Document