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Sneferu is famous for being the founder ruler of the Fourth Dynasty of ancient Egypt's Old Kingdom. His Hellenized name was 'Soros,' as the Greek Historian Manetho mentioned. In the Egyptian dialect, Sneferu's name was also written as 'Snefru' or 'Snofru.'

When Did Sneferu Reign?


Although there were originally different opinions regarding the period of Sneferu's reign, it is now accepted that he ruled Egypt for 24 years, from 2613 B.C. to 2589 B.C., as mentioned in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. He is credited with building three pyramids, which are still intact and exhibit a new form of architectural design introduced by this king.
Sneferu ascended the throne of Egypt after the death of his predecessor Huni, as mentioned by the ancient Greek historian Manetho in his records. Sneferu was succeeded by his son Khufu, famous for constructing the Great Pyramid of Giza. Sneferu is known to have been a kind and efficient ruler who was remembered for many generations after his time because he did his best for his fellow citizens. His reign was also marked by the military raids to Nubia and Libya, where he imprisoned numerous people to use them as a slave labor force at his pyramid sites. Sneferu was also known to have constructed the first Egyptian ship, 'Praise of the Two Lands.' He had it built with cedar wood that he most likely imported from Lebanon.

Sneferu's Personal Life

Even though Sneferu succeeded Huni, it has yet to be proven that he was the son of his predecessor. But Sneferu's mother's name was Meresankh I, as per the inscription stated on the Cairo Annals Stone. His chief wife was Queen Hetepheres I, also Khufu's mother. According to various historical records, Sneferu had eight sons: Khufu, Ankhhaf, Kanefer, Nefermaat I, Netjeraperef, Rahotep, Ranefer, and Iynefer I. Per the inscriptions, he also fathered five daughters: Hetepheres A, Nefertkau I, Nefertnesu, Meritites I, and Henutsen.
Among his sons, Khufu succeeded him to the throne, while Nefermaat I and Kanefer served as viziers or ministers under their father. Kanefer continued working as a vizier for his brother Khufu, whereas Nefermaat I became the priest in the Egyptian temple of Goddess Bastet. Ankhhaf also served as vizier under his nephew and the next Pharaoh, Khafre. Rahotep worked as the High Priest in the temple of the Sun god Ra in Heliopolis.

Pyramids Built By Sneferu

The most prominent three pyramids Sneferu built are in Dahshur or Dashur (in English), the royal cemetery erected in the desert on the west side of the River Nile. These three pyramids were named the Red Pyramid, the Bent Pyramid, and the Medium Pyramid. Sneferu modified the structure of the pyramid to a great extent, which was also followed while building the Great Pyramid of Giza by his son Khufu. The medium was the first pyramid that Sneferu built, and this massive structure housed the burial chambers of some notable royal family members. The Bent Pyramid was also known as the Rhomboidal or Blunted Pyramid, which has its name due to the change in the inclination angle from 55° to 43° in the upper tiers. The Red Pyramid is believed to contain the coffin and mortal remains of Sneferu in a hidden chamber, although that has not yet been discovered.

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