The Pyramid of Khufu is also known as the Great Pyramid of Egypt and is situated on the Giza Necropolis just outside Cairo. Due to its massive size and magnificence, this great pyramid is counted among the Seven Wonders of the World and it is considered as a preemient symbol of ancient Egypt worldwide.
The Pyramid of Khufu is also known as the Pyramid of Cheops and was constructed between 2560 and 2540 B.C. by the Pharaoh Khufu himself. This is the first pyramid built in this Giza necropolis, as the pyramids of the earlier kings were built in Memphis, the previous capital of Egypt. In local Egyptian language, this pyramid is termed as ‘Akhet Khufu’, which means ‘Horizon of Khufu’.
Personal Details About Pharaoh Khufu
Khufu was believed to be the son of Pharaoh Sneferu and Queen Hetepheres I, who succeeded Sneferu and became the second Pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. Khufu's original name was Khnum-Khufu and he was crowned in the 26th Century B.C. He was married to Queen Meritites I and Queen Henutsen and they had a number of sons and daughters. The most prominent children of the royal couple were Kawab, Djedefre, Khafre, Hetepheres II and Khamerernebty I. Though Kawab was his Crown Prince, he was ultimately succeeded by Djedefre, due to the untimely death of Kawab. The duration of his reign is uncertain but according to ancient Egyptian and Greek historians Khufu ruled for 50 or 63 years. Modern scholars say he ruled between 23 to 46 years. Khufu's name is immortalized in history due to his pyramid in the Giza necropolis, which he
Archaeological Wonders Of The Mortuary Temple of Khufu
The Great Pyramid was built on a vast base of 230.37 meters and its height was 146.6 meters. The total structure was made of a huge amount of limestone blocks and it is assumed that approximately 2,300,000 stone blocks were used in completing this grand structure. Like all other pyramids, this pyramid was also comprised of the King’s burial chamber, Queen’s burial chamber, a mortuary temple, valley temple and a causeway; all enclosed by a strong limestone wall. The mortuary temple was built on the eastern side of the pyramid complex. It consists of a big courtyard of rectangular shape, coated with the black basalt paving that was more than 50 meters wide.
The chambers surrounding this open space have been mostly ruined over the course of time, and now only a few relics with certain images of the local festivals can be seen. According to the inscriptions, the pillars and the porches were built of red granite, while the ceiling was made of white limestone; though almost nothing of this temple is found intact now. It is now assumed that an 810-meter long causeway earlier connected the mortuary temple to the valley temple of this pyramid, though now almost nothing of it is left to be seen now. The ruined valley temple most probably lies under the soil of the village of Nazlet es-Simman, which could not be excavated till now. The mortuary temple leads to the King’s burial chamber, which remains in the best condition in this pyramid. The three smaller pyramids, built on the same premises are in much better condition. These pyramids were constructed for preserving the memories of Khufu’s mother Hetepheres I, his wives Meritites I and Henutsen.