Fact #1: KHUFU, MAN OF MANY NAMES
Fact #2: BUILT ONE OF THE '7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD'
Khufu built the Great Pyramid. Located in Egypt, it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Think about it--there are only seven in total, and Khufu's building made that list! The Great Pyramid has been around for 4,500 years. That's an accomplishment few humans can ever hope to beat.
Fact #3: THE KHUFU MUMMY MYSTERY
Where is Khufu's mummy? It has never been found. No one knows what happened to it! Was it originally placed in the sarcophagus above? Did ancient looters steal it? Or was it buried elsewhere? Did Khufu build the pyramid as a decoy to throw people off the scent of his real burial place? Or was the pyramid built for some other reason? A spiritual reason that was never documented? It's a great mystery and researchers continue to search for answers.
Fact #4: SON OF PHARAOH SNEFERU AND QUEEN HETEPHERES I
|Pharoah Sneferu Carving (left), A chair belonging to Queen Hetepheres I (right)|
Fact #5: WHEN WAS KHUFU BORN?
No one knows when Khufu was born. That's strange, isn't it? Here is a man who built a huge monument, and yet left no record of his birthdate. In fact, personal facts about Pharaoh Khufu are pretty scarce in general, which is too bad. It would be great to know more about him and his life. One thing we do know is when he died: 2566 BC. Historians believe he died of natural causes, so no great drama there.
Fact #6: NO ONE KNOWS HOW LONG KHUFU REIGNED
Fact #7: KHUFU FATHERED 9 BOYS & 5 GIRLS
Pharaoh Khufu fathered at least 9 boys and 5 girls.
Khufu's sons were: Kawab, Djedefra (1st inherited the throne), Khafre (probably his 2nd successor to the throne), Djedefhor, Baufra, Babaef I, Khufukhaf I, Minkhaf I, Horbaef
Khufu's daughters were: Nefertiabet, Hetepheres II (named after his mother), Meresankh II, Meritites II, Khamerernebty I. A side note: he hired one of his nephews, Hemiunu, to direct the construction of his famous pyramid.
Fact #8: NAMED AFTER THE EARTH GOD KHNUM
Khnum, pictured above with his green head and horns, was an ancient Egyptian earth god. He controlled the Nile river, a waterway that played an important role in farming, travel, and commerce. The green color represents life and growing things. The god was also a creator of children, whom he fashioned out of clay (earth) and delivered to mothers.
Pharaoh Khufu's full name was Knuhm-khufu, which means "Khnum protect me".
Fact #9: KHUFU LOVED EXPEDITIONS & EXPLORATIONS
Khufu sent explorers into Sinai and Byblos to search for resources that were valuable back then: turquoise (for jewelry and inlays), copper from mines, (for metal working) and Lebanese cedar.
Very few trees grew in ancient Egypt. That was hard, because you need wood to make furniture, doors, and boats. So they were always looking to import it.
Fact #10: KHUFU'S TINY STATUE
Only one complete statue of Pharaoh Khufu remains. It's called the Khufu Statuette. It's made of ivory, and was found by famed archaeologist Flinders Petrie in 1903.
The statue was found headless. Realizing the importance of what he'd found, Petrie and his team spent three weeks searching for it.
It's rather funny, in some sense, isn't it? Khufu made a huge pyramid, yet the only remaining image of him is this tiny, seated figure wearing the red crown of lower Egypt. Khufu's mummy was never found.
Fact #11: KHUFU BOAT
This impressive boat was sealed inside a pit at the base of the pyramid complex. It's called a solar ship.
No one knows the purpose of this boat, but it's believed to be a ritual vessel used to ferry the deceased pharaoh across the heavens to his final destination, along with the help of the Egyptian sun god, Ra.
The boat is 143 feet (44m) long and 19.5 feet (6m) wide.
Fact #12: KHUFU MAY HAVE BEEN CRUEL
Pharaoh Khufu has a reputation for being a bit of a villain. Whether or not this is true, we can't say for sure. Where did he earn this unflattering status? From an ancient "novel" called the Westcar Papyrus. British adventurer Henry Westcar found this odd book in 1924. It is a very ancient story written on papyrus that is incredibly well-preserved.
Fact #13: KHUFU IS IN A VIDEO GAME
Top 13 Pharaoh Khufu Facts
- Khufu/Cheops/Suphis - a man of many names
- Built one of the 7 Wonders of the World
- His mummy is missing
- Son of Pharaoh Sneferu & Queen Hetepheres I
- Birthdate unknown, died in 2566 BC
- 2nd Ruler of Egypt's 4th Dynasty
- Fathered 9 boys and 5 girls
- Named after the earth god Khnum
- Loved expeditions and explorations
- Only one tiny statue exists. His mummy is gone
- Left behind an amazing funerary 'solar' ship
- Some say Khufu was cruel
- Khufu is featured in an Assassin's Creed game
Next: Read 16 Fun Facts about the GREAT PYRAMID