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Khufu , originally Khnum-Khufu , is the birth name of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, who ruled during the Fourth Dynasty in the first half of the Old Kingdom period ( 26th century BC). Khufu was the second pharaoh of the 4th dynasty, he followed his possible father, king Sneferu, on the throne. He is generally accepted as having commissioned the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but many other aspects of his reign are rather poorly documented.

The only completely preserved portrait of the king is a three- inch high ivory figurine found in a temple ruin of later period at Abydos in 1903. All other reliefs and statues were found in fragments and many buildings of Khufu are lost. Everything known about Khufu comes from inscriptions in his necropolis at Giza and later documents. For example, Khufu is the main actor of the famous Papyrus Westcar from the 13th dynasty.

Most documents that mention king Khufu were written by ancient Egyptian and Greek historians around 300 BC. Khufu's obituary is presented there in a conflicting way: While the king enjoyed a long lasting cultural heritage preservation during the period of the Old Kingdom and the New Kingdom, the ancient historians Manetho, Diodorus and Herodotus hand down a very negative depiction of Khufu's character. Thanks to these documents, an obscure and critical picture of Khufu's personality persists.

Khufu (disambiguation)

The word Khufu can refer to:

  • Khufu (pharaoh), an Egyptian pharaoh
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza, sometimes called Khufu's Pyramid or the Pyramid of Khufu
  • Khufu The Mummy is a video board game, part of the Atmosfear series.
  • Khufu is a character in the Atmosfear series.
  • Khufu: The Secrets Behind the Building of the Great Pyramid, a 2006 book by Jean-Pierre Houdin
  • Khufu (cipher), a block cipher.