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SNEFRU

People List

BORN

MEMPHIS AREA /EGYPT

LIVED

2630 - 2589 BC

By about 4,800 BC, the world’s climate was changing with Egypt, most of North Africa and the Middle East becoming mostly desert. There was not enough rainfall in Egypt for anything substantial to be grown.

The River Nile flows from the mountains of Ethiopia, through Egypt, to the Mediterranean Sea. Each year, rain from the mountains create floods. After the floods subside, a strip of land each side of the Nile is left with a layer of fertile soil on top that is ideal for agriculture. At that time, nomadic hunters in those vast regions settled along the Nile so they could grow crops.

By about 3200 BC, settlements along the Nile had become busy towns. The land at that time was split into Upper Egypt to the south, and, Lower Egypt to the north, each with its own king. It is thought that about 3100 BC, a king named Menes, through war, took control of Lower Egypt. Then king of all Egypt, he made Memphis in Lower Egypt his capital. A surplus of food being grown each year allowed the pharaohs to build up an army to raid neighbouring countries, and, to begin large building projects.

Snefru was the first king of the 4th Dynasty. He became king either by marrying a daughter of King Huni, Heterpheres, or, by being the son of a minor wife of King Huni.

Snefru was a warrior king who campaigned in Lybya, Ancient Nubia and the Siani in pursuit of copper, turquoise, gold, livestock and slaves. He also built a large fleet of ships with which he began trading with other Mediterranean nations. The wealth acquired for Egypt at that time allowed Snefru to become the greatest builder of all the pharaohs.

The pharaohs of the 3rd Dynasty had began building layers of stone on top of their burial sites, each layer smaller than the one below. Through time, those monuments became step pyramids.

Snefru filled in the step pyramid of the pharaoh Huni at Medum to make it look like a true pyramid. He then built a pyramid at Dashur, the first pyramid designed as a true pyramid. The pyramid at Dashur was being built with the sides at 54º. Midway through construction, the pyramid began showing signs of being unsafe. The designers of the pyramid were then forced to change the angle of the sides to 43º so it could be completed to a height of 338 feet. The pyramid at Dashur is now normally referred to as the Bent Pyramid.

Bent Pyramid

Bent Pyramid

Red Pyramid

Red Pyramid

As many people believe Snefru saw the bent pyramid unworthy as his burial place, he had another pyramid built at Dashur, two and a half miles north of the Bent Pyramid, 341 feet high with sides at 43º. With the stone blocks used to build the second pyramid having a reddish color, it became known as the Red Pyramid, or, North Pyramid.

Snefru is believed to have been buried in the Red Pyramid. No evidence of his burial there was found, as, when the pyramid was opened, it had already been robbed. His son Khufu, or, sometimes referred to as Cheops, built the great pyramid at Gisa, 481 feet high with 51º sides. Khufu’s son, Khafre, built the second pyramid at Gisa, 471 feet high with 53º sides. Khafre’s son, Menkaure, built the third pyramid at Gisa, 218 feet high with 51º sides. These were the only five large true pyramids built of solid rock, each taking around 20 years to build.

Gisa Pyramids image

Gisa Pyramids


The 5th Dynasty began building smaller pyramids made from mud bricks encased in stone. Of the 138 pyramids known in Egypt, every one had been robbed before they could be excavated. No remains of any pharaoh were found in a pyramid. The pyramids were built from three types of stone. The main body was built form rough limestone quarried near the pyramid. Granite for the burial chamber, and, a fine limestone for the facing, had to be transported to the site.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneferu People List