King Snefru | Founder of the Fourth Dynasty

Pharaoh King Senefru, founder of the fourth dynasty, and the famous father of Pharaoh Cheops, owner of the Great Pyramid, is considered one of the greatest builders in the history of mankind, as he presented 4 pyramids, took the lead in the emergence of pyramid building in human history.

King Snefru Egypt 

When we talk about this King, founder of the 4th dynasty, it is done above all in relation to its three Pyramids, maybe even four. He was the greatest builder of Ancient Egypt, although the information concerning him is rather sparse. Imposing architectural structures, however, speak for him.

Son of Huni (the last ruler of the 3rd dynasty) and of the secondary wife of King Huni, Queen Meresankh, Snefru strengthened his right to succession by marrying his half-sister who later became the mother of the most famous king in ancient Egyptian history, Queen Hetepheres mother of Cheops who is the owner of the most enormous pyramid in history, which attracts tourists daily during the Giza Pyramids tour.

Of his reign, the Palermo Stone reports two military campaigns, one in Nubia and the other against the Libyan tribes. The Palermo Stone also mentions the arrival of a convoy from Byblos, made up of forty ships loaded with cedarwood.

Both pyramids of Dahshur, near Saqqara, are attributed to this king. Of uncertain attribution remains the pyramid of Meidum, sometimes considered one of the three pyramids of Snefru. According to a fairly accepted theory, his father Huni was the owner of the tomb of Meidum, while Snefru managed its transformation. Also During his reign, the cartouche appeared for the first time, the oval shape that contains the name of the ruler nsu-biti, after the traditional serekh shape which was a square shape used before, the serekh can be seen on the top of the two-sided Narmer Palette exhibited in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo which commemorates the victory of King Menes after the battle that united the two kingdoms of Egypt in the north and the south, marking the beginning of the dynastic period by the 1st dynasty.

Probably reigned for fifty years, this allowed him to build, and complete, three great pyramids, thus deserving the title of "greatest pyramid builder of all time".
The three buildings of Snefru contain more than three and a half million cubic meters of stone, thus overcoming the Great Pyramid. The idea that a king could have more than one tomb built is definitely strange to us. After all, the pharaoh could only be buried in one place. We do not know for sure what the reason for such plenty of building, however, a probable explanation could simply be that Snefru, given the technical problems that had made it difficult to build the first two pyramids, wanted a third one to be built in perfect shape.

If this is really the case, we could consider it a sort of variation compared to the constructive approach of Imhotep who had made the Step Pyramid for his King Djoser step by step, an approach that would have guaranteed that there was always at least one tomb ready in the event of the sudden and unexpected death of the pharaoh. (Something similar had to occur during the Middle Kingdom, when Amenemhat III had two pyramids built, the second of which proved technically much more advanced than the first.) Anyway, it is possible that Snefru wanted to own one or more memorials, in addition to the real tomb.

You can go to Saqqara and Dahshur to explore the gigantic pyramids of King Senefru during the Pyramids Tour from Cairo Airport.


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