King Khafre - Father of the Great Sphinx

King Khafre

The 4th ruler of the 4th Dynasty, King Khafre(2558-2532 BC) succeeded his brotherKing Djedefre as the King of Egypt.

He was the son of the great King Khufu and the Queen Henutsen.

His reign lasted between 24 and 26 years, and he is accredited with building the second pyramid at Giza.

He's also thought to have built the majestic Great Sphinx of Giza (the credit for building of the Great Sphinx is still in debate however).


The second pyramid at Giza was built on higher ground than King Khufu's great pyramid, and so it gives the illusion of being the larger one. It is not. It's about 33.5 feet (10.2 m) shorter than the Great Pyramid. Even now, after the Great Pyramid lost a part of its top, it is still taller than the second pyramid.

The cool thing though is that the second pyramid still has some of the limestone casing stones at the top, showing how these pyramids would have originally looked with their finishing.

The pyramid had two entrances, with different passages inside. One of the passages leads to the burial chamber in which a sarcophagus was found.

Inside the sarcophagus some bones were found. But they were the bones of a bull...

...this meant that the mummy must have been taken by tomb raiders. The bones of the bull are thought to have been given as an offering to the King's Ka (soul) after his body was stolen.

It is also known that Egypt prospered and was in a good state at the time of his reign.

The King had two wives, Queen Meresankh III and Queen Khamerernebty I. He had two sons, one of which was to be his successor King Menkaure.

The other son, Prince Nekure was given great fortune and status as well, and he left a will. This is a rarity, and the only one from the Old Kingdom that was found. It lists the towns and treasures to be divided and given to his heirs.

King Khafre's successor, King Menkaure, would go on to complete the Giza Necropolis and build the third great pyramid there.

Return from King Khafre to Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs

Return from King Khafre to the Experience Ancient Egypt Home Page