Khafre (Khefren, Chephren)

Written by Felgr Pavel on .


We know only little about the rule of the Pharaoh Khafre. He ruled approximately from 2,500 BC to 2,494 BC and Egyptian legends consider him as a ruthless tyrant. His coming to the throne meant, that a rightful stem of the royal dynasty could rule again. This line was disrupted by the rule of Djedefre.

Khafre, Khufukhaf before his coming to the throne, likely usurped the throne when he let murder Djedefre. He received the title "Son of Ra"- Sa Ra as the first ruler. He partly gave up some of the absolutist manners in the year of his coming to the throne.

Rachef - the second largest pyramid in Giza

The pyramid of Khafre seems to be the highest of the pyramids in Giza nowadays, because it is placed considerably uphill and its gradient angle is slightly sharper (53° 10´) than by the two other pyramids. The vertical height is about 136.4 meters nowadays, but originally it was 143.55 meters. The side lenght of isosceles triangle was originally 109.25 meters, it is 4.7 meters more than today.

Its area is 4.6354 hectares and lenght of the base is 215.3 meters. Its capacity is 2.22 mil. m3, so the pyramid weighs 5.1 mil. tons. It was incased with 2 types of facing stones. The limestone facing stayed almost unbroken around 10 to 15 meters under the top. According to reliable evidences this case was made from white Tura limestone on the top and red granite down. It was preserved almost on the whole surface of the pyramid case in 18th century.

Pharaoh Khafre's pyramid complex

The complex of the pyramid belongs to the most well-preserved, even if the southern satellite pyramid (with size of 20.9 x 20.9 meters) is almost ruined. The chantry temple is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved monumental buildings of the Old Kingdom. We can see there segmentation into 5 parts for the first time. Fives holes for ships were discovered at the pyramid, in which Selim Hassan didn't find anything in the first half of the thirties of the 20th century.

A ramp originally 494.6 meters long exceeded the elevation difference of 46 meters and it led into a squared valley temple, the most well-preserved of the Old Kingdom. Similarly to the Sphinx temple (39 x 39 meters) it was remarkable, because its particular monoliths weigh from 50 to 200 tons. The pyramid was surrounded by a wall that formed a yard 10 meters wide.

According to historical reports destruction of this complex started under 19th dynasty rule, but the vast part of the casing was used as facing stones to building Hasan's mosque in Cairo around 1356-1362.



Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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