|Snefru, Seneferu, Snofru, Soris|
Limestone statue of Sneferu, Egyptian Museum
|Reign||24, 30 or 48 years c. 2600 BC (Fourth Dynasty)|
|Children||Khufu, Ankhhaf, Kanefer, Nefermaat, Netjeraperef, Rahotep, Ranefer, Iynefer I, Hetepheres A, Nefertkau I, Nefertnesu, Meritites I, Henutsen|
|Burial||Red Pyramid ?|
|Monuments||Meidum Pyramid, Bent Pyramid, Red Pyramid|
Sneferu (snfr-wj "He has perfected me", from Ḥr-nb-mꜣꜥt-snfr-wj "Horus, Lord of Maat, has perfected me", also read Snefru or Snofru), : Σῶρις by Manetho), was the founding pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt during the Old Kingdom. Estimates of his reign vary, with for instance The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt suggesting a reign from around 2613 to 2589 BC, a reign of 24 years, while Rolf Krauss suggests a 30-year reign, and Rainer Stadelmann a 48-year reign. He built at least three pyramids that survive to this day and introduced major innovations in the design and construction of pyramids.well known under his Hellenized name Soris (Koinē Greek
Maat or Maʽat refers to the ancient Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also the goddess who personified these concepts, and regulated the stars, seasons, and the actions of mortals and the deities who had brought order from chaos at the moment of creation. Her ideological opposite was Isfet, meaning injustice, chaos, violence or to do evil.
Hellenization or Hellenism is the historical spread of ancient Greek culture, religion, and, to a lesser extent, language over foreign peoples conquered by Greeks or brought into their sphere of influence, particularly during the Hellenistic period following the campaigns of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC. The result of Hellenization was that elements of Greek origin combined in various forms and degrees with local elements, and these Greek influences spread from the Mediterranean basin as far east as modern-day Pakistan. In modern times, Hellenization has been associated with the adoption of modern Greek culture and the ethnic and cultural homogenization of Greece.
Manetho is believed to have been an Egyptian priest from Sebennytos who lived in the Ptolemaic Kingdom in the early third century BC, during the Hellenistic period. He authored the Aegyptiaca in Greek, a major chronological source for the reigns of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. It is unclear if he wrote his work during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter or Ptolemy II Philadelphos, but no later than that of Ptolemy III Euergetes.
The 24-year Turin Canon figure for Sneferu's reign is considered today to be an underestimate since this king's highest-known date is an inscription discovered at the Red Pyramid of Dahshur and mentioning Sneferu's 24th cattle count, corresponding to at least 24 full years.Snefru, however, was known to have a minimum of at least three years after the cattle count dates: his years after the 10th, the 13th and the 18th count are attested at his Meidum pyramid. This would mean that Sneferu ruled Egypt a minimum of 27 full years.
The Turin King List, also known as the Turin Royal Canon, is an ancient Egyptian hieratic papyrus thought to date from the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II, now in the Museo Egizio in Turin. The papyrus is the most extensive list available of kings compiled by the ancient Egyptians, and is the basis for most chronology before the reign of Ramesses II.
The Red Pyramid, also called the North Pyramid, is the largest of the three major pyramids located at the Dahshur necropolis in Cairo, Egypt. Named for the rusty reddish hue of its red limestone stones, it is also the third largest Egyptian pyramid, after those of Khufu and Khafra at Giza. It is also believed to be Egypt's first successful attempt at constructing a "true" smooth-sided pyramid. Local residents refer to the Red Pyramid as el-heram el-watwaat, meaning the Bat Pyramid.
However, in the Palermo Stone, recto 6 at the bottom of the fragment shows the year of the 7th count of Sneferu while recto 7 on the same following row shows the year of the 8th count of Sneferu.Significantly, there is a previous mostly intact column for Sneferu in recto 5 which also mentions events in this king's reign in a specific year but does not mention the previous (6th) year. This column must, therefore, be dated to the year after the 6th count of Sneferu. Hence, Sneferu's reign would be a minimum of 28 years. Since there are many periods in Snefru's reigns for which Egyptologists have few dates—only the years of the 2nd, 7th, 8th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd and 24th count are known for Sneferu before one considers the years after his cattle counts —this pharaoh is most likely to have had a reign in excess of 30 years to manage to build three pyramids in his long rule but not 48 years since the cattle count was not regularly biannual during his kingship. (There are fewer years after the count dates known for Sneferu compared to year of the count or census dates.)
The Palermo Stone is one of seven surviving fragments of a stele known as the Royal Annals of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. The stele contained a list of the kings of Egypt from the First Dynasty through to the early part of the Fifth Dynasty and noted significant events in each year of their reigns. It was probably made during the Fifth Dynasty. The Palermo Stone is held in the Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas in the city of Palermo, Italy, from which it derives its name.
Sneferu was the first king of the fourth dynasty of ancient Egypt, who according to Manetho reigned for 24 years (2613–2589 BC).
Manetho was an Egyptian priest, living in the third century BC, who categorized the pharaohs of dynastic Egypt into 31 dynasties.Manetho's schematic has its flaws; nevertheless, modern scholars conventionally follow his method of grouping. The Papyrus Prisse, a Middle Kingdom source, supports the fact that King Huni was indeed Sneferu's predecessor. It states that "the majesty of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Huni, came to the landing place (i.e., died), and the majesty of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Sneferu, was raised up as a beneficent king in this entire land..." Aside from Sneferu's succession, we learn from this text that later generations considered him to be a "beneficent" ruler. This idea may stem from the etymology of the king's name, for it can be interpreted as the infinitive "to make beautiful". It is uncertain whether Huni was Sneferu's father; however, the Cairo Annals Stone denotes that his mother may have been a woman named Meresankh.
Meresankh I was Ancient Egyptian kingʻs wife and the mother of King Sneferu. She may have been a wife of King Huni, the last king of the 3rd dynasty.
Hetepheres I was Sneferu's main wife and the mother of Khufu,the builder of the Great Pyramid on the Giza Plateau.
Queen Hetepheres I was a Queen of Egypt during the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt.
Khufu, known to the Greeks as Cheops, was an ancient Egyptian monarch who was the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty, in the first half of the Old Kingdom period. Khufu succeeded his father Sneferu as king. 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 poorly documented.
Sons of Sneferu:
Daughters of Sneferu:
The most well known monuments from Sneferu's reign are the three pyramids he is considered to have built in Dahshur: the Bent Pyramid, the Red Pyramid and Meidum (the Meidum pyramid). Under Sneferu, there was a major evolution in monumental pyramid structures, which would lead to Khufu's Great Pyramid, which would be seen as the pinnacle of the Egyptian Old Kingdom's majesty and splendour, and as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The first of Sneferu's massive undertakings is the Pyramid at Meidum. There is some debate among scholars as to Sneferu's claim to the Meidum pyramid, and many credit its origin to King Huni. Nonetheless, the pyramid is a remarkable example of the progression of technology and ideology surrounding the king's burial site.
The immense stone structure serves as physical testimony to the transition from the stepped pyramid structure to that of a "true" pyramid structure. Archaeological investigations of the pyramid show that it was first conceived as a seven-stepped structure, built in a similar manner to the Djoser complex at Saqqara. Modifications later were made to add another platform, and at an even later stage limestone facing was added to create the smooth, angled finish characteristic of a "true" pyramid.Complete with a descending northern passage, two underground chambers, and a burial vault, the pyramid mainly follows the conventions of previous tombs in most aspects other than one: instead of being situated underneath the colossal structure, the burial chamber is built directly within the main body albeit very near ground level.
The Bent Pyramid, also known as the Rhomboidal or Blunted Pyramid, attests to an even greater increase in architectural innovations. As the name suggests, the angle of the inclination changes from 55° to about 43° in the upper levels of the pyramid. It is likely that the pyramid initially was not designed to be built this way, but was modified during construction due to unstable accretion layers. As a means of stabilising the structure, the top layers were laid horizontally, marking the abandonment of the step pyramid concept.The internal components of the Rhomboidal pyramid have also evolved. There are two entrances, one from the north and another from the west. The subterranean chambers are much larger, and distinguished by corbel walls and ceilings with more complex diagonal portcullis systems in place. J.P Lepre asserts:
It is apparent that with the interior design of the Bent Pyramid the architect was groping and experimenting, taking maximum advantage of the huge volume of the monument (50 million cubic feet), the largest pyramid constructed to that date.
The satellite pyramid complementing Sneferu's Bent Pyramid introduces more change in the architecture of the time, when the passageway is built ascending westward (as opposed to the conventionally descending northward direction of the passages of previously build pyramids) towards the burial chambers.
Egypt decided to open the Bent Pyramid for tourism in July 2019 for the first time since 1965. Tourists will be able to reach two 4600-year-old chambers through a 79-meter narrow tunnel built from the northern entrance of the pyramid. 18-meter-high "side pyramid", which is assumed that have been built for Sneferu's wife Hetepheres will also be accessible. It is the first time for this adjacent pyramid opened to the public after its excavation in 1956.
With the increase of innovation in Sneferu's building projects, one expects that his last pyramid, the Red Pyramid, will show the greatest complexity and change in architecture yet. Upon first glance, one may be disappointed seeing that the construction of the Red Pyramid seemingly is simpler than its predecessor. Lepre points out that some of the internal innovations that the previous pyramids boast seem to be missing in the king's last monument. Although the chambers and burial vaults are all present in the monument's main body, no ascending passageway has been excavated, nor is there evidence of a western entrance or diagonal portcullis. Although the absence of these features have dissuaded many archaeologists from further studying the Red Pyramid, Lepre is convinced that there are secret chambers waiting to be uncovered within the stone superstructure. Considering that the remains of King Sneferu have not yet been found, it still may be possible that his sarcophagus and mummy lie hidden in his mysterious last structure. Lepre claims: "the Red pyramid remains one of the chief pyramids that may possibly contain secret chambers, not the least of which may be the true burial chamber of King Sneferu himself."Whether or not this conjecture is true is left to modern archaeologists to determine.
Sneferu's architectural innovations served as a catalyst for later pyramid builders to build on. The first king of the fourth dynasty set a challenging precedent for his successors to match, and only Khufu's Great Pyramid can rival Sneferu's accomplishments. As time progressed and ideology changed in Ancient Egypt, the monuments of the kings decreased greatly in size. As the Pyramid of Menkaure is only a fraction of the size of the previous pyramids, the focus of Egyptian ideology might have shifted from the worship of the king to the direct worship of the sun god, Ra.
To enable Sneferu to undertake such massive building projects, he would have had to secure an extensive store of labour and materials. According to Guillemette Andreu, this is where the king's foreign policy played a large part. Sneferu's conquests into Libya and Nubia served two purposes: the first goal was to establish an extensive labour force, and the second goal was to gain access to the raw materials and special products that were available in these countries.This is alluded to in the Palermo Stone:
According to this inscription, Sneferu was able to capture large numbers of people from other nations, make them his prisoners and then add them into his labour force. During his raids into Nubia and Libya, he also captured cattle for the sustenance of his massive labour force. Such incursions must have been incredibly devastating to the populations of the raided countries, and it is suggested that the campaigns into Nubia may have contributed to the dissemination of the A-Group culture of that region.
Sneferu's military efforts in ancient Libya led to the capture of 11,000 prisoners and 13,100 head of cattle.Aside from the extensive import of cedar (most likely from Lebanon) described above, there is evidence of activity in the turquoise mines on the Sinai Peninsula. There would also have been large-scale quarrying projects to provide Sneferu with the stone he needed for his pyramids.
Sneferu's ancient cedar wood ship Praise of the Two Lands is the first known instance of a ship being referred to by name.
In ancient Egyptian history, the Old Kingdom is the period spanning c. 2686–2181 BC. It is also known as the "Age of the Pyramids" or the "Age of the Pyramid Builders", as it encompasses the reigns of the great pyramid builders of the Fourth Dynasty— among them King Sneferu, who perfected the art of pyramid-building, and the kings Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, who constructed the pyramids at Giza. Egypt attained its first sustained peak of civilization during the Old Kingdom—the first of three so-called "Kingdom" periods which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley.
Khafra was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the 4th Dynasty during the Old Kingdom. He was the son of Khufu and the throne successor of Djedefre. According to the ancient historian Manetho, Khafra was followed by king Bikheris, but according to archaeological evidence he was instead followed by king Menkaure. Khafra was the builder of the second largest pyramid of Giza. The view held by modern Egyptology at large continues to be that the Great Sphinx was built in approximately 2500 BC for Khafra. Not much is known about Khafra, except from the historical reports of Herodotus, writing 2,000 years after his life, who describes him as a cruel and heretical ruler who kept the Egyptian temples closed after Khufu had sealed them.
Dahshur is a royal necropolis located in the desert on the west bank of the Nile approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) south of Cairo. It is known chiefly for several pyramids, two of which are among the oldest, largest and best preserved in Egypt, built from 2613–2589 BC.
The Egyptian pyramids are ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt. As of November 2008, sources cite either 118 or 138 as the number of identified Egyptian pyramids. Most were built as tombs for the country's pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.
Hetepheres II was a Queen of Ancient Egypt during the 4th dynasty.
Djedefre was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the 4th Dynasty during the Old Kingdom. He is well known by the Hellenized form of his name Ratoises. Djedefre was the son and immediate throne successor of Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza; his mother is not known for certain. He is the king who introduced the royal title Sa-Rê and the first to connect his cartouche name with the sun god Ra.
The Fourth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is characterized as a "golden age" of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Dynasty IV lasted from c. 2613 to 2494 BC. It was a time of peace and prosperity as well as one during which trade with other countries is documented.
Huni was an ancient Egyptian king and the last pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty during the Old Kingdom period. Following the Turin king list, he is commonly credited with a reign of 24 years, ending c. 2600 BC.
Khaba was a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, active during the 3rd dynasty of the Old Kingdom period. The exact time during which Khaba ruled is unknown but may have been around 2670 BC.
Meidum, Maydum or Maidum is an archaeological site in Lower Egypt. It contains a large pyramid and several mud-brick mastabas. The pyramid was Egypt's first straight-sided one, but it partially collapsed in ancient times. The area is located around 62 miles south of modern Cairo.
Prince Ankhhaf was an Egyptian prince and served as vizier and overseer of works to the Pharaoh Khufu, who was Ankhhaf's half-brother. He lived during Egypt's 4th Dynasty.
This is an article about an Egyptian prince. See also Rahotep, for the pharaoh of the same name.
Ranefer was a prince of ancient Egypt during the 4th dynasty.
Netjeraperef is the name of an Ancient Egyptian high official and prince. He lived and worked at the transition time between 3rd and 4th dynasty during the Old Kingdom period.
Princess Hetepheres was an Egyptian princess who lived during the 4th dynasty. Hetepheres was the daughter of King Sneferu and the wife of vizier Ankhhaf.
The Third Dynasty of ancient Egypt is the first dynasty of the Old Kingdom. Other dynasties of the Old Kingdom include the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth. The capital during the period of the Old Kingdom was at Memphis.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Seneferu .|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Meidum Pyramid .|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Red Pyramid .|