home | travelogue | itinerary | photos | history | books
Previous Kingdon Next Kingdon
Previous Dynasty Next Dynasty


Titulary what's this?
Horus Name

Kheper "Horus has Become" , "Horus is Transformed"

Nebty Name

Kheper-em-nebty "The one who transformed into the Two Ladies"

Golden Horus Name

Biku-nub "The Golden Falcon"

Praenomen Djedefre "Re is his support"  or "Enduring like Re"
Nomen Djedefre, "Enduring Like Re"
Manetho Ratoises
King Lists Djedefre
Alternate Names Redjedef, Radjedef, Rededek, Radedef, Didoufre, Dedefre, Dedefra
Dates what's this?
swelim reigned 8 years
Turin canon reigned 8 years
piccione 2583 -- 2575 BCE
egyptsite 2528 -- 2520 BCE
krauss 2580-2570
von beckerath 2556-2547
malek 2526-2518
redford 2584-2576
dodson 2524-2516
allen 2528-2520
arnold 2520-2512
Predecessor Father Khufu, out of a libyan consort
May also have usurped the throne by killing his older half-brother Kauab.
Successor Younger half-brother Khafre (who may have murdered him)
Associated People
Father Khufu
Mother an unknown Libyan consort
Wife/Sister Hetepheres II , also married to Kauab
Half-brother Kauab
Wife Khentetenka
Sons Setka, Baka, Hernet out of Khentetenka
Daughter Neferhetepes out of Khentetenka
Burial Place
Abu Roach pyramid
Pyramid at Abu Rowash
Sphinx at Abu Rowash

This king is referenced as Redjedef, which was later read as Djedefre. He was a younger son of Khufu (building of the Great Pyramid at Giza) and most likely killed his elder half-brother Kauab who was the rightful heir. He married Hetepheres II, the widow of his dead brother to continue his claim to the throne, as his own mother was a "lesser wife" with no ties to the royal family.  He was succeeded by his younger half-brother Khafre -- no one knows why he wasn't succeeded by any of his own sons (notably Setka), but it may have been that none of his sons was living when the king died.

While the Turin list credits him with a rule of only 8 years, the eleventh cattle count is referenced during his reign, which would mean at least 11 and possibly 22 years on the throne (since we don't know if the cattle counts are every year or every two years).

Djedefre is the first king to use "Son of Re" in his title, which may indicate that the cult of the solar god Re is growing rapidly in Egypt.  Prior to this, the only other pharaoh that had referenced Re was Reneb/Nebre in the Second Dynasty.

Perhaps because of the break with his fathers family (and the possibly murder of his brother), Djedefre moved his mortuary temple and monument north to Abu Rowash, which is the northernmost portion of the Memphis necropolis that stretches to Dashur and Maidum in the south. He began a large pyramid there, which rose to about 20 courses before he died and work was stopped. It isn't clear what kind of pyramid this was to be (stepped, filled-in-step, "true"), but it appears to have been far steeper than the pyramid at Giza. It had a complete enclosure wall and a small satellite pyramid to the northwest, and a causeway leading down to the nile almost 1700 meters away. The causeway is cut into he bedrock in some places, and rises 10-12 meters above the surface.

The pyramid has a mortuary temple on the south made of mud brick, and a pit near the side that may have been for a solar boat like his fathers. A number of smashed and broken statues were found here -- including what may be the earliest sphinx statue. If the statues are actual portraits, Djedefre appears to look quite a bit like his younger brother, Khephren.



Khufu (Cheops)
khafre (Chephren)


Pyramid at Abu Rowash