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Titulary what's this?
Horus Name

Weser-ib "Horus, who is strong of heart"

Nebty Name

Weser-m-nebty  "The one who is strong with the Two Ladies"

Golden Horus Name

Netjer-nub-sekhem "The Golden Falcon is Powerful"

Praenomen Weserib Khafre "Re, he has appeared, Strong of Heart " , "Appearing LIke Re, Strong of Heart"
Nomen Khafre "Appearing Like Re"
Manetho Suphis II , Sophis II
King Lists khafre
Alternate Names Chefren, Chephren, Khefren, Khephren, Khepren, Khafre, Khaefre, Khafra
Dates what's this?
manetho reigned 66 years, but cannot be substantiated
turin canon ruled 24-26 years
piccione 2575 -- 2550 BCE
egyptsite 2520 -- 2494 BCE
krauss 2570-2530
von beckerath 2547-2521
malek 2518-2493
redford 2576-2551
allen 2520-2494
dodson 2516-2494
arnold 2512-2477
Predecessor Half-brother Djedefre (as a younger son, he was required to wait out the reign of Djedefre)
Successor son Menkaure
Associated People
Father Khufu
Mother Henutsen
Wife Meres-ankh III (daughter of Kauab and Hetepheres II)
Chief Wife Khameremebty I , possibly his half-sister
Sons Nebemakhet, Misuerre, Khenterka, Duaenre out of Meresankh III
Son Menkaure out of Khameremebty
Daughter Khameremebty II out of Khamerenebty
Daughter Shepsestkau, outo f Meresankh III
Sons Nikawre, Sekhemkare
Brother Djedefre
Burial Place
Pyramid at Giza
Pyramid at Giza
The Great Sphinx
Valley Temple at Giza

Khafre took the throne upon the death of his older half-brother, Djedefre (there is some thought that he might have killed him, given the short reign of Djedefre) and is best known as the builder of the second pyramid at Giza and, of course, the giant Sphinx. It isn't know why he came to the throne instead of one of Djedefre's sons, and it may be that he pushed aside the former kings son to take the throne, or that none of Djedefre's sons remained. Khafre's marriage to Hetepheres III, a granddaughter of Khufu, most likely was meant to solidify his claim to the throne.

Again, the estimates of the length of his reign are very different. Manetho and Herodotus both say 66 years,but there is no evidence for a reign this long. They may have fudged the numbers a bit -- maxing out the possible reigns -- to account for the monumental building projects of these fourth dynasty kings. The 13th cattle count is recorded for Khafre, which means a reign of roughly 15-25 years, depending on how often the counts were done.

Egypt was quite prosperous during his reign, with almost no military attacks or campaigns. The culture flourished, however, and the private tombs from his era are beautiful examples of art and architecture. In addition, the worship of the sun god Re was also prospering. Khafre kept the "Son of Re" nomenclature that his father had started, and that would continue for another millennia.

Hopping around once again, Khafre moved his monuments and mortuary temple back to Giza, to build ont he plateau  next to his father. The pyramid appears larger than Khufu's, but this is an optical illusion -- it is built on slightly higher ground, but is in fact smaller. It is less complex inside, as well, but the mortuary temple and causeway of Khafre's pyramid remain well preserved and give us a good idea just what the entire complex was supposed to look like. The red-granite Valley Temple is still standing, and parts of the causeway have been restored.

It is the Sphinx that garners the most attention, however. Many people believe that it is carved in the likeness of pharaoh Khafre The body and head of the sphinx are carved from an existing limestone escarpment. The head, being of harder stone, is better preserved (indeed, you can still see some of the traces of paint on the headdress), but the body is crumbling and repairs in previous centuries have cause more damage than they fixed. My personal belief is that Khafre recarved the head of an existing animal-headed sphinx when he built his temples in the valley (a totally non-scientific belief based on the fact that the head looks way too small for the body). There are a number of existing theories about the sphinx, and a current theory is that is is much, much older than the surrounding monuments.

Unlike his father, there are numerous representations of Khafre, both large and small. One of the most famous pieces in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is a seated statue of Khafre with the falcon Horus folding his wings around the pharaohs head. A number of other pieces of statuary also exist of this king, including a fine alabaster head, a large granite head, and a limestone head, a red granite head wearing the Red Crown, and a fragmented stone head that are all tentatively identified as Khafre due to the resemblance to the seated Horus-statue. None of the other heads are "named", but come from the right area in Giza and appear to be the same man.



Khufu (Cheops)
khafre (Chephren)


Pyramid at Giza
The Great Sphinx
Valley Temple at Giza