Born: 26th century B.C.
Died: 26th century B.C.
Best known as: Builder of the Great Pyramid
Khufu (known to the Greeks as Cheops) was the second ruler of ancient Egypt's fourth dynasty. Little is known about Khufu, but his fame is assured by the tomb he built for himself: the Great Pyramid of Giza. Scholars generally agree that Khufu ruled for nearly a quarter of a century after the death of his father, Sneferu. Khufu is said to have forcefully centralized the government and restrained the powers of the priesthood. His pyramid is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and remains a famous tourist spot and a source of archaeological mystery. Khufu was succeeded by his son Djedefre; another son, Khafre, also ended up on the throne and also built a pyramid at Giza, second only to Khufu's.
Extra credit: Inside the Great Pyramid a 143-foot long boat, presumably made for Khufu, was discovered in 1954 by Kamal el-Mallakh.
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