4th Dynasty

4th Dynasty.jpg

The first king of this dynasty, Seneferu, is sometimes regarded as the most powerful ruler of the Old Kingdom. As such he was revered in later times. The pyramid of Maidum, probably begun by Huni in the 3rd Dynasty, was completed by him. In addition, he built two pyramids at Dahshour. His son was Khufu, the owner of the Great Pyramid at Giza. The actual builder and architect was Hemi-iunu, a large statue of whom was found in a tomb near the pyramid. It is now in the Pelizaeus-Museum in Hildesheim. Khufu permitted his courtiers to build their own mastabas around his pyramid. His mother, Hetepheres, is also buried close by. A great deal of furniture and gold and silver jewellery was found in her tomb. After his death, several of his sons vied with each other for the throne. Khafre is the best known and longest ruling of them. His son Menkaure only became king after vanquishing a rival king. Eventually, further fights for the throne heralded the end of the dynasty. The rise of the cult of the sun god Re was an important religious development in this dynasty. Djedefre, another son of Khufu, was the first king to call himself 'son of Re'.