Sunteți pe pagina 1din 50

A Visit to

Khufus World
A photographic record of the legacy of
Old Kingdom Egypt

A free educational companion guide to THE PHARAOH.

Copyright 2013 Kemetpharaonics Publishing House.

Welcome to Khufus World

We hope you will enjoy looking at the photographs in
this companion guide to THE PHARAOH. These photos are
not just ones of the magnificent pyramid which Pharaoh
Khufu built on the Giza Plateau, but also include photos of
those who lived in Ancient Egypt (Kemet) during his reign:
scribes, priests, soldiers, farmers, bakers and many others.
The pyramid Khufu constructed was not only the largest of the pyramids to be built by the Pharaohs but is also
the only remaining Seven Wonders of the Ancient World,
the others having succumbed to time, natural disaster and
The Great Pyramid or more correctly, Horizon of Khufu
was a monumental undertaking even by the standards of
modern-day engineering. The workers in Khufus time had
no machinery and relied merely on strength and numbers
along with copper and stone tools. Twenty to thirty thousand workers worked for some twenty years to build this
mountain of stone where their Pharaoh would be buried
and where he would continue to exist in the After Life.
The reader will be able to appreciate the monumental
work carried out on the pyramid as well as the craftsmanship of the Ancient Egyptians in this photographic record.
The high-resolution photos will also enable the reader to
more properly appreciate the book, THE PHARAOH when
they begin reading it.
We hope you will enjoy and find educational A VISIT TO

Pharaoh Snefru

(far left and top right)

Pharaoh Snefru was the father of Khufu.

He reigned from c2613 to 2589 B.C. Snefru
had several wives, one of whom was Queen
Hetepheres, the mother of Khufu.
Not much is known about the rule of
Pharaoh Snefru with the exception of the
two pyramids he built as well as records of
expeditions to Lebanon to obtain cedar wood
and to the Sinai to obtain turquoise.
(bottom right)

Details from a stele found in the Bent

Pyramid. It depicts Pharaoh Snefru seated
beneath the cartouche which carries his

The Bent and Red Pyramids


Pharaoh Snefru was the builder of two

pyramids. The first pyramid he built is known
as the Bent Pyramid because of its unusual
design. The pyramid had serious structural
flaws and was never used by Snefru.
(lower left)

Stone blocks used in the construction of the

Bent Pyramid. It was built at Dahshur which is
located some 20 miles south of the Giza Plateau.
(lower right)

Polished outer casing of the Bent Pyramid.

The pyramid is one of the few which still
retains large sections of its outer casing. Much
of the casing on the other pyramids was looted
in later times.

The Red Pyramid was the pyramid in which

Pharaoh Snefru was buried. This was the first
true pyramid to be built and was located about
a mile from his other pyramid, the Bent
Pyramid. The earlier tombs of the Pharaohs
had been either simple mud-brick mastabas or
more elaborate step pyramids.
The Red Pyramid was called The Shining
Pyramid. This was because of the reddish glow
it cast in the light of the early morning or in
the late afternoon, caused by the pink hue of
the limestone used in its outer casing.
The pyramid was 220 metres (722 feet)
long at its base and had a height of 105 metres
(345 feet). It had an angled slope of
43 degrees.

Pharaoh Khufu

Pharaoh Khufu whose name means

Protected by (the god) Khnum reigned
between c.2589 B.C. to 2566 B.C. He was the
first of the Pharaohs to build his pyramid on
the Giza Plateau.
Its design followed on from the earlier
design of Snefrus Red Pyramid although on a
much grander scale. A Mortuary Temple
stood beside the pyramid with a stone causeway connecting it with yet another and smaller temple, the Valley Temple close to the Nile.
Only a small statue barely 7.6 centimetres
(3 inches) high exists of this Pharaoh who
built the largest of all the pyramids in Ancient
(upper right)

Cartouche bearing Khufus name.

Hemiunu: The Royal Architect

(top, left and right)

The chief architect for Pharaoh Khufus pyramid

is believed to be Hemiunu, a grandson of Snefru
and a close relative to Khufu. Very little is known
about Hemiunu with the exception of what was
found in his tomb, including the magnificent
statue shown in these photos.

The tomb of Hemiunu was located in the extensive cemeteries (shown in red) around the base
of Khufus own tomb, his monumental pyramid.
Here were buried the family of the Pharaoh and
the nobles as well as some of the workers who
worked on the pyramid. Extensive archaeological work is now being carried out on these longforgotten and overlooked cemeteries.

Khufus Pyramid

Pharaoh Khufus pyramid called Horizon of Khufu was completed shortly before his death in
c2566 B.C. Some of the subsidiary works such as
several of the boat pits were completed after
this death by his son and successor, Pharaoh
The whole pyramid complex, which included
the mortuary temple, (partly restored in the
upper photo) would have taken about twenty
years to complete, with some 20,000 to 30,000
labourers and craftsmen working on the
complex. The entrance to the pyramid is shown
(bottom right) in the lower photo.
Khufus pyramid had a base length of 230.33
metres (756 feet) and a height of 146.59 metres
(481 feet). It had an angled slope of 51 degrees.
It was the largest of all of the pyramids built in
Ancient Egypt.
(next page, top)

How the pyramid may have looked when it was

completed. The capstone on top could have
been sheafed in gold or left as polished stone.

(previous page, top)

Some 2,300,000 blocks of limestone were used

in the construction of the pyramid. Some of the
smoother outer casing stones are shown in this
photo. Note the sunlight reflecting from these
stones which would have made the newlycompleted pyramid visible from a great distance.

Aerial view of Khufus pyramid. The nearby

suburbs of modern Cairo can be seen in the top
of the photo. The three queens pyramids,
tombs of the nobles as well as one of the boat
pits can be seen around the base of the pyramid.

Photo (c.early 1920s) looking down from the

top of Khufus pyramid to the queens pyramids
and the tombs of the nobles.

Entrance and Passageways


Entrance to the pyramid. This entrance was

originally concealed beneath the outer
limestone casing which would have made this
entrance indistinguishable from the other
polished sides of the pyramid.

Two of the narrow and steep passageways

which dissect the interior of the pyramid. The
wooden railings and steps are of course modern additions. These passageways are so low
that present-day tourists must stoop to move
about in them. The ancient pyramid builders
were of course much shorter in height than

Interior Chambers
and Passageways

The Grand Gallery

The Grand Gallery leads to the burial chamber located in the very heart or middle of the
pyramid. The Gallery has a spectacular corbelled roof and is the largest open area inside
of the pyramid. The roof of the Gallery rises
up 8.74 metres (26 feet).
What was the purpose for this immense
Grand Gallery? Along the walls at regular
intervals are evenly-matched holes or sockets
for large wooden beams. These beams were
perhaps used to hold back the stone blocks to
be used in the sealing of the Ascending Passage below. The blocks would have been slid
down the Gallery and into the Ascending
Passage once the tomb was ready for its final

Burial Chamber

(top left)

Low entrance to the burial chamber showing

the smooth and polished walls and floor. The
larger burial goods such as furniture would
have been dismantled before being placed inside the chamber
(top right and lower)

Broken granite sarcophagus which sits at the

far end of the chamber. Note the high ceiling.
The now empty burial chamber would have
been filled with the personal possessions and
the wealth of the dead Pharaoh so that he could
enjoy these in the After Life.

Air Shafts?


There are several shafts dissecting the

pyramid from the two interior chambers:
the so-called Kings Chamber and the
Queens Chamber. Did these shafts have a
religious significance?

Some of these narrow shafts are plugged

with stone blocks which have copper
handles attached. The purpose of these
so-called air shafts (not found in any other
pyramid) is a mystery. A project is currently
underway to have wheeled robots investigate these shafts to remove the stone plugs
and see what is behind them.

Subterranean Chamber

The Subterranean Chamber is one of the

great mysteries of the pyramid. The ceiling is
smooth and finished along with sections of
the wall. Towards the far end of the chamber
though, much of the rock has only been partly cut, forming a strange lunar landscape.
The chamber was most likely unfinished at
the time of Khufus death and work on it was
subsequently abandoned. The chamber was
believed to have a religious purpose,
perhaps mirroring the Ancient Egyptian Under World.

Treasures of the Pyramid





There are no treasures to be found in the

pyramid of Pharaoh Khufu. Any personal
belongings, offerings, statues and jewellery
have long since been looted by tomb robbers.
This looting most likely began in c2100 B.C.
with the collapse of the Old Kingdom.
The pyramid is completely empty and even
the royal mummy itself is missing; there are
not even small pieces of broken pottery to be
What then would the pyramid have
contained when first sealed more than 4,500
years ago? Would it have been more lavish
and more splendid than the tomb of
Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings?









The Solar Boat

Seven boat pits were incorporated into the

pyramid complex. These pits are located
around the outside base of the pyramid.
One of these pits contained the
dismantled solar boat of Pharaoh Khufu,
the boat most likely having been used to
transport his mummified body to the
plateau. The boat could also have been used
during his lifetime as one of the royal barges.
The restored boat is now on show in a
museum beside the pyramid. A second boat
is currently being restored.


Stele from the tomb of Nefertiabet. Her

name means Beautiful One From the East.
The mastaba tomb (G122) is located on the
Giza Plateau near Khufus pyramid. The
burial chamber contained fragments of a
white limestone coffin and lid along with
some bowls and jars.
Nefertiabet is believed to be one of the
daughters of Khufu. Because her tomb was
a magnificent one and close to the pyramid
of her father she must have been close to
In the stele Nefertiabet is depicted seated at a table filled with offerings of bread.
Offerings of linen, ointments, beer and meat
are also shown in the stele - these would
have helped sustain her in the After Life.
(lower right)

Statue (possibly) of Nefertiabet

The Nile:
Bringer of Life

The Nile is the worlds longest river and

was the reason for the flourishing of
Ancient Egypt and even for its very
existence. There were settlements of
villages and towns in the Nile Valley for
several thousand years prior to the
establishment of a unified Egypt in c.3150
What then would the Nile Valley have
looked like in the days of the Pharaohs?

The Nile God

(top and lower left)

Hapy was the God of the Nile. He was

always depicted wearing a headdress of
papyrus plants and with a beard and pot
belly. He was a most important god, with
prayers being offered up to Hapy to
ensure that the inundation of the river
would be a good one. This was the annual
flooding of the Nile, delivering rich silt
deposits into the soil and ensuring bountiful
(lower right)

Papyrus plants which were abundant along

the length of the Nile during the time of
Khufu. These plants were used in the making of papyrus scrolls used for writing by the

Everyday Life in
Khufus World




The workers in Khufus world had a vast

number of different occupations. These ranged
from high positions such as government officials
priests and scribes through to merchants and soldiers, pottery makers, jewellers, stonemasons and
other specialised craftsmen. The foundations
though for this society were the farmers, cattle
herders and fishermen who fed these other workers and their families.
Estimates of the population in Khufus time
vary greatly - from as little as 300,000 to as many
as three million people.










An interview with the
(Conducted by Kemetpharaonics Publishing House in March 2013)
Q. Why Ancient Egypt? Why write a book on pyramids and Pharaohs?
Surely there must be easier subjects to write about?
A. Ive always been fascinated with ancient history, particularly the
Egypt of the Pharaohs. I think everyone has some degree of fascination
with lost tombs and treasure. You cant get any bigger with lost tombs
and treasure than with the pyramids. The books Ive written though - THE
GIZA TRILOGY books are not only about tombs and riches. Ive tried to
recreate a past world (as accurately as possible), where its long dead
people can speak and be heard. I wanted to bring Ancient Egypt (or Kemet
as it is correctly referred to in the books) back to life.
Q. And how accurate are the books?
A. As accurate as possible. Ive consulted more than two dozen works
on the history of the Pyramid Age and nearly all have been written by
scholars in the field of Ancient Egyptian history covered by the time
period in the books i.e. from c.2613 B.C. to 2500 B.C. Of course there are
major gaps in our knowledge of this period and so a bit of detective work
and deduction also had to be carried out. Scholars are not even in agreement as to how the pyramids were actually built and so Ive had to examine a number of theories. I think the theory put forward in THE PHARAOH
is as good as any other on how Pharaoh Khufu built his pyramid.
Q. And is this theory explained in great detail in THE PHARAOH?
A. The book as its title implies is about Pharaoh Khufu and his life.
The first section of the book i.e. the first 300 pages is about Khufus
early life, the consolidation of his power when he becomes Pharaoh, his
military conquests, life in the palace and his on-going relationship with his
wives and children. The remainder of the book, some 600 pages is

dedicated to the construction of the pyramid which is described in great

detail. Some of this construction is seen through the eyes of three of the
workers as well as the royal architect, Hemiunu who it is believed
designed and built the pyramid. There is of course some background
mystery and intrigue with the priests of Ra trying to gain more power for
themselves at Pharaohs expense.
Q. And were you overwhelmed in any way in writing this epic novel?
Most fiction writers on Ancient Egypt tend to avoid pyramid building,
keeping to more familiar periods in the history such as Ramesses II or
A. I enjoyed the challenge of writing THE GIZA TRILOGY books. As I have
already mentioned, its a period in history which interests me greatly
and I felt that it could no longer be ignored. Im fascinated with the three
pyramids on the Giza Plateau and so are the tens of thousands of tourists
who travel to the plateau each year. So, I thought to myself, why not write
a book, THE PHARAOH set against the backdrop of the plateau? My wife
went one step further and suggested I write a trilogy with each of the
books dealing with each of the three pyramids. The books in a way belong
to her and this is why Ive dedicated them to her.
Q. Do you intend writing more fiction books set in Ancient Egypt?
A. All three GIZA TRILOGY books are now written and will be released
at regular intervals to the reading public. Im in the process of finishing
a fourth book which is something of a companion guide to the trilogy. This
is called ETERNAL EGYPT and is a collection of short stories set against the
backdrop of the plateau over a 2,000 year period: from the collapse of Old
Kingdom Egypt through to the Romans. Its the story of the priests and
scribes, tomb robbers, the soldiers who guarded the plateau and others
connected with the plateau over those 2,000 years... Im sure readers will
find it interesting and far different from the other three GIZA TRILOGY
After ETERNAL EGYPT Ive got some ideas which will take me away
from the Pharaohs and in a totally different direction - one which I think
the readers of the GIZA books will not be disappointed...

Available soon:
the sequel to THE PHARAOH

Please visit our web-site at: