What Impact Did Khufu Have on Egypt?

Perhaps the most important contribution Khufu, the fourth dynasty Egyptian pharaoh, made to Egypt and the world is the Great Pyramid of Giza. This ruler is sometimes referred to as Khnum Khufu or Cheops and is widely credited as the force behind this wonder of the world.

Khnum Khufu was the first Egyptian pharaoh to build a pyramid at Giza. Historical records offer conflicting views about Khufu’s character and actions. Some historians like Herodotus have claimed that Khufu was a tyrannical and cruel ruler who enslaved his people and forced them to construct the pyramid; others suggest that Khufu was a good-natured, traditional ruler and a wise leader. The Great Pyramid is sometimes offered as proof that he had the ability to conscript and mobilize a large army of workers, a monumental task in an era when almost no machinery was available. The workers were skilled craftsmen or seasonal laborers, and Khufu ensured that they were looked after and compensated well for their efforts.

Some historians suggest that Khufu in his early years was contemptuous of Gods and critical of his people’s belief in them, but later regretted his actions and composed several sacred books. It is also believed that he was worshipped as a god after his death, with his funerary cult becoming very popular during the Roman Period.