What Is Khufu Best Known For?

The Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Khufu is best known for ordering the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza. Khufu, who ruled as the second pharaoh of the 4th Dynasty during the 26th century B.C., is believed to have been the son of the pharaoh Sneferu, who commissioned the building of the first true pyramid, the North Pyramid at Dahshur. The Great Pyramid at Giza is the largest one built, and it is taller than a 40-story building.

Khufu is also known by his Hellenized name Cheops. The year of his death is believed to be 2566 B.C., and most of what is known about Khufu has been obtained from the inscriptions within his necropolis at Giza. Because of poorly written records, not much other than his commissioning of the Great Pyramid's construction is known about his reign.

So that it would be highly visible, Khufu chose to build his pyramid on a high natural plateau and named his necropolis Akhet-Khufu, which means "Horizon of Khufu." The walls and ceilings inside Khufu's pyramid are made from polished granite, and the structure is constructed of massive limestone blocks, some weighing up to 15 tons. It is possible that the Great Sphinx was constructed as part of Khufu's necropolis at Giza, but the true identity of the Egyptian ruler who commissioned the work remains a hotly contested issue.