Episode 6: The Ram-God Protects Him


The Giza Project of Khufu

The Fourth Dynasty is now in full swing, with its second king – Khnum-Khufu (“Khnum Protects Him”) – now on the throne. Following in the footsteps of his father Sneferu, Khufu commissions a True Pyramid. To outdo his father, however, he plans one on a scale never equalled before or since.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is a monument to oppressive labour regimes, autocratic power, ideology, and sheer dedication on the part of thousands of unknown workers.

We delve into the planning, organization and working environment of this enormous construction project.

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Khufu  - Cairo Museum

The only surviving image of Khufu (source: the Cairo Museum; Wikipedia).


The carrying-chair of Queen Hetep-heres, mother of Khufu (Source: Cairo Museum).3fnZLUN

The Pyramid field at Giza, where mastaba-tombs of officials stretch west of the three great pyramids (source: the author, 2008).


The mastabas west of Khufu’s pyramid (Source: the author, 2008).LsuM9gu

The Great Pyramid itself (source: the author, 2008).

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A knife inscribed for Khufu, discovered at Giza in the Valley Temple of Menkaure (Source: the Boston Museum of Fine Arts).


Mark Lehner, The Complete Pyramids, 2008.

Salima Ikram, Ancient Egypt: an Introduction, 2009.

Ian Shaw (editor), The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 2004.

Gay Robins, The Art of Ancient Egypt, 2008.