Djedefre in Tour Egypt

DJEDEFRE, 3RD KING OF EGYPT'S 4TH DYNASTY by Jimmy Dunn. A lot of the history surrounding Djedefre is changing as we find out more about his pyramid at Abu Rawash. He was presumably the 3rd King of Egypt's 4th Dynasty, and traditionally is considered the son of Khufu by a minor blond, Libyan consort. Perhaps his main significance is that he was the first king to adopt the name, "son of Re". This is significant from the standpoint of the 5th Dynasty, when kings would completely embrace this sun god. Though he was indeed the son of Khufu, the mother has been bought into question by some modern Egyptologists. In fact, our whole understanding of this king seems to be in doubt. The Turin King list gives Djedefre eight years of rule, though because of some cattle counts, some Egyptologists credit him with a little longer reign. We know of two of Djedefre's wives, who were apparently named Hetepheres II, his sister, and Khentetenka. Hetepheres II is interesting, in that she was probably one of the longest living of her family line. Djedefre had at least three sons, named Setka, Baka (Bakare) and Hernet, all by Khentetenka, and perhaps two daughters, of which one was Neferhetepes. Fragmentary statues of these children were found in his pyramid complex. The king, who's birthname was Djedef-re, meaning Enduring like Re, is also know as Djedefra, Redjedef, and Radjedef. He was believed to have possibly usurped the throne by murdering his older half brother, Kauab. As the son of a more prominent Egyptian queen, Kauab (Kawab) would probably have had a better claim to the throne than Djedefre. Interestingly, Hetepheres II, Djedefre's queen, was apparently married to Kauab before his death. In turn, it was believed that Khafre, Djedefre's younger half brother by Khufu and successor, may have murdered him, perhaps out of revenge. Apparently, most of these assumptions are based on matters surrounding Djedefre's pyramid at Abu Rawash. Its location alone, abandoning the pyramid field at Giza for Abu Rawash, seems to indicate some sort of split within the family. Then we also have statuary fragments found in the complex that would appear to have been intentionally smashed. It was thought that Khafre may have been responsible for this destruction. Also, the fact that Khafre succeeded Djedefre and immediately moved his mortuary complex back to Giza was believed to substantiate a break, and than a return to the family traditions. However, much of this is now in dispute (as some of it has always been), or has been proven to be completely wrong. For example, evidence now suggests that it was presumably Djedefre who completed his father's burial at Giza and was particularly responsible for the provision of his funerary boats, where Djedefre's name was found. This does not appear support a break within the family. Furthermore, the broken statues now seem to have been the results of locals, particularly in the Roman and Christian era. Furthermore, it would also appear from fragmentary evidence around his pyramid that after Djedefre's death, he enjoyed a lengthy cult following that was not disrupted by his successor. Why Djedefre chose to build his pyramid at Abu Rawash remains a mystery, but in many respects, we find evidence that Djedefre certainly had a religious departure from his family. His pyramid has a number of elements that seem to revert to earlier times, while his adoption of a "son of Re" name also suggests religious deviations signaling many things to come. It is now believed that Kauab was in fact probably not murdered by Djedefre, and that Djedefre may have been fairly old when he ascended the throne, and probably died in a manner other than at the hands of his half brother, Khafre. Djedefre is further attested to by an inscription, along with one also of his father, in the gneiss quarries deep in the Nubian Western Desert. We also find his name inscribed at a structure in Zawiyet el-Aryan. A number of statues have been discovered of this king, including several head recovered from his pyramid. One of these is thought to have possibly been the first known form of a sphinx.

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Djedefre in Wikipedia

Djedefre (also known as Radjedef) was an Egyptian pharaoh, the son and immediate successor of Khufu. The mother of Djedefre is unknown. His name means "Enduring like Re."[3] Djedefre was the first king to use the title Son of Ra as part of his royal titulary, which is seen as an indication of the growing popularity of the cult of the solar god Ra. He married his (half-) sister Hetepheres II, which may have been necessary to legitimise his claims to the throne if his mother was one of Khufu's lesser wives. He also had another wife, Khentetka with whom he had (at least) three sons, Setka, Baka and Hernet, and one daughter, Neferhetepes.[4] These children are attested to by statuary fragments found in the ruined mortuary temple adjoining the pyramid. Various fragmentary statues of Khentetka were found in this ruler's mortuary temple at Abu Rawash.[5] Excavations by the French team under Michel Valloggia have recently added another potential daughter, Hetepheres, as well as a son, Nikaudjedefre, to this list. Reign Length The Turin King List credits him with a rule of eight years, but the highest known year referred to during this reign appears to be the Year of his 11th cattle count. The Year of the 11th count of Djedefre was found written on the underside of one of the massive roofing-block beams which covered Khufu's southern boat-pits by Egyptian work crews.[6] Miroslav Verner notes that in the work crew's mason marks and inscriptions, "either Djedefra's throne name or his Golden Horus name occur exclusively."[7] Verner writes that the current academic opinion regarding the attribution of this date to Djedefre is disputed among Egyptologists: Rainer Stadelman, Vassil Dobrev, Peter Janosi favour dating it to Djedefre whereas Wolfgang Helck, Anthony Spalinger, Jean Vercoutter and W.S. Smith attribute this date to Khufu instead on the assumption "that the ceiling block with the date had been brought to the building site of the boat pit already in Khufu's time and placed in position [only] as late as during the burial of the funerary boat in Djedefra's time.[7] The German scholar Dieter Arnold, in a 1981 MDAIK paper noted that the marks and inscriptions of the blocks from Khufu's boat pit seem to form a coherent collection relating to the different stages of the same building project realised by Djedefra's crews.[8] Verner stresses that such marks and inscriptions usually pertained to the breaking of the blocks in the quarry, their transportation, their storage and manipulation in the building site itself.[9] "In this context, the attribution of just a single inscription--and what is more, the only one with a date--on all the blocks from the boat pit to somebody other than Djedefra does not seem very plausible."[10] Verner also notes that the French-Swiss team excavating Djedefra's pyramid have discovered that this king's pyramid was actually finished in his reign. According to Vallogia, Djedefre's pyramid largely made use of a natural rock promontory which represented circa 45 % of its core; the side of the pyramid was 200 cubits long and its height was 125 cubits.[11] The original volume of the monument of Djedefra, hence, approximately equalled that of Menkaura's own pyramid.[12] Therefore, the argument that Djedefre enjoyed a short reign because his pyramid was unfinished is somewhat discredited.[13] This means that Djedefre likely ruled Egypt for a minimum of eleven years if the cattle count was annual or 21 years if it was biannual; Verner, himself, supports the shorter 11 year figure and notes that "the relatively few monuments and records left by Djedefra do not seem to favour a very long reign" for this king...

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