King of Egypt

Cheops, or Khufu, was the second ruler in the fourth dynasty of ancient Egypt.

Cheops is the Greek name given to him by the Greek historian Herodotus. He ruled his kingdom for 23 years from Memphis and is remembered most for building the Great Pyramid of Gizeh, one of the seven wonders of the world.

Cheops chose a pyramid for a tomb to baffle tomb-raiders who had a history of destroying rich burial tombs.

Nevertheless, in later years his tomb was destroyed and his mummy, the first ever, was stolen along with any other riches that could be carried out.

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Feature story: Khufu

Senusret III
King of Egypt

Senusret III (Greek Sesostris) ruled as the 5th pharaoh of Egypt's 12th Dynasty.

He is the best known of the Middle Kingdom pharaohs because of his many naturalistic statues showing a man with heavy eye-lids and lined continence indicating that he was a king possessed of a concerned and thoughtful regard for his high office.

Under Senusret III the Middle Kdm reached its greatest extension, and experienced a glorious period when large temple complexes were erected at Karnak.

Egypt's influence reached into Lower Nubia; trade routes developed, leading to the Red Sea, Sinai, Somaliland, Crete and Byblos in Lebanon.

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Feature story: Senusret III

Pharaoh of Egypt

Amenhotep IV - better known as Akhenaten (or Ikhnaton) - ushered in a revolutionary period in the history of Egypt.

Amenhotep worshiped the life-giving power of the sun. He called the sun the Aten, and changed his name to Akhenaten.

Nefertiti, his queen, is one of the best-known Egyptian queens, because she is shown in a limestone bust found by archaelogists. During Akhenaten's reign the Egyptians began calling their king pharaoh.

The Amarna Revolution, as it is often called, saw the removal of the seat of government to a short-lived new capital city, Akhetaten (modern el-Amarna), the introduction of a new art style, and the elevation of the cult of the sun disc, the Aten, to pre-eminent status in Egyptian religion.

This last heresy in particular was to bring down on Akhenaten the scorn of later kings.

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Feature story: Amenhotep IV