Biography of Djedefre


Kheops was succeeded by Djedefre, his oldest surviving son. The name of Djedefre's mother is unknown.

He married his (half-) sister Hetepheres II, which is often seen as a means to legitimise his claims to the throne, especially if his mother was one of Kheops’ lesser wives. It is not known whether there were any children to this marriage.
He also had another wive, Khentet-en-ka with whom he had (at least) three sons, Setka, Baka and Hernet and probably also one daughter, Neferhetepes, who is sometimes believed to have been the mother of Userkaf, the founder of the 5th Dynasty.

The Turin Canon credits him with a rule of only 8 years, but the highest known year referenced to during this reign was the year of the 11th cattle count. This would mean that Djedefre ruled for at least 11 years, if the cattle counts were annual, or 21 years if the cattle counts were biennial.

He was the first king to use the title 'Son of Re' as part of his titulary which is seen as an indication of the growing popularity of the cult of the solar god Re. This was the last element to be added to the royal titulary.

He continued the move north by building his now badly ruined pyramid at Abu Rawash, some 8 km to the North of Giza. It is the northern most part of the Memphite necropolis.

© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017