Hetepheres I (fl. c. 2630 BCE)

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Hetepheres I (fl. c. 2630 bce)

Egyptian queen, "God's Daughter of his body, Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt." Flourished around 2630 bce; daughter of Huni, the last king of the Third Dynasty; married King Snefru, who was probably her brother; children: Cheops (Greek) also known as Khufu, an Egyptian king.

Egyptian queen Hetepheres I, who flourished around 2630 bce, was the eldest daughter of King Huni, the last king of the Third Dynasty. She was also the wife (and probably sister) of King Snefru who is responsible for no less than three pyramids built at Dahshur and Meidum. Snefru's long reign began the Fourth Dynasty, and their son Khufu followed him on the throne when he was already a mature man. As mother of the mighty Khufu, Hetepheres would have been highly honored in life and was provided, by her son, with a spectacular suite of furniture, covered in gold, for her tomb, which was found at Giza by Harvard archaeologist George Andrew Reisner in 1925. The cult of this queen was maintained for generations after her death.

Barbara S. Lesko , Department of Egyptology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island