Khufu was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who ruled the fourth dynasty. He inherited the throne from his (probable) father. According to modern historians, Khufu lived from 2589 BC to 2566 BC, dying at the age of 23. He is believed to have had nine sons and five daughters. The royal family of Khufu was quite sizable. These days, Khufu is best known for his association with the Great Pyramid of Giza, a 4,000-year-old structure that still stands, and draws all kinds of tourists from all over the world.
For more than 3,800 years, the Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest man made structure in the world. Located near El Giza, Egypt, the Great Pyramid of Giza is about 455 feet in height, and about 750 feet along one side of its base. It is made up of more than 2.3 million blocks of lime stone and granite.
Giza is both the oldest and the largest of three pyramids in the Great Pyramid complex, and is well known for the accuracy of its workmanship. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (as listed in the guide books that were popular with ancient tourists from about 100 BC). It is the only one of the seven original Ancient Wonders that remains primarily intact.
In case you wonder, the other six (original) Ancient Wonders listed were the Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Temple of Artemus, the Statue of Zeus, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Egyptologists believe that the Great Pyramid was built as a tomb over a period of ten to twenty years, from about 2580 to about 2560. There are three known chambers inside the pyramid. Khufu is generally credited with having commissioned the structure. But why would a tomb be so gigantic? Perhaps because the Khufu family was so large. The Great Pyramid is surrounded by several smaller pyramids.
Much more recently, presidential candidate Ben Carson postulated that the pyramids were used for storing corn or grain. This makes some sense, as the King and Queen (and their very large family) would not have far to travel to get food.
Most recently, archeological project called Operation Scan Pyramid found some “thermal anomalies” on the eastern side of the pyramid. In other words, air pockets inside the pyramid, causing our wild imaginations to conjure hidden tombs of great Egyptian Pharaohs. Sure the anomalous void could be a tomb. Or it could be slabs of granite placed vertically as an ancient defense mechanism. Or, it could be something as simple as a crack in the rock, or maybe the spaces between rocks.
What probably happens is that, every two or three years, a newspaper tells one of its reporters, “Get me a Great Pyramid story.” Sometimes the reporter has to dig real deep to drag one up.
In these modern times, the pyramids serve as a backdrop for laser light displays at night. By day, tourists enter the Great Pyramid by way of the Robbers' Tunnel, an entrance created around 820 AD.