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The Pharaohs

Horus name: Huni ("The Smiter")
Rule: 2637 - 2613 BC (5th king of the 3rd dynasty, Old Kingdom)
Noteworthy relatives: Snefru (son-in-law), Hetepheres (daughter)


Huni continued the pyramid-building tradition started by Djoser. His was built at Meydum, a site at the edge of the Faiyum Oasis. Huni's pyramid was the first Egyptian pyramid designed to have a square base and be geometrically "true." It was built as a step pyramid 7 levels high, then loose stones were packed around it to create the four sloping sides. The stones were then covered with a limestone casing. Bad idea... the casing wasn't able to get a good grip on the loose stones and eventually slid right off. It now rests all around the base of the pyramid as huge pile of rubble surrounding the 3 remaining steps.

Egyptologists used to think Huni's pyramid belonged to his son-in-law and successor Snefru; now it is believed that it was built for Huni, who died before it was finished, and that it was completed under the command of Snefru. Either way, there is no evidence that a sarcophagus was ever even buried in it.


Huni was the first pharaoh to have his name written in a cartouche instead of a serekh.

Huni's pyramid. By Jon Bodsworth ( [Copyrighted free use], via Wikimedia Commons

Granite head believed to Huni. By Keith Schengili-Roberts (Own work (photo)) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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