The Fourth Dynasty of ancient egypt (notated Dynasty IV) is characterized as a “golden age” of the old kingdom of Egypt. Dynasty IV lasted from c. 2613 to 2494 BC. It was a time of peace and prosperity as well as one during which trade with other countries is documented.

The Fourth Dynasty heralded the height of the pyramid-building age. The relative peace of the Third Dynasty allowed the Dynasty IV rulers the leisure to explore more artistic and cultural pursuits. King snefru’s building experiments led to the evolution from the mastaba-styled step pyramids to the smooth sided “true” pyramids, such as those on the giza plateau. No other period in Egypt’s history equaled Dynasty IV’s architectural accomplishments. Each of the rulers of this dynasty (except for shepseskaf, the last) commissioned at least one pyramid to serve as a tomb or cenotaph.

The Fourth Dynasty was the second of four dynasties that made up the “Old Kingdom”. King Sneferu, the first king of the Fourth Dynasty, held territory from ancient Libya in the west to the sinai peninsula in the east, to Nubia in the south. It was a successful period and this era is known for its advancement and concentrated government, as seen in the organized building of pyramids and other monuments.

Knowledge of the Old Kingdom comes mainly from these structures and objects discovered in the desert cemeteries of Giza.



4th dynasty



Rulers of the fourth dynasty of egypt

Initial Fourth Dynasty Royalty
Names of Kings Horus (throne) name Dates Pyramid Names of
sneferu Nebma’at 2613–2589 BC Red pyramid
Bent pyramid
Pyramid at Meidum
Medjedu 2589–2566 BC Great pyramid of Giza Meritites I Henutsen
Djedefre Kheper 2566–2558 BC ? pyramid of Djedefre Hetepheres II Khentetka
Khafre Userib 2558–2532 BC pyramid of Khafre Meresankh III

Khamerernebty I
Hekenuhedjet persenet

(Possibly Baka or Baufra)
c. 2532 BC? unfinished northeren pyramid of Zawyet El Aryan?
Menkaure Kakhet 2532–2503 BC ? pyramid of Menkaure Khamerernebty II
Shepseskaf Shepsesket 2503–2496 BC ? Mastabat al-Fir’aun Bunefer Khentkaus I ?
(Existence disputed)
2496-2494 BC? Khentkaus I ?