Ancient Egypt

The Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs

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Howard Carter and the mummy of Tut Ankh Amon

Ancient Egyptian pharaohs were considered to be both divine deities as well as mortal rulers. Throughout the 30+ dynasties in ancient Egyptian history, it is speculated that some 170 or more rulers reigned over the great land of Egypt during a three thousand year time span. The throne of Egypt was primarily intended to be succeeded from father to son, however in many cases this line of kingship was interrupted by murder, mayhem and mysterious disappearances. Each time a new family took control of the throne, a new kingdom began in the history of this fascinating nation. While rulers often intermarried with daughters, granddaughters, sisters and brothers to keep the throne within the family the throne still managed to shift hands multiple times; creating a dynamic, and often, complex ancient pharonic history.



The First King

King Menes of Egypt

King Menes

There is contradictory information regarding the first king of Egypt. Some authorities believe he might have been Aha, while others contend that Menes held this title. Very little information on the Egyptian pharaohs of the first and second dynasties is known. The few facts that are known about the sixteen or so ancient Egyptian pharaohs who ruled Egypt during this time has been gleaned from the Palermo stone, an ancient stone tablet that contains information such as lists of pharaohs and other facts of daily life from the ancient pharonic periods.




Famous Egyptian Pharaohs

Tutankhamen

Tutankhamen aka King Tut

Perhaps the most well known of famous Egyptian pharaohs is Tutankhamen, commonly referred to as King Tut. The mysterious death of this boy king has interested the world since his tomb was first discovered in 1922. Only 18 when he died, it is speculated that both is wife and grandfather might have played key roles in the mysterious and probably fatal blow to the back of his head.

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Ramses 2

Ramesses II

Ramses II, during his 67 year reign of Egypt, seemed to do everything over the top. He is probably the most prolific of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs, siring over 100 children with more than a dozen wives. He is well regarded as the builder of more temples and statues than any of the other ancient Egyptian pharaohs.



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Queen Hatshepsut

Queen Hatshepsut

Not all of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs were men and Hatshepsut proves that even in an ancient culture dominated by men, women were capable of making their own mark on the world. Taking control of the throne following the death of her father Hatshepsut ruled for 20 years and during that time proceeded to expand trade relations and build a number of impressive temples, including the shrine in Deir-al-Bahari. Her prosperous reign was cut short when she mysteriously disappeared. It is speculated that she might have been murdered by her own nephew in order for him to gain access to the throne.

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Cleopatra

Queen Cleopatra

Commonly referred to as the last of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs before the nation tumbled into the hands of the Roman Empire, Cleopatra has been the subject of many novels and movies and is often portrayed as extremely beautiful and seductive. While her affair with Mark Anthony has become legendary, Cleopatra's intelligence and political astuteness may be the most interesting pieces of information of all regarding this female pharaoh.


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