When one thinks about Egypt, gold-hued visions of pyramids, mummies, and ancient structures might come to mind. But what people do these treasures honor and why?
Royal families ruled ancient Egypt for thousands of years. Its first ruler, King Narmer, reigned around 3100 B.C. Traditionally, pharaohs became rulers through royal birth. There were some exceptions to this rule, however, like Horemheb, who was a military commander and eventually became a pharaoh.
Another famous Egyptian king, Pharaoh Kafra ruled from 2558 B.C. to 2532 B.C. He was the son of the Pharaoh Khufu. Today, he is mainly remembered for many of the treasures Egypt is known for: his tomb, the Second Pyramid at Giza, and the Great Sphinx that guards it. Amenhotep I, another pharaoh, ruled from 1525 B.C. to 1504 B.C. and led the Egyptian army to battle in Nubia. He founded the now well-known workmen’s village at Deir el – Medina.
Tutankhamun or ‘’King Tut,” perhaps the most famous pharaoh, came to power when he was only nine-years-old. He served from 1334 B.C. to 1325 B.C., when he died at the young age of 18. King Tut is remembered not only for his age but also for his popular tomb in the Valley of Kings, which was packed with extravagant treasures.
Ramesses II, the son of Seti I, is also one of the most famous pharaohs of all time. He built many delicate temples and defeated the Hittites at the battle of Kadesh in 1274 B.C. Carvings of the graceful queen Nefertari can be seen on his temple at Abu Simbel.
Egypt`s rulers were usually men, but a few powerful women were also named pharaoh throughout the nation’s history. For instance, Greek queen Cleopatra ruled in 51 B.C. Hatshepsut, the half-sister and wife of Thutmose II, reigned from 1498 B.C to 1425 B.C. after her husband died. She was selected to rule Egypt until her stepson, Thutmose III, was old enough to take the throne. She ultimately became famous for her trading expeditions.
Today, we know much about the pharaohs and queens of Egypt because of all that they left behind, like their extravagant tombs and the monuments built in their honor. Although the reign of the Egyptian pharaohs ended many centuries ago, they will be remembered around the world for years to come.
[Source: Encyclopedia of the Ancient World]