The Most Famous 10 Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs

Pharaohs were both the kings of state and the religious leaders of their people in ancient Egypt. The name “pharaoh” literally means “Great House,” referring to the pharaoh’s palace. While early Egyptian monarchs were referred to as “kings,” the term “pharaoh” became more popular throughout time. As Egypt’s religious leader, the pharaoh was seen as a divine conduit between the gods and the Egyptians. The pharaoh’s duty as a religious leader included maintaining religious peace and participating in rites. The pharaoh was a politician who established laws, fought the war, collected taxes, and ruled over all of Egypt.

Many academics think Narmer, also known as Menes, was the first pharaoh. Though scholars disagree, many think he was the first king to unify Upper and Lower Egypt (thus the title “lord of two countries” given to pharaohs). Pharaohs were mostly men, however, there were a few notable female rulers, like Hatshepsut and Cleopatra. Hatshepsut was a successful ruler, but numerous inscriptions and monuments commemorating her were demolished after her death, possibly to prevent future female pharaohs. Many pharaohs were entombed and surrounded by treasures they were supposed to use in the afterlife when they died. We’ve compiled a list of the ten most renowned ancient Egyptian kings who have left an indelible imprint on Egyptian history, as well as human history in general.

1. King Narmer “Menes”

King Narmer "Menes"

He is the unifier of Upper and Lower Egypt. In 3200 BC, a pharaoh of the first dynasty from Thebes (now Luxor) was able to unify the two countries of the two kingdoms north and south and was given the title of King of Upper and Lower Egypt (the king of the two lands, the owner of the two crowns, the eagle of the south and the snake of the north). His most famous achievement was the construction of a castle encircled by a white wall, which he named (MenNefar), which means “beautiful structure” or “white wall.” It was Egypt’s first capital after the union, and it was known as “Menf” by the Arabs during the conquest of Egypt, and subsequently “Memphis” by the Greeks. It is now the Mit Rahina neighborhood of Badrashin, Giza Governorate.

2. King Khufu

King Khufu - Egypt Fun Tours

His tomb is the Great Pyramid! He is the second king of the Old Kingdom of Egypt’s Fourth Dynasty. In Dahshur, he resided in his father’s palace, King (Sneferu). The most important work of King Khufu and the reason for his fame is the construction of the Great Pyramid, which is considered a major historical and cultural shift in the history of ancient Egypt. King Khufu took power after his father’s death under the name (Khanm Khawaf Li), which means the idol Khnum who protects me. The Giza plateau was chosen as the headquarters for the construction of King Khufu’s pyramid and palace because he thought himself to be the deity (Ra) on earth. He is the ruler of both Upper and Lower Egypt, according to this. His mother was buried in the northern pyramid, and he married the queen (Mirit Ait S) and constructed the center pyramid for her, as well as the princess (Hnut Sen) who was buried in the southern pyramid. King Khufu’s mummy has yet to be discovered. The circumstances surrounding his death are unknown. King Khufu governed for around 23 years and recorded this in his papyrus, which is similar to the Turin Papyrus.

3. King Ahmose I

King Ahmose I - Egypt Fun Tours

Ahmose I, King of Egypt He was the last king of the 17th dynasty, and the founder of the 18th Dynasty (New Kingdom), and one of ancient Egypt’s rulers. He was a member of Thebes’ royal family. His father, King Seqenen Ra, was born around 1560 BC, and his mother (Ahhotep I) concluded the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt, established quarries and mines, and erected temples throughout his reign. And he made Thebes his capital, with Amon serving as the official god of the period. Ahmose’s reign lasted a quarter of a century, and he died at the age of 35. His mummy was discovered at Deir el-Bahari on June 9, 1881 BC.

4. Queen Hatshepsut

She is the daughter of Amun, Egypt’s most renowned queen “Hatshepsut”. Hatshepsut is the fifth king of the ancient Egyptian dynasty number 18.  Her name means “The beloved of God Amun” “the favorite of women,”. She is King Thutmose I’s eldest daughter, having been born in 1508 BC. Stability, safety, wealth, peace, and the army’s strength define her reign. In Deir el-Bahari, she revived the mines, particularly the copper mines, and built her shrine. She was eager in building huge ships to convey the obelisks she had put in the Karnak temple to honor Amun. She was in charge of international missions such as the Atlantic fish import mission and the Puntland, Somalia, and southern Yemen missions. On the walls of the Deir el-Bahari temple on the western side of the Nile, Hatshepsut represented the events of the expedition, as well as the Aswan mission to transport large stones for building. It erected two granite obelisks at Aswan to honor Amun, the Egyptian deity. After then, it was moved to the Karnak Temple. Hatshepsut died on the 14th of January, 1457 BC, and it was a natural death.

5. King Tuthmosis III

King Tuthmosis III is the sixth pharaoh of Egypt’s eighteenth dynasty and is often regarded as the greatest monarch Egypt has ever known as well as the most powerful emperor in recorded history. During the period, he was instrumental in establishing the current Egyptian kingdom. He was characterized by a remarkable personality as well as by his military brilliance, which he demonstrated in the battlefields of Luxor, where he also looked after the army and equipped it with knights and combat chariots. During his reign, the Egyptians reached the pinnacle of civilization. He succeeded Queen (Hatshepsut) in ruling Egypt and launched sixteen military campaigns in Asia and Nubia. Tuthmosis III constructed many temples in Thebes adjacent to the temple (Hatshepsut) in Deir al-Bahari and constructed the sixth and seventh giant gates as well as the ceremonial hall, which were all completed by the end of his reign. A temple for the deity (Ptah) and a temple for the gods (Satt) were both erected in the Karnak temple, and remnants of his work can be seen in Kom Ombo, Edfu, Ain Shams, and Armant, as well as the construction of seven obelisks, the most of which are located in London now. His tomb is No. 34 in the Valley of the Kings, and the scientist Victor Loret found it in 1898, making it the oldest known tomb in the world.

6. King Akhenaten

King Akhenaten was the youngest son of King Amenhotep III, a pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, and Queen Tiye. He reigned over Egypt for 17 years before dying in 1336 BC. He attempted to combine all of ancient Egypt’s gods into one god, and his wife (Nefertiti) agreed with him in worshipping Aten. It appears at religious rituals with him, and this was the source of his renown. He established Tel el-Amarna as the capital of his nation, and after his death, the land was ruled by his son, King Tutankhamun.

7. Queen Nefertiti

Nefertiti was the wife of Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, one of the eighteenth dynasty’s monarchs in ancient Egypt, and lived in the fourteenth century BC. A German expedition discovered a statue of Nefertiti at the workshop of the Egyptian artist (Thutmose) in Tel el-Amarna in 1912, and it became a global emblem of feminine beauty and authority. As a result, Nefertiti is a well-known queen.

8. King Tutankhamun

King Tutankhamun - Egypt Fun Tours

He was one of the eighteenth Egyptian dynasty’s pharaohs in ancient Egypt’s history. From 1334 until 1325 BC, he ruled Egypt as a pharaoh. Tutankhamun is one of the most famous pharaohs for major historical reasons, most notably the perfect preservation of his tomb and its treasures. Tutankhamun was young when he died and was buried in the Valley of the Kings’ tomb No. 62. Because of the existence of fractures in the femur and head of his mummy, it is widely assumed that he died as a result of an assassination.

9. King Ramses II

He was the third of the kings of the nineteenth dynasty who ruled Egypt in the modern kingdom, and he was known as Ramses the Great. He was the greatest and most powerful of the kings who ruled Egypt throughout Pharaonic history, and he reigned from (1279-1213 BC) for a period of sixty-six years and two months. The Temple of Abu Simbel, the Temple of Luxor, and the Temple of Karnak is among Ramses II’s most notable monuments. Ramses II was born in (1303) BC and was designated crown prince by his father (Siti I) at the age of fourteen. He became pharaoh at the age of twenty and died at the age of thirty (91). He was interred in one of the Valley of the Kings’ tombs, and his body (the mummy) is now on exhibit in Cairo’s National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. He is well-known for signing the world’s oldest peace treaty, which dates back to the beginning of recorded political history. He provided 6000 chariots to the ancient Egyptian army and commanded several military battles, the most recent of which being the Libyan Campaign, while the most famous is the battle of Kadesh.

10. Queen Cleopatra VII

Queen Cleopatra

Cleopatra VII, the renowned queen of Egypt in history and drama in her relationships with (Julius Caesar) and then (Marcus Antonius), the mother of (Ptolemy XV), became queen when her father (Ptolemy XII) died in 51 BC, and she is one of Egypt’s ruling queens. She is the sole member of the Ptolemaic dynasty who took it upon herself to study Egyptian and emulate the goddess (Isis), claiming that she embodies her existence on earth. She even referred to herself as (the new Isis). Alexandria, as a beacon of knowledge in its day, was also able to spread stability and peace throughout the country, as seen by the opening of granaries for its people during famines and the charging of taxes on them, and Egypt was a rich country at the time. In 323 BC, Cleopatra married Marcus Antony and became her ally instead of including Egypt in the empire; in 31 BC, the naval battle of Actium was won by Octavius, Antonio was forced to flee, and Cleopatra returned to Alexandria; and in 30 BC, one of Queen Cleopatra’s servants presented her with a cobra snake as a means of suicide after she learned of her husband Mark Antony’s defeat in the war.

Explore Egypt Wonders and Ancient Pharaohs

By booking one of our best Egypt tour packages, you can learn more about this immortal pharaonic civilization by visiting stunning attractions such as Karnak temple, Queen Hatshepsut temple, Valley of the Kings, and a Nile river cruise, which contain the history and legacy of these everlasting names.

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