Pharaoh Facts

Before 3000 BC Egypt was split into two

  • Upper Egypt ( In Upper Egypt, the ruler wore and white crown)
  • Lower Egypt (in Lower Egypt, the ruler wore a red crow)

After Egypt was united in 3000 BC, the new rulers became known as Pharaohs, and they wore crowns or headgear that were made from both colors.

Pharaohs (the Egyptian King) were both political and religious leaders, holding titles like ‘Lord of Two Lands’ and ‘High Priest of Every Temple’.

Pharaoh Facts for Kids

  • The most famous female Pharaohs were Hatshepsut and Cleopatra
  • Both male and female Pharaohs wore beautiful clothes and make-up
  • Some male Pharaohs also wore fake beards to make them look more like gods
  • The Pharaohs believed that wearing a wig would stop them from getting lice
  • When Pharaohs died, they were buried in big tombs inside pyramids.  This was to make sure that they lived well after death
  • The Pharaoh’s crown had a snake goddess on the front to keep enemies away
  • The youngest and longest Pharaoh was Pepy II.  Pepy was crowned when he was 6 years old and was King for about 90 years
  • There were about 225 Pharaohs who ruled ancient Egypt for around 3000 years

10 Famous Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs

Djoser (reign 2686 BC – 2649 BC)
Khufu (reign 2589 ‒ 2566 BC)
Hatshepsut (reign 1478–1458 BC)
Thutmose III (reign 1458–1425 BC)
Amenhotep III (reign 1388–1351 BC)
Akhenaten (reign 1351–1334 BC)
Tutankhamun (reign 1332–1323 BC)
Ramses II (reign 1279–1213 BC)
Xerxes I (reign 486 – 465 BC)
Cleopatra VII (reign 51 – 30 BC)

Djoser (reign 2686 BC – 2649 BC)

Pharaoh Djoser

Djoser was the founder of the 3rd Dynasty and the son of king Khasekhemwy and queen Nimaathap. He is known for his step pyramid, the earliest colossal stone building in ancient Egypt.

Around 2686 BC, Upper and Lower Egypt united into one kingdom. Among the main candidates to be the founder of the Third Dynasty is Djoser.

Khufu (reign 2589 ‒ 2566 BC)

Pharaoh Khufu

Khufu was a pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of ancient Egypt. He commissioned the Great Pyramid of Giza, but many other aspects of his reign are poorly documented. The Egyptian pharaoh built his pyramid complex in the northeastern section of the plateau of Giza. He named it Akhet-Khufu (meaning “horizon of Khufu”).

The Great Pyramid was erected in small steps by roughly hewn blocks of dark limestone and had a casing made of nearly white limestone. The inner corridors and chambers have walls and ceilings made of polished granite.

Hatshepsut (reign 1478–1458 BC)

Pharaoh Hatshepsut

During the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh. She was the second historically confirmed female pharaoh after Sobekneferu. She ruled as regent to Thutmose III, the son of Thutmose II by another wife, who would succeed Hatshepsut.

Hatshepsut was an innovator who used her regency to manufacture her female kingship. The public is thus forced to get used to seeing a woman in a powerful role. However, she was not an innovator in other respects and arguably was placed in power by males to further their own wealth.

Thutmose III (reign 1458–1425 BC)

Pharaoh Thutmose III

Thutmose III was the sixth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty and ruled Egypt for almost 54 years. His son Amenhotep II was appointed as his junior co-regent, and his firstborn son Amenemhat predeceased him.

Thutmose had several wives, including Menwi, Merti, and Menhet, who were buried together. Merytre-Hatshepsut became Thutmose’s great royal wife and was the mother of several of his children.

Amenhotep III (reign 1388–1351 BC)

Pharaoh Amenhotep III

He was the son of Tuthmosis IV and Mutemwiya, and the husband of Queen Tiye. He built many impressive structures and strengthened Egypt’s borders through military campaigns.

Amenhotep III’s father, Tuthmosis IV, left him a vast, wealthy, and powerful empire. After his marriage to Tiye, she was elevated to the rank of Great Royal Wife.

Amenhotep III was an expert diplomat and a great hunter who sent lavish gifts of gold to other nations and had inscriptions made to mark his military campaigns.

Akhenaten (reign 1351–1334 BC)

Pharaoh Akhenaten

Akhenaten was a pharaoh who abandoned Egypt’s traditional polytheism and introduced Atenism, or worship centered around Aten. His monuments were dismantled and hidden after his death, and his name was excluded from lists of rulers compiled by later pharaohs.

Akhenaten was born Amenhotep, a younger son of pharaoh Amenhotep III and his principal wife, Tiye. His elder brother, crown prince Thutmose, was recognized as Amenhotep III’s heir, and his father’s building projects suggest that Akhenaten was next in line for the throne.

Tutankhamun (reign 1332–1323 BC)

Pharaoh Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun was the last member of his family to rule at the end of the 18th Dynasty  (1332 – 1323 BC). His mother was his father’s sister, and he took the throne at eight or nine years of age.

Tutankhamun restored the Ancient Egyptian religion after his father’s dissolution, enriched and endowed two important cults, and relocated the capital from Akhetaten back to Thebes.

Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s nearly intact tomb in 1922 sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt. His mask remains a popular symbol.

Ramses II (reign 1279–1213 BC)

Pharaoh Ramesses II

During the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt, Ramesses II was king. Many people consider him the greatest, the most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh in the New Kingdom.

Early in his reign, he built cities, temples, and monuments. Egyptian control was reasserted in Canaan and Phoenicia through his military expeditions, and he celebrated an unprecedented thirteen or fourteen Sed festivals.

Xerxes I (reign 486 – 465 BC)

Pharaoh Xerxes I

Xerxes I of Persia, known as Xerxes the Great, was the king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. He is celebrated for his many building projects throughout his empire but is best known for his massive expedition against Greece in 480 BCE.

Xerxes I is notable in Western history for his invasion of Greece in 480 BC. He also crushed revolts in Egypt and Babylon and completed various construction projects at Susa and Persepolis.

Cleopatra VII (reign 51 – 30 BC)

Pharaoh Cleopatra VII

Cleopatra VII Philopator was the final ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, and her death marked the end of the second to last Hellenistic state.

Cleopatra, the father-loving goddess, was the wife of Mark Antony and the lover of Julius Caesar. After the defeat of their combined forces, they committed suicide, and Egypt fell under Roman domination.

The daughter of King Ptolemy XII Auletes became the dominant ruler after her brother, Ptolemy XIII, died. She had to flee to Syria, but the arrival of Julius Caesar and the murder of Pompey brought temporary peace.

Burial Chamber

A sarcophagus is a stone coffin or container to hold a coffin. It was used by Egyptian pharaohs of the 3rd dynasty to hold coffins and was elaborately decorated with carvings and paintings.

Ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife, so the sarcophagus was where the deceased would spend eternity. The sarcophagi of pharaohs and rich people were decorated with carvings and paintings.

Sarcophagi were part of elaborate burials. The body was embalmed and placed in a mummy case, which was placed within the sarcophagus.

How many royal tombs had such plush grave goods?

Most of the pyramids were looted centuries ago, but a few royal tombs have survived relatively intact and provide insight into their contents.

More Egyptian Pharaohs Facts

Many historians believe that the first-ever Pharaoh was called Narmer or Menes. It is believed that Narmer or Menes is the same person, but with different names.

Most Pharaohs were men, but Egypt also had up to 7 female Pharaohs as well.

Just like in many old Royal families, the new King was always the oldest son or male relative of the current one.

The people of Egypt believed that Pharaohs were chosen by the gods, and that is how they were treated.

Pharaohs ruled everything and everyone in Egypt.  When they made rules, they had to be followed.

It wasn’t just Pharaohs that the Egyptian people thought were gods – cats were too.  In ancient Egypt, hurting a cat could mean jail or even death!

The job of a Pharaoh was to make sure the gods were followed and that the people in their country were happy.

One of the first things that new Pharaohs did once they were crowned, was to plan for their death.  Egyptian Kings and Queens believed that when they died, they could take their favorite things from their life with them.

Because of this belief, many Pharaohs were buried with money and jewels.

What did you learn?

What two colours made up the Pharaohs crown?
Red and white

How many female Pharaohs were there?

What animal was on the front of the crown?
A snake

Where were Pharaohs buried when they died?
Pyramids or a tomb

What was another name for Tutankhamun?
King Tut