The Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

By Tonka Dobreva 01.06.2015 interact

As you learned today on the show, archaeologists recently discovered the tomb of an unknown Egyptian queen believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre, who ruled Egypt 4,500 years ago!

The pharaohs (pronounced FARE-ohs) of Egypt were some of the most powerful and charismatic rulers of the Ancient world. The word pharaoh comes from the Egyptian “per-aa” and means “great house,” which refers to the royal palace.  During their time on the throne, pharaohs owned everything — from the land over which they presided, to the animals and even the people. Some pharaohs immortalized their legacies through the marvelous pyramids they built — the breath-taking world wonders which we still get to admire today.

Below we take a look at a few of these iconic figures:

Khufu (reigned 2589 – 2566 B.C)

The  second pharaoh of the fourth Egyptian dynasty, Khufu was a king known for his cruelty and great self-admiration. He earned his place in history by building the Great Pyramid of Giza — one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Pyramid consists of about 2.3 million blocks, averaging about two and a half tons each, and was built over a period of 20 years by as many as 300,000 workers!

Khafra (reigned 2558 – 2532 B.C.)

Also of the fourth dynasty, Kharfa was Khufu’s son. Described as a “cruel and heretic ruler,” Khafra is credited for building the Second Pyramid at Giza and the Sphinx that guards it.

Hatshepsut (reigned 1473–1458 B.C.)

Hatshepsut was not only the first woman to rule ancient Egypt, but also became the first great woman in recorded history! During her rule, the Egyptian economy flourished and she built one of the most beautiful temples in Egypt, Deir el Bahari. The walls of the temple were illustrated with colorful images showing trading of  gold, ebony and myrrh.

Tutankhamun (reigned 1334-1325 B.C.)

Also known as the “Boy King,” King Tut took the throne at the age of nine and became the youngest pharaoh in the Egyptian history. Although he is very famous today after the discovery of his treasure-laden tomb in the Valley of the Kings, King Tut was little known during his time, and his reign had trivial impact on history.

Ramses II (reigned 1279-1212 B.C.)

King Ramses II is considered the greatest, most celebrated and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire! During his 67-year reign, he built many beautiful temples. He had many wives and is believed to have fathered about 111 sons and 51 daughters.

Cleopatra VII (reigned 51–30 B.C.)

This legendary woman, whose legacy has been famously depicted in Western movies, literature and music, was the last pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. Cleopatra was of Macedonian descent and not a native Egyptian, but ruled the empire for 22 years. Her relationships with the leaders of the Roman empire led to scandals,  and after her death, Egypt suffered a great defeat, becoming a mere province of Rome.


  1. Dylan

    we saw this vid. in class and we aer doing summaries every day on channel 1 news stories

  2. Gahiji Tamato

    Sweet to know that our great pharaohs are still famous today.

  3. Zach H

    it will be interesting to learn more about the history of Egypt that was missing.

  4. Isaac

    In are class we made mummies out of oranges and potatoes and we are learning about Egypt know

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