Egypt and the Rise of Fall of the Pharaohs

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Although there are many gaps in our knowledge of ancient Egypt, this is small offering of what we do know about the kings of Egypt the Pharaohs.

Picture it! It’s 3100 BC the Nile Valley and Delta had joined into a single river, the river Nile, and before long the people of the area began to irrigate and develop the lands around the Nile, canals and supplied water to the district soon helped it to develop into a number of thriving community’s known as “kingdoms” cereals, wheat for bread and barley for beer were easily stored away from any floods, also plants such as flax used for making ropes and cloths, Papyrus roots, a vast range of fruit and vegetables were cultivated, that along with the meat from the livestock and of course the fish from the Nile itself made the Egyptians one of the richest and most powerful nations. Egypt's “kingdoms” wealth and indeed its agriculture relied heavily on the river Nile, and so its management and control was the key to the success of the area.

By the time the great pyramids were built (c.2575-2150 BC) large subdivisions of the floodplain were managed as single units, the Nile's annual inundation was pretty dependable, making the surrounding area very fertile, farming this abundant and lush region soon made this complex of civilizations a very rich complex indeed. Soon these “Kingdoms” began to merge and organize themselves, thanks to great pharaohs like Hor-Aha into what was to become ancient Egypt.

Egypt is still known and I guess always will be for the great Pyramids, triangular structures of stone built to house the remains of kings and Queens, the ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife, and so the pyramids were built as a gateway to the afterlife most of the pyramids were oriented towards the rising sun as the sun god was worshiped by the Egyptians, they housed not only the body of the kings and Queens but also much of their gold and jewels along with food and drink for them to sustain them on their journey to paradise, in fact one train of thought is that the shape of the pyramids made as a stairway to the afterlife.

Grave robbers were common in ancient Egypt and so the size of the pyramid made it harder for them to be robbed, also as it was for a king the size also stood for his importance. The Great Pyramid of Giza was built around four and a half thousand years ago for King Khufu, now there are many that believe that the pyramids were built by visiting extra-terrestrials others say, a civilization long gone, the fact is it was built long before man had fully mastered the use of the simple rope pulley and yet this massive structure experts agree had to have some form of giant ramp used, in building the higher levels, it was the highest manmade building in the world until the construction of the Eiffel Tower towards the end of the 19th century, the Great Pyramid of Giza the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still remaining

The pyramid contained three chambers, the first the primary burial chamber, or king's chamber, this contained the sarcophagus, the walls of this chamber were adorned with hieroglyphs depicting various aspects of ancient Egyptian history, the second the queen's chamber lies within the pyramid, while another unfinished chamber lies underneath the pyramid, containing around 1,300,000 blocks each one weighing around 1.5 ton would make the whole thing weigh around 3600000 tons, covering 13 acres.

Various small chambers above the king's chamber distribute the weight of the overlying rock and served to prevent the king's chamber from collapsing, this amazing structure had connecting passageways and other small chambers with arches leading to small airways, the whole thing must have taken a mathematician of some standing to create the design. Let’s not forget this was four and a half thousand years ago.

The title Pharaoh is a Greek and Hebrew word and it was them, and not the ancient Egyptians that accorded the kings of Egypt that name

We don’t really know how many kings or Pharaoh ruled Egypt at times Egypt was split into many regions and each one had its own King many of them became Egyptian gods.

Egypt’s first pharaoh is accepted to be Menes, sometimes known as the Scorpion King (3150 BC) saw the rule of the pharaohs last for over three millennia, until its last pharaoh Cleopatra, (51-30 B.C) at the end Cleopatra’s reign came the end of the kingdom of the Pharaohs, it officially ended in 31 BC when Egypt fell to the Roman Empire

Some of the most influential pharaohs

  • Nebmaatre Amenhotep III The Magnificent King
  • Tutankhaten also know as "The boy King"
  • Menpehtire Ramesses
  • Usermaatre-setpenre Ramesses II the Great. (The ruler usually associated with Moses; he reached a stalemate with the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh in 1275 BC, after which a peace treaty was signed in 1258 BC)
  • Banenre Merenptah (A stele describing his campaigns in Libya and Canaan contains the first known reference to the Israelites.)
  • Xerxes I the Great
  • Ptolemy I
  • Cleopatra VII

Cleopatra had an affair with Julius Caesar, and Marc Antony, but it was not until after her suicide in 30 B.C., that Egypt became a province of Rome. Succeeding Roman Emperors were accorded the title of Pharaoh. One Egyptian king-list lists the Roman Emperors as Pharaohs up to and including Decius.

Today’s Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East, its estimated 79 million people still live mostly near the banks of the Nile River.

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