Ancient Egypt Pharaohs - Sons of the Sun
Early in your Egypt tour you rapidly get acquainted with Djoser and its magnificent Step Pyramid, as well as the family trio of Ancient Egypt pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, builders of the Pyramids at Giza. The Sphinx's face is that of Khafre.
Thutmose III, a relentless military pharaoh, conducted seventeen successful campaigns that made Egypt the first great world power. His stepmother and aunt Hatshepsut, whose mummy was recently identified, ruled as Ancient Egypt pharaoh in her own right and is considered the first great woman in history. Her mortuary temple at Deir-el-Bahari in the Valley of the Kings is a superb monument with an striking contemporary style.
Amenhotep III was another powerful pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. He was the one who began erecting self portrait statues of huge dimensions, such as the so called Colossi of Memnon. His son Akhenaten created a revolution in religion and art known as the Amarna period. His wife Nefertiti was so beautiful, that her famous painted limestone bust is an icon and a standard of beauty that still influences the aesthetics of fashion.
Finally, the boy king Tutankhamen, is well known for the amazing treasures discovered in his tomb at the Valley of the Kings, now the main attraction at the Cairo Museum.
But when you arrive at Egypt, one ruler stands tall above all Ancient Egypt pharaohs; Ramses the Great. Ramses the Second ruled when Egypt was already a powerful empire, and he contributed to his own glory by erecting enormous monuments and statues in his honor. He even appropriated statues of previous Ancient Egypt pharaohs by carving his name and facial features on them. The Hypostile Hall in the Temple of Karnak was a project begun by his father Seti I and finished by Ramses II.
By far, Ramses' most impressive monuments are the Temples at Abu Simbel, two temples carved in the mountains to honor the great God Re, Ramses himself and his favorite wife (he had many) Nefertari. The great monument was built in the southern border of the empire, and depicts four seated images of the pharaoh 60 feet tall. Imagine the horrific sensation an invading army must have felt when confronted with such an overwhelming display of power.
The title "Pharaoh" comes to us from the Greek pronunciation of "per-aa", which means "Great House". The king of Egypt was himself the Great House, the principal tutelary of the entire nation, revered as a living god and proclaimed as a Son of the Sun, the divine incarnation of Horus.
Read more: Ancient Egypt and Government
Category: Ancient Egypt