|Major Pharaohs of Egypt
Menes- United upper and lower Egypt in 3100 BC
Ramses II - Defeated the Hittites and returned Egypt to Egyptian rule.
Nefertiti - influential wife of Amenhotep, mother-in-law to Tutkanamon.
Amenhotep (later called Akhenaton)-moved the capital and changed worship from polytheism to monotheism. The main god became Amon Ra and only the royal family could worship him.
Menes - Aha is known for millions of people as King Menes of Memphis. He was the founding king of the 1st Dynasty, and was the first king to unify Upper and Lower Egypt into one kingdom. Ancient Egypt's most predominant form of civilization began with his crowning, and did not end permanently until the beginning of the Roman era, which started with Augustus Caeser. Menes founded the city of Memphis, and chose as its location an island in the Nile, so that it would be easy to defend. He was also the founder of Crocodopolis. During his time, the Egyptian army performed raids against the Nubians in the south and expanded his sphere of influence as far as the First Cataract. His chief wife was Queen Berenib, though she was not the mother of his heir, King Djer, and his mother was Neithotepe. His death is a mystery, for, according to legend he was attacked by wild dogs and Nile crocodiles in Faiyum . Menes' tomb resides at Saqqara, the famed necropolis of Memphis. He died at the age of Sixty Three.
Amenhotep IV ( Akhenaten)1352-1336 B.C. - The tenth king of the 18th Dynasty was perhaps the most controversial because of his break with traditional religion. Some say that he was the most remarkable king to sit upon Egypt's throne. Akhenaten was traditionally raised by his parents, and Queen Tiy (1382-1344 B.C.) by worshipping Amen. Akhenaten, however, preferred Aten, the sun god that was worshipped in earlier times. Early in his reign he changed his name to Akhenaten, meaning "He Who is of Service to Aten" and renamed his queen to Nefer-Nefru-Aten, which is "Beautiful is the Beauty of Aten." The king and his queen, leaving Thebes behind, built elaborate buildings at Akhenaten (Amarna) "The Horizon of Aten." He then sent his officials around to destroy Amen's statues and to desecrate the worship sites. These actions were so contrary to the traditional that opposition arose against him. The estates of the great temples of Thebes, Memphis and Heliopolis reverted to the throne. Corruption grew out of the mismanagement of such large levies. Akhenaten died in the 18th year of his reign. His successor, Horemhab, claimed his reign began from the date of Amenhotep III, thus wiping out the entire rule of Akhenaten.
Tutankhamun (Nebkheprure)1336-1327 B.C. - The 12th king of the 18th Dynasty was only eight or nine years old at his succession. His father, Smenkhkare, died at the age of 25 and the cause remainsa mystery. Tutankhamun was married to Ankhesenamon, the third daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. The couple originally lived at el Amarna but later moved to Memphis where they refurbished the apartments of Amenhotep III. The Restoration Stela gives an account of his effort to stabilize the government and to restore the temples and honors of the old gods after the Amarna period. He paid the priest and palace staff from his own pockets. He built a mortuary temple close to Medinet Habu, with two colossal statues, but they were usurped by his successors. Tutankhamun died at the age of 19 by a head injury. He was buried in the Valley of the Kings. Two mummified fetuses were found in coffins that had been sealed by his name. These are believed to have been his children that were born prematurely
Ramesses II(Usermaatresetepenre)1279-1213 B.C. The son of Seti I and Queen Tuya was the third king of the 19th Dynasty. Called Ramesses the Great, he lived to be 96 years old, had 200 wives and concubines, 96 sons and 60 daughters. One son, Prince Kha-m-was, was a high priest of Ptah, governor of Memphis, and was in charge of the restoration of the Pyramid of Unas. This son was buried in The Serapeum. Ramesses II outlived the first thirteen of his heirs. Ramesses was named co-ruler with his father, Seti I, early in his life. He accompanied his father on numerous campaigns in Libya and Nubia. At the age of 22 Ramesses went on a campaign in Nubia with two of his own sons. Seti I and Ramesses built a palace in Avaris where Ramesses I had started a new capital. When Seti I died in 1290 B.C., Ramesses assumed the throne and began a series of wars against the Syrians. The famous Battle of Kadesh is inscribed on the walls of Ramesses temple. Ramesses' building accomplishments are two temples at Abu Simbel, the hypostyle hall at Karnak, a mortuary complex at Abydos, the Colossus of Ramesses at Memphis, a vast tomb at Thebes, additions at the Luxor Temple, and the famous Ramesseum. Among Ramesses' wives were Nefertari, Queen Istnofret, his two daughters, Binthanath and Merytamon, and the Hittite princess, Maathornefrure. Ramesses was originally buried in the Valley of the Kings. Because of the widespread looting of tombs during the 21st Dynasty the priests removed Ramesses body and took it to a holding area where the valuable materials such, as gold-leaf and semi-precious inlays, were removed. The body was then rewrapped and taken to the tomb of an 18th Dynasty queen, Inhapi. The bodies of Ramesses I and Seti I were done in like fashion and all ended up at the same place. Amenhotep I's body had been placed there as well at an earlier time. Seventy-two hours later, all of the bodies were again moved, this time to the Royal Cache that was inside the tomb of High Priest Pinudjem II. The priests documented all of this on the linen that covered the bodies. This "systematic" looting by the priests was done in the guise of protecting the bodies from the "common" thieves.