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10 Fun Facts You Need To Know About Pharaohs

We are very good to you dear reader!

Over the last few months, we've brought to you 10 Fun Facts lists on Athens, Sparta, The Roman Army, and Viking Warriors. Now it's the turn of Egyptian Pharaohs to be given the 10 Fun Facts treatment.

This list is an excellent way to learn lots of stuff about the Pharaohs really really quickly. But, if you do have the time to learn more, please click on the links in each entry. They'll bring you to other articles on our blog which will help to imbue you with even more knowledge. You'll have so much knowledge it'll be leaking out of your ears.

It will be as if you were bitten by a radioactive book. Probably.

Enjoy the list!

Narmer in all his awesomeness.
  • The first ever Egyptian Pharaoh was a fella called Narmer. He remains mostly a complete and utter mystery, but what we do know about him is that he was the first person to unite upper Egypt and lower Egypt as one big Egypt. Before Narmer turned up, the two kingdoms were constantly fighting. Thankfully, around 3100BC Narmer used the power of his sheer charisma (probably) to convince everyone to get along.

  • Tutankhamun is likely the most famous Pharaoh of them all! He was the Pharaoh of A between 1334 BC to 1325 BC and was the last ruler of the 18th Dynasty. Tutankhamun became Pharaoh at a very young age, he was likely only eight or nine years old.

  • Tutankhamun became super-famous around the world when his lost tomb was discovered, hidden in the Valley of the Kings. There was loads of treasure inside, including a dagger made from a meteorite, two thrones, a board game, and even a boomerang!

One of Tutankhamun's thrones, very shiny!
  • Tutankhamun also died at a very young age, only ten years after his rule began. No one knows for certain how he died, though there have been lots of theories. His death could have been due to multiple health issues, a broken leg, or even an infection, Some historians have speculated that he could have been murdered; bashed over the head by his Uncle Ay so he could rule instead perhaps?

  • Queen Nefertiti could have been Tutankhamun's mum, she ruled around the mid-1300s BC, alongside her King, Pharaoh Akhenaten.

  • Nefertiti and Pharaoh Akhenaten made big changes to Ancient Egyptian religion. The religion, which originally included around 2000 gods, was stripped down to just one god, the disc of the sun, called the Aten. To show their commitment to the new religion, the pair even changed their names. This is when Nefertiti added “Neferneferuaten” before her name, which translates as “beautiful are the beauties of the Aten”. They had a new city built, containing many open-air temples for their new religion. They called the city Akhetaten, meaning "Horizon of the Aten", though it is now known as Amarna.

The famous bust of Nefertiti.

  • Just like with Tutankhamun, no one knows for certain how Nefertiti died. Some historians think that Nefertiti and Akhenaten may have separated and she may have retired from royal duties and lived out her life elsewhere. Others believe that Nefertiti’s body may have been buried at the Amarna royal tomb but later moved to the Valley of the Kings. This could mean that Nefertiti’s body may be amongst the many unidentified royal mummies found at the Valley of the Kings. The final theory is that Nefertiti may have outlived her husband and ruled as a female king by the name of Smenkhkare, before she handed the throne to her step-son and son-in-law, Tutankhamun.

  • Another female who ruled Egypt was Pharaoh Hatshepsut. She ruled around 1473–58 BC and is considered one of Egypt's most successful Pharaohs. Hatshepsut created a peaceful and contented kingdom by trading with neighbouring kingdoms instead of warring with them. She revived many forgotten trade routes and sent boats down the Nile and across the Red Sea, most famously to a place called Punt (near Somalia). The increase in trade brought many riches and treasures to Egypt, including ivory, ebony, incense, spices, makeup, and even animals such as panthers and baboons.

Elizabeth Taylor in her iconic role of Cleopatra.

  • The last Egyptian Pharaoh was Queen Cleopatra. Like Tutankhamun, Cleopatra is mega-famous all around the modern world, perhaps due to all the films, TV shows, and books about her. Though there were actually lots of Cleopatra's hanging around in Ancient Egypt at the time, the one we've all heard of is Cleopatra VII - the seventh!

  • Cleopatra's death is far better known than the fates of the other Pharaohs we've mentioned here. She supposedly committed suicide by having a snake bite her. Though, that might not be true! We only have a few sources who tell this story, and most of them can't agree on what kind of snake it was. Or maybe it wasn't a snake at all, it might have been good old-fashioned regular poison instead. What we do know for certain is this, Cleopatra must have lived a truly epic life for her death to still be debated today.

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