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Cornerstones - Pharaohs

Do you know where Egypt is located?


Egypt is situated in the northeast corner of the Africa. A large river called the River Nile flows through the country into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile enters Egypt from the Sudan and flows north for about 1545 km (about 960 m) to the sea.


Where did the Ancient Egyptians live?


The Ancient Egyptians lived along the banks of the river Nile in Egypt. Farmers first settled in Egypt along the River Nile around 5000 B.C.


Where do most people in Egypt live today?


About 95 % of Egypt's population still live in the Nile valley (the area next to the river). 


Who is Tutankhamun and why is he famous?


•Tutankhamun is the most famous Egyptian pharaoh.

•Tutankhamun was probably born at Akhetaten which was the capital city of Egypt. He was born in about the year 1346 BC.

•He became pharaoh at the tender age of ten in 1337 BC and reigned during the 18th Dynasty when the Egyptian Empire was at its height. He reigned from about 1337 to 1328 BC.

•His tomb was discovered by a team of British archaeologists in 1922, nearly 3000 years after his death.

•The reason that Tutankhamun is so well known today is that his tomb, containing fabulous treasures, was found early this century (1922) by British archaeologists Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon.


Who were the Pharaohs?


Pharaohs were the king or Queen of Egypt. Most pharaohs were men but some well-known pharaohs, such as Nefertiti and Cleopatra, were women.

A Pharaoh was the most important and powerful person in the kingdom. He was the head of the government and high priest of every temple. The people of Egypt considered the pharaoh to be a half-man, half-god.


Who was the first king/pharaoh of Egypt?


The first true pharaoh of Egypt was Narmer (sometimes called Menes).

Egypt was once divided into two kingdoms. The kingdom in Lower Egypt was called the red crown and the one in Upper Egypt was known as the white crown 


In total there have been 107 Pharaohs


Which God did the people think their Pharaoh was?


The Ancient Egyptians believed that their Pharaoh was the god Horus, son of Re, the sun god. When a pharaoh died he was believed to be united with the sun and then a new Horus ruled on earth. 


How many wives did a pharaoh have?


Pharaohs often had several wives but only one was queen. 


What was the role of a Pharaoh?


The main role and duties of the pharaoh were as  the head of law and administration in ancient Egypt, the head of the government, the high priest of all temples and the commander of the army.

His main roles included:

  • Head of the State
  • Head of the Nation
  • Head of the army
  • Supreme Religious Leader 


What is a Mummy?


Why did Egyptians preserve their bodies?

The Egyptians believed that when they died their souls left their bodies. After they were buried their soul would return and together with the body would live forever in the afterlife when the world had ended. Unless their body was preserved, it would be no good in the afterlife.


Did all Egyptians preserve their bodies?

Not everyone could afford to, it was a very expensive process that took around 70 days to complete.


How did the mummification process start?


The first ancient Egyptians didn't go through the long mummification process, they just buried people in small pits in the same. The bodies dehydrated in the dry heat of the desert, preserving them naturally.. The downside to this was the risk of the bodies being eaten by wild animal. You didn't want to enter the afterlife with a half-eaten body after all. To stop all this happening they started using coffins, but when the bodies weren't lying on the sand they didn't dehydrate so they decayed. By 3400bc developed the method they are famous for today.


What was the process?


The body was taken to a place called the Beautiful House. It wasn't as beautiful as the name suggests!

The body was cleaned with palm wine and rinsed with water from the River Nile. 

Sometimes they would use a slatted bed on a slant. This would let the fluids drain off and out of the body and allow them to wrap the strips of linen around the body .