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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Pharaoh

The Pharaoh was the kingly title in ancient Egypt. In the pyramid age this term denoted the royal estates, and during the Middle Kingdom it tended to be used symbolically for the royal household.

During the reign of Thutmose III (circa 1479–1425 BC) in the New Kingdom, pharaoh became the form of address for a person who was king.

Thutmosis III statue in Luxor Museum

Around the time of the reign of Shoshenq I (c.943-922 BC, presumed to be the Shishaq mentioned in the Bible) the title accompanied the personal name. He was referred to as "Pharaoh Shoshenk, beloved of Amun." Thereafter Pharaoh denoted colloquially, the reigning king.

A female pharaoh was unknown in Egypt before Hatshepsut, who began her reign in 1502 BC In order not to shock convention, she had herself portrayed in male costume, with a beard, and without breasts.

The pharaohs of ancient Egypt wore garments made with thin threads of beaten gold. Some fabrics had up to 500 gold threads per one inch of cloth.

Pharaohs never showed their hair.

Statuette of Pepy I (ca. 2338-2298 B.C.E.) wearing a nemes headdress Brooklyn Museum

Pharaohs lived in spectacular palaces (the word "pharaoh" comes from the Egyptian word Per-aa, meaning "great house".).

Many ancient Egyptian pharaohs were overweight and unhealthy, likely due to a sugary diet of alcohol, bread and honey.

Pharaohs were believed to be descended from the gods. When a Pharaoh died, all the treasure that they owned would be buried with them.

Cleopatra VII's death in 30 BC ended the line of all Egyptian pharaohs as Egypt became a Roman province.

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