The long history of Egypt, with its varied and sometimes dramatic events, has always unfolded around one unchanging, unshakable center: the pharaoh. He was elected not by the people, but by the gods, who gave him the right and opportunity to speak and act on their behalf. Pharaoh is the ruler of Egypt, the mediator between heaven and earth. Behind each pharaoh lies the hidden history of Egypt. The ascension of a new king to the throne was the beginning of a new era for Egypt, a new countdown of time began with him. The main task of the pharaoh was to destroy evil and establish Maat - a just order governing the world of people and the entire universe.
The history of Egyptian pharaohs began in the prehistoric era, which is commonly defined as the Pre-Dynastic period, followed by the Early Dynasties, c. 3100-2700 BC. (I and II dynasties - 3100-2700 BC). In those very early times, Egypt gradually developed its high culture. The dynasties of ancient Egypt finally came to an end under the Greek pharaohs, the Ptolemies (332-30 B.C.). In 30 BC Egypt became a Roman province. The famous Queen Cleopatra is considered the last ruler on the throne of the pharaohs.
The first pharaoh, Acha (or Menes), ruled from about 3032 to 3000 BC and managed to unite the two parts of the country, Upper and Lower Egypt.
All eras are divided into dynasties that ruled for three thousand years - a total of 31 dynasties. All chronologies of Ancient Egypt are rather conditional because for the age and absence of exact data historians have to use indirect references, to compare different sources. Therefore dates of reigns of pharaohs are given presumptively - in different historical sources it is possible to meet the data differing on the whole decades.
Lists of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt are found in temples. The oldest such list belongs to the Fifth Dynasty (2498-2345 BC) - the so-called Palermo Stone. On a slab of black basalt, split into several pieces of different sizes, is carved a list of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt for six or seven centuries from the prehistoric period, that is, from the end of the 4th millennium BC. One of the pieces mentions some of the last Egyptian kings of the Pre-Dynastic period (until about 3150 B.C.). The list ends with Pharaoh Neferirkar, who ruled in the middle of the Fifth Dynasty. It is noteworthy that the "Palermo Stone" not only names the pharaohs but also describes the most important events that happened during their reign.
Another list of pharaohs - from the Karnak temple - names all the royal ancestors of Pharaoh Thutmose III (XVIII dynasty). Only a few pharaohs from the Second Decay Period are missing.
The most famous list of ancient Egyptian pharaohs contains the so-called Abydos list, which is carved on the stone walls of the temple of Seti I in Abydos. It depicts Pharaoh Seti I showing his son Ramses II a long row of cartouches of 76 Egyptian kings, beginning with Meneses and ending with Seti I. The rulers from the Second Decay Period, otherwise known as the Second Transitional Period, are also omitted there, as in Karnak.