How Did Someone Become a Pharaoh?

In ancient Egypt, a person ascended to the throne by virtue of birth right or by being formally declared as the heir of the previous pharaoh. The pharaoh held titular names such as “Lord of the Two Lands” and “High Priest of Every Temple.”

The pharaohs were the rulers of the dynasties that emerged in Egypt around 3000 B.C. The term “pharaoh” means “great house,” and it originally referred to the royal palace where the pharaohs reside, but it eventually became the designation for the ruler of Egypt. Historians believe that Menes was the first pharaoh who ruled after uniting Upper and Lower Egypt. However, a study published in the September of 2013 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society A have concluded that King Aha was the first pharaoh of Egypt.