Some well-known Egyptian pharaohs include Khufu, Akhenaten, Tutankhamen and Ramesses the Great. Dozens of little-known pharaohs also ruled over the kingdom, often for very short periods of time. For instance, in the turmoil preceding the reign of Tutankhamen, four pharaohs reigned in a period spanning less than 20 years. Ancient Egyptian history spans almost 3000 years with 30 dynasties.
Khufu is one of the first major pharaohs in Egyptian history, having built the Great Pyramid at Giza during his reign, which lasted from 2609 to 2584 B.C. Khufu probably came to the throne during his twenties and immediately started work on the Great Pyramid, which took 23 years to complete. After his death, a funerary cult formed around Khufu, which lasted into the Roman era.
Akhenaten ruled from 1550 to 1295 B.C., during the New Kingdom era of Egyptian history. Akhenaten upended the old Egyptian religious system in favor of a single sun god. Akhenaten's probable son, the 9-year-old Tutankhaten, rose to power following two short-lived intervening pharaohs. Tutankhamen reversed many of Akhenaten’s controversial reforms and became well-known following the discovery of his untouched burial tomb in the 1922.
Ramesses the Great, is, as his name states, one of Egypt's greatest pharaohs. He constructed an entirely new capital along with many monuments and temples during his reign. He conquered much of the Levant and Nubia, which culminated in his 1274 B.C. victory over the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh, in what is now Syria.