Menes was the founding king of the First Dynasty in Egypt. In addition to uniting Upper and Lower Egypt, Menes engineered barriers to redirect the Nile River and protect Egyptian cities from flooding.
Dams were some of the greatest accomplishments of Egypt’s engineers. However, Egyptian engineers also created the tombs of the pharaohs, which are now the great pyramids of Egypt. The tomb of the pharaoh Djoser was the first of these pyramids and the first stone building ever built. Djoer’s step pyramid was the first of its kind and revolutionized architecture.
Pyramid building became more ambitious when the pharaoh Snefru and his son Khufu took over. While Snefru, the father, raided nearby settlements to fund projects, Snefru, the son, set his sights on building the greatest pyramid ever constructed: the Great Pyramid at Giza. This nearly perfectly symmetrical pyramid is still standing today. The four sides of the pyramid rise at a precise angle of 51 degrees.
Hatshepsut, a female pharaoh, had to dress up like a man to be taken seriously as a ruler. She ordered a lavish temple built. It had lush gardens and three levels of terraces connected by a broad staircase. She used it as a means of propaganda.
Later, Egypt’s engineers learned to build things faster and more efficiently when the pharaoh Akhenaten decided to move the capital of the country to a different location. After him, Ramesses pushed Egyptian engineers to create temples for him and his wife.