Egypt's Golden Empire
The Last Great PharaohEpisode Guide »
The last hour tells the story of Ramses the Great who resurrected the Egyptian empire. His reign was the high point in the life of the New Kingdom but also was the precursor of its ruin and destruction. He embarked on the most ambitious building program the world had ever seen. His master craftsmen were responsible for the remarkable tomb-building in the Valley of the Kings and the most beautiful tomb, which was built for Ramses' chief wife, Nefetari. The world of Ramses II was the high point of Egyptian civilization. All pharaohs who came after him tried to recapture his greatness, none could. With Ramses XI, Egypt's Golden Empire was over. A mysterious warlike people, the Sea Peoples, began attacking Egypt's allies and colonies. At home, the people were starving. The craftsmen began to rob and desecrate the very tombs they had built. In a last desperate act, the bodies of 40 pharaohs were moved and placed in a secret cave where they would lie undiscovered for 3,000 years.