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The Alpha Gate is actually Earth's second Stargate. Earth's original Stargate, known as the Beta Gate, was placed in what is now Antarctica by the Ancients millions of years ago during their original habitation of Earth. The Alpha Gate is, therefore, far newer than the Beta Gate.
Originally brought to Earth by the Goa'uld System Lord Ra during his reign on the planet thousands of years ago, it was placed in Egypt near the Great Pyramids as a means of transporting human slaves to Abydos. However, around 3,000 B.C., the Ancient Egyptians successfully rebelled against Ra, who was forced to flee. The gate was later buried as a symbol of defiance against Ra and wouldn't be unearthed until 1928, by Professor Paul Langford and his expedition near Giza. (Stargate)
The gate remained in Egypt until 1939. Still having no knowledge of it's purpose, they feared it to be some kind of weapon and had to prevent the Nazis from getting their hands on it, since they were at the brink of a second World War. The gate was transported from Egypt to the United States of America by the freighter Achilles. (SG1: "Continuum")
In 1945, Langford and the United States Air Force conducted research on the Stargate in the hopes that it was a weapon and even were successful in activating it. However the research was shut down with the disappearance of Dr. Ernest Littlefield after he stepped through the gate. Ernest had actually traveled to Heliopolis where he was trapped until 1997 when he was rescued by SG-1. (SG1: "The Torment of Tantalus")
After the mission, the Stargate was stored in Cheyenne Mountain, where it was left untouched until 1997, when Apophis attacked. The Stargate Program was activated, where the gate was used by various SG teams to combat the Goa'uld. (SG1: "Children of the Gods")
The Stargate was used for three years. However, when the Replicators took over the Biliskner, SG-1 beamed the Alpha Gate up to the ship, so that they could escape before the ship was destroyed by the uncontrolled re-entry into the Pacific Ocean. However, the Stargate survived, as the Russians recovered it from the bottom of the ocean. The Russians brought the gate to Kuybyshev Airbase, where they started their own Stargate Program for a while. (SG1: "Nemesis", "Watergate")
Eventually the Russian Stargate Program was shelved. The Alpha Gate was leased to Stargate Command after Anubis destroyed the Beta Gate, in exchange for full participation in the Program and considerable sums of money. Finally, the Russians bartered the gate to SGC in exchange for the Korolev. (SG1: "Redemption, Part 2", "Crusade")
- In an alternate timeline accidentally created by SG-1, the rebellion had partially failed as Ra managed to have fled Earth and took the gate with him in 2995 B.C.. (SG1: "Moebius, Part 2")
- In an alternate timeline created by Ba'al, he and his Jaffa massacred the crew of the Achilles in 1939. The ship drifted into the Arctic, where the gate remained undiscovered until 2009, when the Russians recovered it from the ocean floor. SG-1 went through the gate to restore the timeline. (Stargate: Continuum)