First dynasties Egyptian pharaohs

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

King Menes (also Meni) is considered as a unifier of Egypt according to tradition captured in Manetho's Egyptian sights on so-called Abydos King List and Turin King List. Perhaps he was identical with king Narmer, who was historically documented or with Aha (Hor-Aha). Menes chose Thinis (This, Tjenu) as his royal seat in Upper Egypt, which was situated about 500 kilometers to the south from Cairo.

Remains of this city hasn't been exactly identified yet. Menes sallied out to Lower Egypt and conquered it around the year 3000 BC. Then he established a new capital Memphis (Mennefer) on frontiers of both lands. It is possible, that there were attemps of unifying Egypt significantly earlier on the part of Lower Egypt rulers, who seated in On or Iunu (Heliopolis). But according to all preserved information, Menes was the first, who succeeded.

Menes (Narmer?) - Founder of the first dynasty

Menes is also considered as the founder of the first Egyptian kings dynasty, in all we know 7 or 8 of them. After Menes (or Narmer or Aha) the sources mention Djer, Djet, Den, Anedjib, Semerkhet and Qa'a. We know 10 kings from the second dynasty from Manetho and 2 others from other sources, but reliably documented are only 6 or 7 of them: Hotepsekhemwy, Raneb, Nynetjer, Weneg, Senedj, Khasekhemui and Khasekhemwy (perhaps 2 last are identical).

Briefly we can say, that they consolidated the state in political and also economical way; they waged offensive wars as well, especially on Sinai Peninsula because of copper mines and Nubia because of gold. It seems, that all of them had to subdue the separatist tendencies inside the land; Yet Khasekhemwy left a report about suppression of a big uprising in Lower Egypt.

The report said, that he killed 48205 (or 47209) rebels and took captive 120000 inhabitants. All of this made conditions for Old Kingdom origin, the oldest kingdom in history: it was almost a half Millenium older than Sargon's Akkadian Empire and almost one thousand years older than Hammurabi's Babylonia.

Egypt in Archaic period

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

The cultures of the Paleolithic Age remained in Egypt until 6th Millenium BC. So the Neolithic Age began there later than in the Near East. Gradually 2 cultures developed there - one in Upper Egypt and the other in Nile Delta.

According to some sources the first human being already appeared in Egypt 700,000 years BC. The oldest trails of a human being are stone tools in the Nile valley. The existence of bands is documented in several places in Paleolithic Age. Bifaces and other things found between Cairo and Sudanese Khartoum are 300,000 years old. But the stone working was more similar to the technique used in North Africa - the Sahara and Sudan at the end of Paleolithic Age (25,000 - 10,000 years BC).

There was a significant climate change approximately 10,000 years BC, that meant mostly greater amount of rainfall. Nile water raised, the inhabitants moved closer to the Sahara and just this population started with making ceramics, picking wild cereals and probably also learning how to domesticate bulls. However, there was a dry season toward the end of 6th Millenium BC and therefore the inhabitants returned to the Nile again. This situation led to formation of 2 neolithic cultures - the first in Nile Delta and the second in Upper Egypt.

The population settled down, animals were domesticated and the agriculture grew in Neolithic Age. We must search the origin of Neolithic Age in Egypt in the territory of recent Syria and Iraq, from where sheep, goats, flax and wheat came to Egypt. However, there were found traces of barley planting in Egyptian Western Desert from the time around 6,000 years BC. So there is a possibility, that Egyptian Neolithic Age has double origin.

Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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