First Ruler of the United Egypt

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Narmer: First Ruler of United Egypt

First Ruler of the United Egypt

Narmer: First Ruler of United Egypt

Narmer, the first ruler of United Egypt, is more than a name for us. In 1898, archaeologists unearthed two objects decorated with reliefs bearing his name at the site called the “Main Bed” in Hierakonpolis.

On one side of this monumental, perfectly preserved palette, which was ground with eye paint, Narmer was depicted with the White Crown of Upper Egypt on its head. Here Narmer was taking the life of a terrified Nile Delta native.

On the other side of the pallet, he was watching the ten decapitated bodies wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt. For a long time, these scenes BC. It was thought to commemorate the victory at the end of the struggle to unite Egypt under a single ruler around 3100 BC. However, scholars now think that the theme of this palette should be treated as the suppression of the rebellions that arose after the unification: This event that really happened gave the next year its name.

Narmer Palette
Narmer Palette

William Matthew Flinders, the “father” of Egyptian archeology at the beginning of the twentieth century, thought he had found Narmer among the tombs of the first kings of Egypt in Abidos. However, subsequent research showed that Narmer was actually buried in another grave in that area.

In 1985, a German team who re-exhumed the cemetery discovered traces of seals that confirmed Narmer to be the top of the list of First dynastic kings. The name of the king, whose spelling was previously thought to resemble catfish, resembled the skin of a long-tailed animal. This raised doubts about the traditional pronunciation of Narmer’s name (“Narmer’s translation was often suggested as” Furious Catfish “). Yet another plausible reading is not recommended.

No matter how it is read, the name of this king can be found on various objects. Among these objects are made of water marble, which is now on display at the Neues Museum in Berlin, ordered by the king himself.

Holding a tall (52 cm) baboon statue, there are pottery fragments found at ruins in Lower Egypt, the North Sinai peninsula and South Canaan. These pieces also show the wide variety of trade treaties of the early Egyptian state. Whether Narmer was King Manes as the first mortal ruler of Egypt according to later Egyptian sources is a controversial issue.

Peter Der Manuelian – Ancient Egypt in 30 Seconds


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