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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Egypt History, Part 1

Ethiopian Argument | Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Naqada III

In the next period, known as Naqada III, Egypt has by now, been split-up into many administrative/territorial divisions, known as Nomes. Each nome has it's own sacred animal or plant that became the totem, or emblem of that nome. This emblem was usually depicted on the pottery of each nome. It is also at this time that we see Egypt referred to as - Upper and Lower Egypt - with twenty nomes in Lower Egypt and twenty-two in Upper Egypt. Each nome had its own ruler, but perhaps with an over-all ruler. It is not known what the original political make-up was, or how many times if any, there was unity and then a break-up.

There were thirteen or so rulers in (Upper Egypt), of which only the last few have been identified (though these are by no means certain):
Horus "Crocodile"
Horus Hat-Hor
Horus Iry-Hor
Horus Ka
Horus "Scorpion"
Horus Narmer "Baleful Catfish"

King Scorpion

The rulers who named themselves after animals, were probably attempting to identify themselves with the divinity that their religion associated with these animals. The rulers became the personification of the named animal-god. As later on, the pharaohs were known as, the "Son of Ra" or son of some other God. In Upper Egypt these rulers wore the "white crown" of Upper Egypt and were depicted as superhuman figures, giants who towered above mortal men. They were also depicted as being war-like, Scorpion's macehead hints at the nature of these Upper Egyptian rulers.
In this mace-head, Scorpion is apparently performing a ceremony using a hoe. Perhaps he is opening the irrigation dykes to begin flooding the fields, or perhaps he is cutting the first furrow for a temple or perhaps even a city that is to be built. Even today, removing the first shovel-full of dirt in a foundation ritual, is a kingly prerogative. The decorative frieze around the remaining top of the mace-head, has lapwing birds hanging by their necks from vertical standards. In hieroglyphics these rekhyts have been interpreted to represent the common people of Egypt, and the frieze seems to indicate that they were conquered by King Scorpion. However, some authorities have interpreted the rekhyt symbol as only later, representing the Egyptian population, whereas before in early pre-dynastic history, the rekhyts referred to foreigners or non-Egyptians instead. Thus the Scorpion mace-head and Narmer palette may represent the respective rulers having successfully defeated foreigners.

Although a four-chambered tomb in Abydos, designated as B50, has been speculated as being Scorpion’s burial place. No conclusive evidence of Scorpions existence has yet been found at Abydos, where the tombs of several first Dynasty kings, and even some preceding Dynasty “0” kings have been found. Some scholars are not even sure Scorpion actually existed, (perhaps Scorpion was a title; perhaps the Scorpion sign did not signify the person’s name at all).
Speculating further - he may have come from the royal house of Hierakonpolis, rather than from Thinis, the origin city of the Thinite dynasty, from whence came his later successor Narmer, the Catfish King. Then again, perhaps Thinis and Hierakonpolis each were the centers of rival chiefdoms, and when Scorpion’s reign ended, Thinis assumed an uncontested position as sovereign of Egypt. Then there is the issue of whether Narmer is the same king as Menes or if they were separate kings. The point is, none of this pre-dynastic stuff is certain.
In Lower Egypt, a more commercial system ran the state. There the centers of wealth were ruled over by important families or groups in each town, rather than by a single king. Ma'adi, Buto and Tell Farkha (modern names for these sites), were the larger towns of the state, with the capital probably at Buto. By the Naqada III period, Buto's pottery was 99% from Upper Egypt, and so was thought to have been "Naqada-ised" by that time.
The rulers of Lower Egypt, (they wore the red crown), may have been: (taken from the Palermo Stone)
There is not much known about these rulers, other than their names. Some believe that there was never one ruler over Lower Egypt in pre-dynastic times, because of a lack of evidence of such rulers.

  Dynasty One

Pharaoh Narmer/Menes

 According to the stella of Pharaoh Narmer, {see below}, it was he who managed to defeat the king of Lower Egypt and take over the state. The famous Narmer palette shows him on one side wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt, and on the other side, wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt. It also shows the hawk emblem of Horus, (the Upper Egyptian god of Nekhem), dominating the symbol of Lower Egypt, (the papyrus plant). From this, Narmer is believed to have unified Egypt.
However, Manetho attributes the unification of Egypt, to Aha "Fighter" Menes. It is he who has been listed as the first pharaoh of the first Dynasty by Manetho, but Menes and Narmer may be one in the same man. Menes was from Thinis, in the south of Upper Egypt, but he built his capital at Memphis, according to Diodorus.
In any event, there is general agreement that Narmer should be credited as the unifier of Egypt, and hence the first Pharaoh of the first Dynasty. Whether or not, this is the first unification of Egypt is unknown. During the Early Dynastic period, the king of ancient Egypt already had much of the trappings of royal regalia familiar from later times, including the double crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt and various scepters. These crowns, scepters and other elements, offered and represented power and protection. They also set the king apart from everyone else and conveyed his authority, both secular and religious.
The ancients often used Stele, palettes, and other objects to commemorate military victories or other important occurrences. Please click here for a menu of enlarged photographs of many such objects. <CLICK>

A few acknowledgments here: Egypt's status as the Superpower of the eastern Mediterranean lands is unquestioned. Therefore, there is no need to dwell on Egyptian military campaigns, or the military aspects of Egyptian life. Our course as with all ancient civilizations, Egypt was often at war.
The Egyptians, like all the other ancient civilizations, enslaved some of the people that they conquered. Taking slaves was part of the "Booty" of conquest. However there is no indication that they enslaved any particular people in a discriminating way. Additionally, archeological evidence indicates that slaves were NOT involved in building Pyramids and the like.

      Source: http://www.realhistoryww.com/ 

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