Egyptian civilization can be traced back to 5000 BC . However a unified and organized Egyptian civilization with urban centers appears to have begun with the first dynasty of Pharaohs around two thousand years later.
The Sumerian General Nirmer along with his son Menes and an army of 5000 Akkadian guards set out on a conquest of the Nile valley around 3200 BC. They followed the northern route along Euphrates that reached the Nile valley through the fertile crescent. On the periphery of the Nile valley they subjugated local people of African origin and expanded their army further, eventually conquering the Egyptian valley without much of a fight.
A prehistoric flint knife, with a handle carved from the tooth of a hippopotamus, in the possession of Louvre and found at Gebel el Arak near Nag Hamâdi depicts a scene from the conquest. On one side of the handle is a battle-scene including some remarkable representations of ancient boats. Many of the warriors are nude with the exception of a loin girdle, but, while one set of combatants have shaven heads or short hair, the others have abundant locks falling in a thick mass upon the shoulder. The nude warriors are obviously of local African origin. It displays the wisdom of the conquerors in utilizing locals for their campaigns. On the other face of the handle is carved a hunting scene. In the upper field is a remarkable group, consisting of a personage struggling with two lions arranged symmetrically. The rest of the composition is not very unlike other examples of prehistoric Egyptian carving in low relief, but here attitude, figure, and clothing are un-Egyptian. The hero wears a turban on his abundant hair, and a full and rounded beard descends upon his breast. A long garment clothes him from the waist and falls below the knees, his muscular calves ending in the claws of a bird of prey. There is no doubt that the heroic personage is represented in the familiar attitude of the Babylonian hero Gilgamesh struggling with lions, a favorite subject of early Sumerian and Babylonian seals. His garment is Sumerian rather than Egyptian. The design itself is unmistakably of Mesopotamian origin. There was no physical barrier to the use of the river-route from Mesopotamia into Syria and of the tracks thence southward along the land bridge to the Nile’s delta.
After the conquest Nirmer returned to Babylon leaving his son Menes in charge of the new kingdom with assistance of Akkadian Priests and soldiers. Menes unified the scattered communities of the entire Nile Valley. There he established the First Egyptian Dynasty with a Sumerian civilization. The unified state led to the development of writing, the start of large scale construction and the venturing out from the Nile Valley to trade. The most remarkable evidence of cultural connection is shown in the architecture of Early Dynastic tombs of Egypt and Mesopotamian seal-impressions showing exactly similar buildings. A problem that early Sumerian ruling class faced upon arrival in Egypt was the different, even contrary religious beliefs. Egyptians glorified the floods whereas the Sumerian dreaded it because of their religious records of the deluge that had originally flooded their homeland and beautiful cities perhaps on the western coast of India leading to their exodus. However the Sumerians soon assimilated everything useful they found in the new lands and thus developed their culture even further.
Scorpion Men are featured in several Akkadian language myths, including the Enûma Elish and the Babylonian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh. They were Godly warriors and it is a mark of respect to regard a great human Akkadian warrior as a Scorpian King.
Unlike the colonists of eighteenth century the early Sumerians, driven out of their original homes in the east by a great flood, arrived in any new territory with the intention of making it their home and progressed from strength to strength as they marched westwards. However the Nile valley was the limit of their expansion since there were no other great rivers flowing through vast arid plains to the west of the Nile. It was only much later that the mantle of human civilisation passed northwards first to Ancient Greece along with the Akkadian tale of a great ancient civilization, the Atlantis, destroyed by a flood, the original Sumerian homeland, a land of elephants and a circular harbor by the sea. Civilisation then moved to Rome. The rest as they say is history.
Who was the First Egyptian Pharaoh?
There is considerable confusion amongst scholars as to who the first Egyptian Pharaoh was, who ruled over all of Egypt from his capital at Memphis. According to the kings list made a thousand years after his time, his name was Men, Meni or Mena. The reason for using different vowels is because in Egyptian writing vowels are not written (as at times in Arabic) and these have to be guessed. The Greek historian Mantheo of 200 BC who was known for developing meticulous historical records, called him Menes in Greek. That is the most popular way Mene is mentioned in modern literature. This pharaoh is the legendary king that came from the town of Tinis in Upper Egypt and took over Lower Egypt (the North) by force. He then became the first king over the whole country and founded a new capital for united Egypt – Memphis, just where the two states bordered on each other. According to archaeological dating this was around 3200 BC. For thousands of years, King Menes was thought to be the first king of Egypt. Ancient Egyptian records clearly identify him as the first king of the first dynasty.
However since then much else has been discovered by archeological findings that have led to some confusion. In the last decade of the 1900s the old royal tombs in Abydos were re-excavated. Two seal impressions were found from the tombs of Den and Qaa, the fifth and eighth ruler of the first dynasty. The motif was a line of kings in a successive order, and both had Narmer as the founder of the first dynasty. This record should be an authentic one since it comes from a time much before Menthos or even the Kings list. Most of all, it was prepared by the descendents of Narmer himself. Some scholars postulated that Menes and Narmer may be the same person. Was it really so? The matter requires further enquiry. The seal impressions of Den and Qaa describe the kings of the first dynasty as,
Egyptian Kings List:
Thus it is clear that Aha was the son and successor of Narmer. King Aha, on the other hand, was the first pharaoh who built monuments of substance over the whole country, and his large tomb constructions (with buried retainers for the first time) were in dimensions that far overshadowed his predecessors including Narmer his father. He has also left a written sign interpreted as the name “Mene” written beside his ordinary name on one occasion. This at once indicates that he is the same as king Mene (or its Greek form Menes). Thus available evidence indicates that it was Aha and Menes who were one and the same person and not Narmer and Menes.
Confusion may have arisen in interpreting historic records because both Narmer (Also known popularly as the scorpion King) and Menes together united Upper and Lower Egypt. The credit of unification would go to Narmer as the father and this is indeed supported by a later archeological find the -Narmer Palette. Menes or Aha on the other hand was the first king to build substantial monuments in Egypt and may have been regarded by many as the first real Pharaoh of Egypt, thus leading to the confusion.
Narmer’s Palette found at the temple of Hierakonpolis shows that behind the king is his sandal-bearer, a high dignitary, possibly his son, who is identified by a rosette (seven petalled) the divine or royal emblem. This son is likely to be the legendary Menes who accompanied Narmer in the conquests. Both may have ruled different parts of Egypt together for a period after the conquest with the younger Menes focusing more on the building of a new Capital at Memphis. Thus it may be concluded that Narmer was the first king of united Egypt and his son Menes the first king that ruled over all of Egypt from Memphis. After the establishment of dynastic rule in Egypt, the villages of Egypt were transformed from members of a loosely organized society in which autonomous chieftains and merchants played the most significant roles, to one under the centralized control of an imperial king.
The kings list of later dynasties appears to have focused on listing the kings of Memphis and thus correctly listed Menes as the first king to rule from that capital, ignoring the father who was after all a foreign General from a distant land – Sumeria, to return to his land at some future date nor yet deciphered by archeology . The second dynasty of Egypt had different roots from the first one. When they came to power they replaced the falcon symbol of the first dynasty by the symbol of a dog. The descendents of Narmer himself would not however ignore their ancestor in developing their own list of kings and listed Narmer as the first king.
Content sourced from earlier blog posts of the author at http://alienaccount.blogspot.com
From the Author of – The Babaji Affair