King Narmer - Unifier of Egypt

Narmer Palette I

Dynasty 0 begins with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt with Narmer as the first ruler of the "Two Lands", in approx. 3100 BC. This is the most popular theory, but there are others I will mention later.

Manetho attributes this great feat to King Menes, who could be the same person as Narmer.

He can be seen here on his Pallette wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt and threatening his enemy into submission - evidence of the unification battle.

Many legends use the name Menes, and until now we have many Egyptians named "Mina" (a version of the name Menes).

In fact, I work with a young man at the office by this name who won employee of the month!

Anyway, so how did this theory come about?

Egyptologists had to work out their calculations based on Manetho’s records as well as excavated evidence. They found a Macehead carved with scenes that depict a King Scorpion (I love that name!) - who only wears the White Crown of Upper Egypt...

...They concluded that he could not have been the unifier although he existed at around the same time.

Narmer Palette II

They did find evidence of King-Narmer wearing both the White Crown of Upper Egypt, and the Red Crown of Lower Egypt - which signifies that he ruled both.

On the opposite side of the Pallette he is seen now wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt. There is a row of decapitated enemies and he is shown as larger than everyone else in the scene (a method used in almost all ancient Egyptian art to depict authority).

The Pallette can be seen at the Cairo Museum

This evidence puts King Scorpion before him, which means he may have been his father.

That is how the theory of him being the first Pharaoh of a unified Egypt came about.

It is still not known whether he did this through one big war, or through many smaller battles.

Not much else is known except that he married and had a son who succeeded him. His wife is probably Queen Nithotep I, and his son and successor is King Hor-Aha.

Other theories say that he had inherited an already unified Egypt from his father King Scorpion. Another theory is that he didn't completely unify Egypt, and his successor did. Another theory is that Menes is his successor.

I'm confused too!

But till now, the most widely accepted theory is that he is the great unifier of Egypt and the first dynastic Pharaoh.

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