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Origins of Ancient Egypt
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Raia
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 8:39 pm    Post subject: Origins of Ancient Egypt Reply with quote

I've always wondered how the civilization of ancient Egypt began, and just looking at a few books I found one that says that Egyptians began in a "Harsh, forbidding climate" and they have crude cave paintings of boats travelling down the river to the afterlife, and paintings of Pharaohs. Does anyone have any opinions on how the civilization began? I'll see if I can find the book...
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Raia
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The book is called "Genesis of the Pharaohs"

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0500051224/qid=1092775194/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-0977268-3823113?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

This is a bit of the synopsis:

Quote:
This evidence, he asserts, shows that pre-Pharaonic Egyptians were not settled flood-plain farmers, but semi-nomadic herders who drove their cattle in between the lush riverbanks and the drier grasslands-a legacy evident, for example, in the Egyptian royal sceptre, which looks like a shepherd's crook. Wilkinson argues for Egyptian civilization's deep roots in a distinctive African landscape. His theory tacitly challenges an orthodoxy that holds that civilization sprang from efforts to irrigate land around the great rivers of Egypt, Mesopotamia and China; "cultural complexity," he writes, "was not borne of an easy agricultural lifestyle by the banks of the river, but of the fight for survival in more difficult terrain."
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a story at touregypt about the oldest parts of Egyptian history
http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/predynastic.htm

" The people who are believed to be the ancestors to the predynastic Egyptians were a people known as the Badarian people. They lived in Upper Egypt, on the eastern bank of the Nile, near the village of Badari, south of Asiut."

"Though they were a semi-nomadic people, they started to cultivate grain and domesticate their animals."

It sounds reasonable for a river valley civilization, to have people learn how to cultivate grain.

I once read that there was a mutation in the grain in the middle east thousands of years ago that allowed for the cultivation of grain. Once you have settlements, people start to specialize and there is more of a need for rules and government.

After these Badarians, you got the Naqada people.

I read somewhere that the earliest mummies were natural ones where they noticed somehow that people buried in the desert were preserved if they dried out enough. It's another step of course to develop the whole mummification process, but that would have probably happened over many years.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that at the end of the Naqada period citystates and larger empires began to develop.

I read somewhere that intially they thought egypt started with the pyramid builders (3rd/4th dynasty).
Then they realized the kingdom existed before that, but the royals were buried in either mastabas or even earlier in even different tomb structures.
(1st and 2nd dynasties)

Now they have had to make room for a dynasty 0 Very Happy
There were kings by the name of "Scorpion", "Crocodile", etc.

They have found objects and inscriptions relating to these people.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best link I know on early and early dynastic Egypt:
http://xoomer.virgilio.it/francescoraf/index.htm
Be sure to check it out.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best link I know on early and early dynastic Egypt:
http://xoomer.virgilio.it/francescoraf/index.htm
Be sure to check it out.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arf...
Now how did I do that? Confused
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Segereh wrote:
Arf...
Now how did I do that? Confused


I know you're trying to get to 2000, but really Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just kidding of course Very Happy
(And with that post I brought irony to a new level Shocked )
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like his quote from the page Seg quoted:
Quote:
"Dynasty 00" is a term which has not gained general acceptance in Egyptology (see below); some authors use it to indicate the rulers of the period before Dynasty 0;


I wonder how long before we get "Dynasty 000" Laughing

Guess "dynasty -1" just sounded too negative? (Yeah I know, horrible attempt at humor. Crying or Very sad )

Gives an idea though that they are extending their knowledge further and further back.)
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Raia
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
There were kings by the name of "Scorpion", "Crocodile", etc.


I've heard of these kings and that Scorpion was the first Pharaoh ever. I didn't know that the dynasty continued on with Crocodile, and I'm sure more animals.

I guess Dynasty 0 wouldn't even be classified as the Old Kingdom, or am I wrong here?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got some of this info from the narmer.pl website.

It says
Quote:
the rulers, apart from Scorpion, were buried in the Umm el-Qaab necropolis nearby Abydos and plausibly they belong to one family line of rulers. These tombs appear smaller than those of pharaohs of the Dynasty I which are located in a near vicinity. All rulers form common Tanis line. The exception is king Scorpion whose origin remains unknown.



Some of the Kings:

Ny-Hor ( Nu-Hor )
 An interpretation of this name remains controversial and serekhs with this name was found in Tura and Tarkhan. Some scholars suggest it is a cursive inscription of the name Narmer. His Horus name means The Hunter (according to Kaiser)

Pe-Hor
     Serekhs with name of this ruler were found on vessel in Qustul and stone inscriptions near Armant on the West Desert

Hedj-Hor
      Serekhs with this ruler's name were found at eastern Delta and at a piece of pottery from Tura. Helck identifies him with one of two defeated chiefs presented at Narmer's Palette and reads his name as Wa-Shi.

Iry-Hor
The king buried in tomb B1-B2 in the Umm el-Qaab necropolis.

Ka ( Sehen )
A ruler buried in B7-B9 tomb in the Umm el-Qaab necropolis. In some scholars’ opinion (P. Kaplony) he was named Sehen. Others, being in minority, contradict his identity.

"Crocodile"
Considered to be an usurper who ruled over Delta or part of it, possibly at times of Narmer. Serekh was found in a tomb 315 at Tarkhan. Some scholars read out the name of Ka or Scorpion on it.

"Scorpion"
The king is known to us thank to fragments of two (?) mace-heads of Hierankopolis and table of Abydos that survived until now. According to G. Drayer this ruler followed pharaoh Aha of Dynasty I. Some scholars (Krauss & Franke) believe that there were two persons identified by this same name. Thus, Scorpion I lived around year 3150 and was predecessor of Egyptian pharaohs. To him also belonged multi-chambered tomb U-j at Abydos, discovered in 1988 by German expedition. The king known from mace of Hierakonpolis in turn, was Scorpion II and to him belonged either one-chambered tomb at Hierakonpolis or B50 complex at the necropolis at Abydos. In  W. Helck’s opinion king Scorpion preceded Iry-Hor from Hierakonpolis dynasty.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A serekh is the Horus-name, enclosed in a picture of palace facade



The name of Narmer (thought to be Menes) is given as:

His name means Horus Striking Catfish

Some of the Pharaohs of the 1st dynasty have "animal names":
Narmer - Striking Catfish
Djet - Snake (Cobra)

Later Kings had names that meant "horus who succours", " Horus who strikes", etc.

It seems that cartouches were also used. But the Horus name was written in the Serekh.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just realized that serekhs seem to have been used until the 12th dynasty, and maybe even later.

I can't remember ever seeing one in an inscription. Specially not for later dynasties.
How long was the Serekh used?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found something interesting about discoveries made in 1998 in the Egyptian part of the Sahara.

They found a place called Nabta.
It has been referred to as the Egyptian Stonehenge.

One site that mentions this says:
A center of cattle worship was Nabta. At Nabta archaeologists have found the oldest megalithic site dating to 6000-6500 BC, which served as both a temple and calendar. This site was found by J. McKim Malville of the University of Colorado at Boulder and Fred Wendorf of Southern Methodist University.

This predates the old kingdom by a bit I guess Very Happy
Interesting to see that they were into cattle worship. Reminds me of the later Apis and Mnevis bulls, and the wordhip of say Hathor later on.

There are photographs here (towards the bottom of the page):
http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/7051/af.htm

And a further description here:
http://www.comp-archaeology.org/WendorfSAA98.html
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