Week 3 Blog – Emma Greene

The unification of Upper and Lower Egypt has always been one of the most fascinating aspects of Ancient Egypt to me. At first, I wasn’t really sure how one would go about unifying these two individual states. I was sure that there would have been a large amount of conquest and subsequent revolution, but studies have shown that there was actually very little conquest (Watrall, Unification of Egypt: The End of the Predynastic lecture). This was very surprising to me: most of the other “unifications” I’ve read about almost always include some conquest of peoples that aren’t exactly thrilled about the situation. My guess as to why there was very little conquest at this time is because the two states were already similar.  They both had systems of politics, religion and economics. In addition, they both had their own separate rulers, which was probably the reason behind any conflict. Each “proto-pharaoh” wanted to be the ruler of both unified states, but only one could rule. That might have been a cause of some tension.

In addition to the small amount of conquest occurring at this time, there was also evidence found of military action and colonization. Again, this makes sense because unifying two states probably required order to be kept. Diplomats were also dispatched to villages near the border to gain support for the pharaoh, and also to make the transition to one large empire a little easier.

Another aspect I found interesting was the spread of material culture that had a lot to do with the general unification of the two states. The majority of the goods came from western Asia. Once they crossed the Sinai Peninsula into Egypt, they were spread to both Upper and Lower Egypt, as well as to other countries like the Sudan, and other regions further south and southwest.

1 thought on “Week 3 Blog – Emma Greene

  1. I was surprised as well when I learned that there was actually very little conquest that occurred when Upper and Lower Egypt was unified. I would have thought the process of uniting two separate states would have been much more conflicting than evidence shows to have happened in Egypt. As you said it does make sense though that this union appeared to be somewhat less of a struggle than others in history such as the unifications of the present-day countries Yemen, Germany and Italy. This may be the case because these two states started out so similar to each other before the unification. They did have political, economic and religious systems that were alike and that would have made their cultures readily able to merge into one. These similarities would have made it easier for the people from Upper Egypt to see how alike they were to the Lower Egyptians and vice-versa and prevent conflict between the two. The evidence archeologists have found of military action and colonization also makes sense to me since even though there might not have been many conquests, I’m sure the process of unifying the two states was not the easiest thing to do. With the help of the military, order could be kept around the state and chaos would not ensue as it probably would have if there was no authority present.

Leave a Reply