During this weeks lecture and assigned readings the main focus was on the development of complex society in Egypt and the possible methods used for unification. There are several topics that I would like to discuss from the Theories of State Formation reading by E. Christiana Kohler and An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt.
The first of these is the idea of bureaucracy and administration development. These are very important aspects to be able to create and maintain a successful society. While these could develop regionally or even for individual cities, having a sound administration system can allow for quicker development. Closely related to these ideas is that of trade and the creation of reliable trade networks. From the combination of these ideas we are able to see the development of social inequality, which is the first step for a society to develop into a larger and more complex system. Due to the inequalities that exist, the wealthy are able gather more of these networks under their own control and this could present problems with their neighboring administrations.
This brings me to my second point I wanted to discuss, the idea of unification through military conflicts. While there is very little actual archaeological evidence for this in Egypt their are a few interesting artifacts. The first is that of the Narmer Palette. This piece shows Narmer with symbols of kingship and at the same time the destruction of another city in Lower Egypt. The second artifact of interest is the Scorpion Mace. The thing I find interesting about this piece is the presence of the dead birds that are suppose to represent populations in Lower Egypt.
Both of these artifacts can give some credit to military interventions and the possibility that the unification of the Egyptian populations was through force. What were the reasons for military action? I think that it can be answered by looking at the administration systems that were developing. As these grew whoever controlled the administration of the country would become immensely rich and gain tremendous power over all of Egypt. This seems like the kind of thing people would take military action to obtain. So I think that it is possible that over a period of time all of these individual administrations were absorbed into the larger and more successful administrations either through force or economic means.