Week 3 Blog Post

In this week’s reading and lectures the focus was on the beginning of Egypt’s complex society and the emergence of a unified state. The “Theories of State Formation” by E. Christiana Köhler discussed how Egypt became a state and with the collection of archeological and historical evidence we can see how Egypt became unified as well. In the readings I was very interested in the very beginning of the formation of the Egyptian state because to go from separate cultures living in a vast area of land to becoming an organized and complex society is very difficult. The very first king of Egypt was Menes was responsible for unifying Egypt under his rule. At that time unifying a state meant that the land was ruled and unified under one king’s rule and they followed God-given laws. This was complicated, as was the unification of a divided Egypt. Overall this development of a unified state took a long time and was a multi-linear process, meaning that each area did not develop at the same time as the next, instead each division of Egypt developed at their own pace.

Now that I have discussed the basic outline of the formation of Egypt as a state I wanted to talk about how the state was a successful economic entity. This came from the specialized craft production and the trade of such items. This provided a basis of interactions between civilizations across Egypt.  Much of the trade production relied on the Nile as a resources for fertile lands and transportation.  Pottery, ceramics, tool production and agricultural commodities all were examples to the items produced during this time. As these items became greater in demand the production increased and overtime the economic value increased as well. The combination of economic success and development of complex societies lead to Egypt becoming the world’s first territorial state.

1 thought on “Week 3 Blog Post

  1. I feel like the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt was a hot topic this week. Previous to this class, I just assumed that the unification process happened quickly and involved lots of military conquest. I knew that Menes was the first Pharaoh, so he was most likely the one to get the ball rolling on the unification process. Again, it was surprising to learn that there was almost no military conquest, but rather diplomatic solutions occurring during this time. It was also interesting to learn that the unification process took place over a period of almost 200 years: definitely not the time span I had originally thought.

    I definitely agree with you saying that the Egyptian state was a successful economic entity. They really flourished through trade, and trade was made much simpler thanks to the Nile River. Upper and Lower Egyptians could easily interact and trade with one another via the Nile, and these goods and ideas were then further traded to areas more south, such as the Sudan, where Egyptian goods became more and more in demand, requiring more contact. Because of this, more economic stability stemmed from the increased exchanges. The overall unification of Upper and Lower Egypt was the result of an intricate network of trade, as well as the fact that both states were already similar to begin with.

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