Week 3: Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt

Although it is an obvious fact, the idea of Egypt not having been unified for it’s entire history was slightly amazing to me.  When a person thinks about Egypt, they think pharaohs.  It’s just a natural reaction to the typical history fed to us in primary through high school.

Before starting this course, I was still ridiculously under the impression that there had always been one absolute ruler of Egypt.  After this week’s readings and lectures, I couldn’t help but think about how different the unification process of ancient Egypt was compared to other cultures.

In ancient ‘Europe’, it was a blood bath to finding the one ruler and then it eventually fell into a disarray of many different rulers who still battled for total power.  In many Asian countries, people naturally followed the eldest and thought to be wisest members of their groups.  Eventually through natural peaceful methods and not so peaceful methods, they bowed to one ruler.

There is a lot of emphasis on pottery being a major factor of unification or at least that is what it sounded like.  Rather than the ceramic vessels being the, for a lack of a better word, vessel of unification, should it not be credited to the people carrying and trading them?

I actually did not find it incredibly surprising to discover that there wasn’t one major military campaign for unification.  I mean, with all of the emphasis on ceramic vessels, trade must have played a huge role along with the natural migration of the people themselves.  I think that many people nowadays tend to forget that human beings weren’t naturally a stationary group of mammals, but rather a migratory one.

With the natural migration and trade, it is common sense to think that the people would find a common form of communication and share their traditions and cultures, right?  So, that is my reasoning on why the lack of a single military conquest isn’t so hard to believe; although, those ceramics did depict a rather less than happy history of events.

1 thought on “Week 3: Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt

  1. I think you bring up several interesting points in this post Richelle and I would like to discuss them further. The first is the importance of people and the role they played in trade. I would agree with you that the people deserve some credit in the unification of Egypt. While pottery was the item that allowed for trade to expand, this was only due to the people’s ability to craft such an item and the interest that other people showed in owing these items. With this expansion in trade the people were becoming more and more dependent on having friendly relations with their neighbors. This need of peace for mutual benefit could have made the people want a one ruler system so trade could flourish.

    The second aspect I found interesting was your comparison of ancient Egypt and Europe. I just want to start off by saying I think these are slightly different. Since Europe consisted of a region that spoke many different languages it would be hard for peaceful means to work between them. This is where Egypt had the advantage and could unify through trade because, for the most part they all spoke the same language. I also think this shared dialect is the reason why there is no evidence of a single military campaign of unification in Egypt or pointless violence like Europe displayed.

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