Week 4 Blog – Emma Greene

For this week’s blog, I would like to take a look at the first pharaohs of the 1st dynasty. For starters, I did not realize that Abydos played a large part in the religious life and funerary practices of the Archaic Egyptians. It makes sense, though, because Abydos was the legendary burial place of Osiris, god of the dead and rebirth.

When it comes to the chronology of the pharaohs, it could get confusing for some because of the fact that Menes might not be the actual name of the king, it might have just been the title used by him. Knowing this, it could be said that Menes and Narmer were the same person, and Narmer used Menes as his title. According to one of my books about Egypt, it lists the first pharaoh of the first dynasty as Narmer. Clearly, there is still some debate over what to call the first pharaoh. Moving on to Aha (or Horus-Aha/Hor-Aha), he was most likely the son of Narmer. His name appears on the Palermo Stone, which can also be called the Royal Annals of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. Essentially, it lists all the rulers from the first dynasty through the fifth.

Next on the list was Djer, and, again, whether he was the third or fourth pharaoh is up for debate. Archaeologists have stated that he was buried next to a woman named Merneith, so she was presumably his wife. In addition, she also allegedly gave birth to Den, who would succeed Djer. Den was the first pharaoh to wear the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt together (the double crown was called the pschent). He was also the first pharaoh to go by the title of the Ruler of the Two Kingdoms. I found it interesting that the Egyptians system of writing was further standardized under his rule: I would have thought that it would be a system used throughout the entire united land.

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