Unification of Lower & Upper Egypt

I found the unification process of Upper and Lower Egypt very interesting.  I originally thought that the unified state was just the outcome of Pharaoh’s conquest, like that of other empires in history.  However, the process was greatly more complex and it wasn’t political aspects that solely contributed to the unification.   Both economic and social factors also played a large role in the process. Economically, both Upper and Lower Egypt, especially Upper Egypt, benefited from the trade network.  Before the unification during the predynastic and neolithic period, there was only self-subsistence through agriculture, some hunting, fishing, and pottery making from the different area’s surrounding materials. Later during the Chalcolithic period, the Egyptians developed a wealth-and staple-financed economy.  This allowed skilled craft specialization and a surplus of goods to emerge, especially for the wants and needs of the elites.  For example fish- tail and rhomboidal flint knives, which had limited function and relatively scarce, were created as luxury goods for the upper class.  The developed trade network, which consisted of many other goods, such as pottery, resin, and oils, strengthened the economic system  and centralized government.  Stratification of the classes increased with the established trade network and skilled craft specialization. Government officials, who collected taxes and redistributed the income to the state and royal treasury, ranked pretty high up in the social class.    As more commodified goods entered the trade market, it became much more evident between the wealthy and the poor Egyptians.  The higher class Egyptians were buried with many more items from many different places.  Trade also created new jobs and policies in the Egyptian society, such as the production and storage of the goods. As Egyptians had increased needs for certain goods, such as cast copper ingots, metallurgy became an industry for the unified state.  In addition to the social and economic contributions to the unification process, political elements were also important to the unification.  Upper Egyptian rulers named Scorpion and Narmer are present on ceramic vessels at Minshat Abut Omar, an Lower Egyptian site.  As shown in the Narmer Palette, also, it depicts King Narmer as being greatly responsible for the unification.  In conclusion, social, economic, and political factors were all essential steps for the unification to occur.

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