September 19, 2013

Unity between Upper and Lower Egypt

Unity between Upper and Lower Egypt
The history starts with Narmer whom some scholars feel should be identified with the mythical king Menes who unified the two kingdoms. This is the beginning of the first of the thirty one dynasties which sat on the Egyptian throne until 332 B.C., the year that Egypt was conquered by Alexander the Great. « A breaker of heads he is... he does not spare » is what one can read in an ancient inscription about king Narmer.


Narmer
 In fact this is how he is depicted on the famous « Narmer stele », a slate tablet about 74 centimetres high, dating from about 3100 B.C. and originating from Hier-akonopolis (the ancient Nekneb, the present day El Kab), a city considered sacred in the prehistory of Upper Egypt. On this stele which had a cosmetic purpose, on one side we see the pharaoh with one hand grasping the hair of an enemy and the other a club. On this side of the stele the king wears the conical crown of Upper Egypt while on the other side he is depicted, in front of a large number of his decapitated enemies wearing the crown of Lower Egypt.

Narmer
There were in fact three crowns: the White Crown of the North, the Red Crown of the South and the Double Crown, consisting of the two previous ones combined, which symbolised the united kingdom. Similarly the vulture was the symbol of Upper Egypt and the cobra that of Lower Egypt.

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