Digging Up the Past

Chapter 1 - Land of the Pyramids

Rulers and dynasties

In earliest Egyptian times, small towns and villages were ruled by local
chiefs or kings. The first man to unite Upper and Lower Egypt under one
monarchy was Menes, and he is regarded as the founder of the 1st Dynasty.
A dynasty is a line of kings where the crown is passed down from father to
son for a number of generations. When someone outside the family seized
the throne, a new dynasty commenced. Ancient Egypt was ruled by a
succession of thirty-one dynasties.

Narmer's Palette

In the Egyptian Museum is a black slate palette, 64 centimetres high, which is
attributed to Narmer, usually identified with Menes. On one side it depicts
Narmer holding an enemy by his hair with his left hand, while his right hand
holds a lethally upraised club. The obverse side depicts two lions with
elongated necks intertwined about each other. The depression formed within
the circle of the intertwined necks was used to mix cosmetics, hence this
stone was called 'Narmer's Palatte'.