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 first 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 Number, 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 Palace.'