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Dynasties of Ancient Egypt

The first dynasty of Ancient Egypt is often combined with the second dynasty under the group title, Early Dynastic Period of Egypt. At that time the capital was Thinis.



Known rulers, in the History of Egypt, for the First Dynasty are as follows:

First Dynasty
Name Comments Dates
Narmer - probably Menes on earlier lists c. 3100–3050 B.C.
Hor-Aha c. 3050–3049 B.C.
Djer - c. 3049–3008 B.C. 41 years (Palermo Stone)
Merneith the mother of Den 3008? Djet - 3008–2975?
Den - 2975–2935 30 to 50 years(40 years?)
Anedjib - 2935?–2925? 10 years (Palermo Stone)
Semerkhet - 2925?–2916? 9 years (Palermo Stone)
Qa'a - 2916?–2890 B.C.

Information about this dynasty is derived from a few monuments and other objects bearing royal names, the most important being the Narmer Palette. No detailed records of the first two dynasties have survived, except for the terse lists on the Palermo stone. The hieroglyphs were fully developed by then, and their shapes would be used with little change for more than three thousand years.

Large tombs of pharaohs at Abydos and Naqada, in addition to cemeteries at Saqqara and Helwan near Memphis, reveal structures built largely of wood and mud bricks, with some small use of stone for walls and floors. Stone was used in quantity for the manufacture of ornaments, vessels, and occasionally, for statues.

Human sacrifice as part of royal funerary practice

Human sacrifice was practiced as part of the funerary rituals associated with all of the pharaohs of the first dynasty.[1] It is demonstrated clearly as existing during this dynasty by hundreds of retainers being buried in each pharaoh's tomb along with other animals sacrificed for the burial. The tomb of Djer is associated with the burials of 338 individuals.[1] The people and animals sacrificed, such as donkeys, were expected to assist the pharaoh in the afterlife. For unknown reasons, this practice ended with the conclusion of the dynasty, with shabtis taking the place of actual people to aid the pharaohs with the work expected of them in the afterlife.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Shaw, Ian. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. p. 68. Oxford University Press. 2000. ISBN 0-19-280458-8

See also


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