According to Manetho, ancient Egyptian civilisation dawned with the unification of the country by Menes. Herodotus agrees with Manetho that Menes (or Min) was the first king of Egypt, and Men is recorded as the first King of Upper and Lower Egypt in the Abydos Kings list, inscribed during the reign of Seti (New Kingdom). However, Egyptologists disagree on the identity of the Pharaoh Men.
Herodotus claims that Men founded the ancient city of Memphis, an act that is usually attributed to Hor-Aha. Some scholars have argued that Hor-aha and Menes are one and the same. They point to the Naqada label, which bears Hor-aha's birth name and (allegedly) his throne name - Men (established). However, the birth name faces away from the signs alleged to be the birth name (totally against convention) and the signs above the name (the cobra and the vulture, also know as Nebty - "the two ladies") were not used with Royal names until the reign of Den. Finally, the Nebty and the sign for Men are surmounted by the sign for a shrine or funerary tent. It is therefore quite possible that Hor-aha was burying the previous Pharaoh, Men.
Other sources attribute the unification of Egypt to one of Hor-aha's predeccessors called Narmer. Excavations in Heliopolis (the site of the ancient city of Nekhen) unearthed many artefacts naming Narmer and seal impressions found in the tombs of Den and Qa'a imply that he unified Egypt. Furthermore, the Narmer palette shows the King wearing both the crown for Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt.
|Buto (lower Egypt)||Nekhem (upper Egypt)|
|Dynasty One: O.C. 3050B.C. to 2890B.C.||Dynasty Two: O.C. 2890B.C. to 2686B.C.|
Hudjefa (signifying a missing name)
|Predynastic period||Early Dynastic||Old Kingdom||First Intermediate||Middle Kingdom||Second Intermediate||New Kingdom||Third Intermediate||Graeco-Roman period||Late period|