Top Ten Egyptian Artifacts (Early Dynastic Period)

Top Ten Egyptian Artifacts (Early Dynastic Period)

        The Archaic or Early Dynastic Period of Egypt immediately follows the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt c. 3,100 BC. It generally taken to include the First and Second Dynasties, lasting from the Protodynastic Period of Egypt until about 2686 BC, or the beginning of the Old Kingdom. With the First Dynasty, the capital moved from Abydos to Memphis with a unified Egypt ruled by an Egyptian god-king. Abydos remained the major holy land in the south. The hallmarks of ancient Egyptian civilization, such as art, architecture and many aspects of religion, took shape during the Early Dynastic period. Before the unification of Egypt, the land was settled with autonomous villages. With the early dynasties, and for much of Egypt’s history thereafter, the country came to be known as the Two Lands. The rulers established a national administration and appointed royal governors. The buildings of the central government were typically open-air temples constructed of wood or sandstone. The earliest hieroglyphs appear just before this period, though little is known of the spoken language they represent.

  1. Palermo Stone

           The Palermo Stone is an ancient Egyptian stela of black basalt engraved toward the end of the 5th dynasty (twenty-fifth century BC). It is probably the earliest Egyptian historical text. Now in a number of fragments, it details the reigns of the first Egyptian kings through the middle of the 5th dynasty and was doubtless among the documents Manetho used to construct his dynastic chronology. Unfortunately, most of the information concerning the first and second dynasties has not survived. The contacts with Punt during the reign of Sahura are mentioned on the Palermo stone. Based on the text 80000 units of Myrrh had been brought from Punt in his regnal year 12, however, whether Sahura had sent an expedition to Punt, is not clarified by the text.
    Links: Top Ten Lost Citieshttp://www.crystalinks.com/palermostone.html,
  2. Sarcophagus Figurine

    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Sarcophagi, 
  3. Relief

    Description:
    Links: Relieves and Petroglyphs, Top Ten African Relieves, Top Ten Egyptian Relieves,
  4. Painting of Ra

           Ra was the ancient Egyptian solar deity. By the Fifth Dynasty (2494 to 2345 BC) he had become a major god in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the midday sun. The meaning of the name is uncertain, but it is thought that if not a word for ‘sun’ it may be a variant of or linked to words meaning ‘creative power’ and ‘creator.’ The major cult center of Ra was Heliopolis (called Iunu, “Place of Pillars,” in Egyptian), where he was identified with the local sun-god Atum. Through Atum, or as Atum-Ra he was also seen as the first being and the originator of the Ennead, consisting of Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, Osiris, Set, Isis and Nephthys. In later Egyptian dynastic times, Ra was merged with the god Horus, as Re-Horakhty (“Ra, who is Horus of the Two Horizons”). He was believed to rule in all parts of the created world the sky, the earth, and the underworld. He was associated with the falcon or hawk. When in the New Kingdom the god Amun rose to prominence he was fused with Ra as Amun-Ra. During the Amarna Period, Akhenaten suppressed the cult of Ra in favour of another solar deity, the Aten, the deified solar disc, but after the death of Akhenaten the cult of Ra was restored. The cult of the Mnevis bull, an embodiment of Ra, had its centre in Heliopolis and there was a formal burial ground for the sacrificed bulls north of the city. All forms of life were believed to have been created by Ra, who called each of them into existence by speaking their secret names. Alternatively humans were created from Ra’s tears and sweat, hence the Egyptians call themselves the “Cattle of Ra.” In the myth of the Celestial Cow it is recounted how mankind plotted against Ra and how he sent his eye as the goddess Sekhmet to punish them. When she became bloodthirsty she was pacified by mixing beer with red dye.
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Gods,
  5. The Nameer Palette (3,000 BC)

           The Narmer Palette is a ceremonial palette depicting a pair of long-necked cats being held on leashes on one side, and the Pharoah Menes on the other. It was found at Hieraconpolis and dates to the Early Dynastic Period during the 1st Dynasty. The piece, which is made of schist stone, currently resides in the Egyptian National Museum, Cairo.
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  6. Sethau Relief (2,700 BC)

           This relief was created during either the late Early Dynastic Period or early Old Kingdom. It has been speculated that this was a section of a false door for Sethau.
    Links: Relieves and Petroglyphs, Top Ten African Relieves, Top Ten Egyptian Relieves,
  7. Ninetjer Statuette

    Description:
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  8. Egyptian Wine Jar Fragments

            Na’rmer also made his appearance at Umm el-Ka’ab (Qa’ab) at Abydos, together with the other early dynastic rulers (where their tombs are located). The only other remains of him are votive offerings found in the temple of Hierakonpolis. However as a side note, it seems that Narmer’s name was recently discovered incised on a piece of an imported Egyptian wine jar in the Nahal Tillah region of southern Israel by the UCSD archaeological research expedition.
    Links:
  9. King Menes Statue Head

           King Menes is believed by some scholars to be the first king of a unified Egypt and…
    Links: Top 100 Busts, http://www.ancient-egypt-online.com/ancient-egyptian-pharaohs.html,
  10. Hieroglyphics

    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Examples of Ancient Writing,
  11. Links: Artifacts, Top 100 African Artifacts, Top 100 Egyptian Artifacts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Dynastic_Period_of_Egypt, http://www.crystalinks.com/dynasty2.html,

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