MemphisThe king of Upper Egypt around 3100 BCE was named Menes. Menes (also known as Narmer, though there are those who think the two names mean two men -surprise!) is credited with founding Dynasty I by violently uniting Upper and Lower Egypt. He established his capital at Menufer (Greek: Memphis) at the border between the Two Lands. The principal evidence for that event is the Narmer Palette, discovered in 1898 by J.E. Quibell and now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. (The image seen here on the palette unfortunately is not that of Narmer nor that of Ptah, the creator god worshipped at Memphis, but of your hapless photographer.) Click here for drawings of both sides of the palette.
A note about dynasties: The division of Egyptian rulers into dynasties was begun by an Egyptian priest, Manetho, who compiled the list of thirty dynasties (now thirty-two, including the Roman period) in Greek, most likely for Ptolemy I (305-282). Manetho's list remains the basis for identifying the relation of the various ancient kings to one another, though much refinement of the list has resulted from archaeological and literary research during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
To Introduction/Map To Saqqara