The Early Dynastic or Archaic Period (3100-2686BC)
This period is shrouded in mythology. Little is known of Menes and his descendants outside of their divine ancestry and that they developed a complex social system, patronized the arts and constructed temples and many public buildings.
|The foundation of Memphis, the world's
first imperial city, is attributed to Menes. From Memphis the third and fifth
kings of the First Dynasty, which extended from 3100 to 2890BC set out to
conquer the Sinai. During the First Dynasty culture became increasingly
refined. The royal burial grounds at Saqqara and Abydos became sites of highly
The Second Dynasty lasting from 2980 to 2686BC was characterized by regional disputes and a decentralization of Pharaonic authority, a process that was only temporarily halted by the Pharaoh Raneb, also called
Hotepsekhemwy. These regional contentions
were very likely the outcome of the unresolved conflict between the two deities
Horus in the south and Seth in the Delta. Theistic rivalry seems to have been
resolved by Khasekhem, the last Pharaoh of the Second Dynasty .
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