Dynasties of Ancient Egypt
Predynastic Period
Protodynastic Period
Early Dynastic Period
1st 2nd
Old Kingdom
3rd 4th 5th 6th
First Intermediate Period
7th 8th 9th 10th
11th (Thebes only)
Middle Kingdom
11th (All Egypt)
12th 13th 14th
Second Intermediate Period
15th 16th 17th
New Kingdom
18th 19th 20th
Third Intermediate Period
21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th
Late Period
26th 27th 28th
29th 30th 31st
Graeco-Roman Period
Alexander the Great
Ptolemaic Dynasty

The Archaic or Early Dynastic Period of Egypt is taken to include the First Dynasty and Second Dynasty, lasting from 2920 BC, following the Protodynastic Period, until 2575 BC, or the beginning of the Old Kingdom. Some Egyptologists also include the Third Dynasty.

According to Manetho, the first king was Menes. However, the earliest recorded king of the First Dynasty was Hor-Aha, and the first king to claim to have united the two lands was Narmer (the final king of the Protodynastic Period. His name is known because it is written on a votive palette[1] used for grinding minerals for kohl, used by ancient Egyptians to outline the eyes. Funeral practices for the peasants would have been the same as in predynastic times, but the rich demanded something more. Thus, the Egyptians began construction of the Mastabas.

Prior to the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt in circa 3100 BC, the land was settled with autonomous villages. With the first dynasties, 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.

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