Bookmark and Share



1. The Grand Entry

2. A new type of temple

3. Great reliefs

4. Dark chambers

5. Osireion

6. Where Egypt began?


Open LookLex Encyclopaedia

Open the online Arabic language course

The place where Egypt began?

Tracing the origins of the first Egyptian civilizations allows for quite a bit of imagination. Building up to the unification of Egypt some 5,000 years ago, several settlements with each their culture and elite, emerged.
The great question is, from where did the first royal elite emerge, who won the battle over power? Indications for this are found with the first royal burial grounds. The winning royal elites would naturally relocate, if necessary, to the the largest settlements, ot the place where national control was easiest carried out. But they could, as mentioned, well originate somewhere else.
In this resepct, Saqqara and Abydos are the two main contenders for the beginning of Egyptian culture and civilization. For long Saqqara was identified as having the earliest royal tombs, but finds in 1991 of royal solar boats at Abydos have brought forth the theory that Abydos predates Saqqara.
The persistent popularity of Abydos through the ages is both an argument for this, as well as a counter-argument. The counter-argument is that being placed out of any imperial capital, Abydos may well have been a cultic centre with unifying qualities between Lower and Upper Egypt, the two countries that never really merged their identities.

By Tore Kjeilen