When us think of ancient Egypt, pyramids and also pharaohs are more than likely the an initial thing to pertained to mind. Possibly we instead imagine the descent right into Tutankhamun’s treasure-filled tomb, or a mummified body, still wrapped in class of linen bandages inside its sarcophagus. The Nile gives life to the desert, flooding yearly (at least until the construction of the dams in the 20th century) and providing its abundant silts to one of the many productive farming regions in the world.


*
A smiting step from the first Dynasty, about 3000 BC.

You are watching: Egypt before the pharaohs


Compare that to this one, native the Nineteenth Dynasty, about 1700 year later:


*
Ivory combs, c. 3900-3500 BC.

Combs issue a an excellent deal if your hair is a way of showing who you are and also who friend belong with. This emphasis on the body ongoing all the way up right into the historical period. Beliefs about it, and why it mattered for this reason much, to be tied into the eventual advancement of mummification and all the ideas that went in addition to that.

The second vital holdover native this earlier duration was the importance of burials and funerary monuments. If you a herder who moves from pasture to pasture, your home isn’t permanent, but your interment place is. Cemeteries, fairly than settlements, to be the permanent attributes on the landscape of the Nile valley in this period. Cities of the dead come long prior to cities the the living, and also the Egyptians never forgot the focus they placed on where and how the dead to be treated. Knowingly mummification, because that example, could have started as beforehand as 3600 BC, four or five centuries prior to kings flourished in uniting Egypt.


*

These things weren’t distinctive to what later came to be Egypt, though. Castle were simply general characteristics of societies in the Nile Valley, extending from the fringes of the Nile Delta in the north much into contemporary Sudan in the south. The world of the Delta, wha later came to be known as lower Egypt, had actually a far different lifestyle. There to be no such thing as “Egypt,” also if some aspects of this earlier society embedded themselves in what became characteristically Egyptian.

So these were the foundations of old Egyptian society, and they predated also the earliest kings. Yet queens did at some point rise, and so too did the pyramids. That’s a story because that later.

See more: A Motor Neuron And All Of The Skeletal Muscle Fibers It Stimulates Are Termed A ________.

If girlfriend think this stuff is cool, check out today’s illustration of Tides of History. Ns cover Egypt before the pharaohs in much greater detail.