Born: c. 3180 BC
Died: c. 3120 BC
Location of death: Egypt
Cause of death: unspecified
Race or Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: Ancient Egypt
Executive summary: First of the Egyptian Pharaohs
About thirty-one centuries before Christ, Narmer ruled Upper (Southern) Egypt, and took Lower (Northern) Egypt in battle. He was not the first to attempt unifying Egypt, but he was the first to accomplish it, bringing together what had previously been two separate tribes. His new nation was, in its time, the world's largest land area ruled by a single person. His name translates as "The Striking Catfish", and he was described as "the King of Both Lands and Bearer of Both Crowns".
There were eventually some thirty dynasties of ancient Egypt, and numerous Pharaohs better remembered and more accomplished than Narmer, but arguably, his rule marked the beginning of written history and centralized government. He is considered the founder of Memphis, the Egyptian capital on the west bank of the Nile, about twelve miles south of present-day Cairo.
Most of the modern knowledge of Narmer was derived from the Narmer Palette, discovered at Hierakonpolis in 1897 by British archeologists James Quibell and Frederick Green. While most Egyptologists view Narmer as the first Pharaoh of unified Egypt, the evidence is fragmentary and somewhat vague, and some experts have argued for alternate theories. Among these is the idea that Narmer was more the last of the pre-dynastic kings than the first of the Pharaohs; that he was the mythical Menes who dammed the southern Nile River; that he may have been the same person as Serket the Scorpion King of Upper Egypt (generally considered the last pre-unification king); that he was Aha (more often considered to be Narmer's son and successor); or that he never existed at all, but is instead a composite of several military and mythical figures.
Wife: Nithotep (Queen)
Son: Hor-Aha (successor Pharaoh)
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