Who was the First King of Egypt?



According to Egyptian legend the first king of united Egypt was called Meni, whom the Greeks called Menes. We know that around 3100BC the two kingdoms of Egypt, Upper and Lower, became one. The main evidence of this is from the Narmer Palette, a stone slab engraved with the name of King Narmer (see picture right).


Narmer is shown with the white crown of Upper Egypt on one side of the palette, and with the red crown of Lower Egypt on the other. This tells us he was king of Upper and Lower Egypt.


At the top of the palette we see his name, a mudfish on top of a chisel, which is pronounced Narmer. But was he definitely the first king?


There is no archaeological evidence for Menes, and he may have been the same person as Narmer.

However, there is a macehead (a mace is a weapon) which comes from just before the time of Narmer, with an engraving of a king we call Scorpion. This macehead shows Scorpion wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt. This might mean he was king only of Upper Egypt, before the two lands were united.

But if the other side of the macehead (now damaged) showed him with the red crown, then he might have been the first king of Egypt. In the picture to the right you can see his name, a picture of a scorpion, in front of his face.

By the way, the film 'The Scorpion King' was based on this mysterious king.