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9881Narmer (never mind boomerangs)

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  • David Lorton
    Feb 11, 2009
      Some years ago, I published a brief communication on the problem of the first king of Dynasty 1 in _Varia Aegyptiaca_:

      “Why ‘Menes’?” VA 3 (1987) 33-38

      What I was trying to deal with in the article was the problem of what caused Egyptians of the New Kingdom (when we first encounter the name Men (Greek Menes) to look back and pick a particular monarch as the first king of the first historical dynasty. In the course of the discussion, I sided with Emery in picking Aha rather than Narmer as the king more likely to have becoe the legendary Menes, and against Uphill, who was willing to view Narmer as the founder of Memphis, on a basis of a few portable objects that could have been brought to the north at any time, and not necessarily in connection with the founding of that city.

      Later, however, German scholars excavating at Abydos discovered Archaic Period pots (or potsherds, I don't recollect which) inscribed with a list of kings, beginning with Narmer. From this evidence, it can be inferred that at that early date, Egyptians regarded Narmer as the founder of their royal line.

      This new evidence obviously played havoc with the thrust of my argument.

      In any event, there's no point trying to comment on this matter without taking into account the results of the German excavations.

      David Lorton

      -----Original Message-----
      >From: Brian Colless <briancolless@...>
      >Sent: Feb 11, 2009 7:11 AM
      >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Boomerangs in Ancient Egypt & Narmer
      >On 10/02/2009, at 5:31 AM, Trudy Kawami wrote:
      >> Are you talking about the Horus on the obverse? He holds a tether to
      >> the
      >> nose of the Delta rebel.
      >You are right, Trudy.
      >I have always seen it as cord, until this idea was put into my head
      >Once again I have been prompted to put my own little piece about the
      >palette on the internet, in the ancient Egypt section of
      >It ends thus (with an idea that came into my head about MENES):
      >Was Narmer the King Menes who (according to the priests of Memphis, as
      >reported by the Greek historian Herodotos, 5th C. B.C.E.) was the
      >first king of Egypt and the founder of Memphis.
      >Here is a thought I have had: If we read the chisel sign in the name
      >"catfish chisel" (nar mer) not as mer but as menh (menkh) "chisel",
      >and note that the Greeks used to omit h (kh) in such foreign (Hebrew)
      >names as Menahem (Greek Menaem) and Nehemyah (Greek Neemia), then
      >Greek Menes could be Egyptian Menkh, and this palette could be the
      >record of the founding of the First Dynasty of United Egypt.
      >However, it should be noted that there is another candidate with a
      >claim to be the legendary King Menes. An ivory label found at Naqada
      >(near Thebes) has a sign men beside the name 'Aha, thought to be the
      >successor of Narmer. No tomb has been found for King Narmer at Saqqara
      >(the royal burial place near Memphis) ; the oldest-known tomb there
      >belongs to 'Aha. Was Narmer only the forerunner of 'Aha, and 'Aha the
      >builder of Memphis and the founder of the First Dynasty (around 3000
      >Your other question:
      >Is the throw-stick ever shown in a "combat" rather than hunting scene
      >(usually the fowling in the marshes motif)?
      >I don't know (but apparently not), and I think the Australian
      >boomerang was used for hunting animals for food, and not for fighting.
      >Brian Colless
      >Massey U, NZ
      >> Just curious.