National Geographic: Egypt - Quest for Eternity


marshes of the Delta

was the symbol of Lower Egypt

lmmortalized on this table of slate

a king known as Narmer wears the

high-domed crown

of Upper Egypt on one side

the low-curled crown of Lower Egypt

on the other

It commemorates his unification

of the two lands

to create the nation of Egypt

in 3100 B.c.

From that time, Egyptian kings

would wear both crowns

as rulers of the two kingdoms of

Upper and Lower Egypt

The two lands have remained linked

from Narmer's time to the present

Isolated from its neighbors

protected by mountains, desert,

and sea

the Nile Valley was an ideal crucible

in which a civilization could begin

Traces of those beginnings can be

found in the city of Nekhen

The site, still populated today

holds evidence of habitation

stretching back 6,000 years

since 1967

Dr. Walter Fairservis of Vassar college

and the American museum of

Natural History

has been excavating here

in his continuing search for

the roots of civilization

It was here, just 90 years ago

that the Narmer tablet was discovered

It was here, 50 centuries before

that king Narmer established

the capital

of the newly unified nation

Here we have the walls of a princely complex

that belonged to a king who lived

here 5,000 years ago

the very beginning of Egypt's


He was a great king, a powerful monarch

And we know from the size of

the rooms

and the way things are located

that he was a very rich man

a very wealthy person

We know he had storerooms full of grain

We know that he had perhaps

a great hoard of copper

and many other things of that order

And yet, oddly enough,

this powerful monarch

he left the place

He abandoned it

And that's part of the reason

we're exploring this area to

find out why

Why, at the very beginnings of

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