Ancient Egypt: Dynasty Zero by Francesco Raffaele


Clicking on the Notes-link you will have the Main text in a Window and the Notes in  another one (so you can more easily pass from text to notes)
- Part I - Introduction
--------- Notes pt.1

- Part II - DYNASTY 0: The Kings
--- Notes pt.2

- Essential Bibliography

- Appendix I - Table of Royal Names of Naqada IIIB

- Appendix II - On the terms "Dynasty 0" and "Dynasty 00"

- Part III - DYNASTY 0: Some Researches
(next months)

- Earlier Period kings (Naqada IIC-IIIA2) "Dynasty 00"

- Dynasty 0 Objects: galleries 7.1 - 2.0

- Download my article: "Dynasty 0", in: AH 17, (S. Bickel - A- Loprieno eds.), 2003, p. 99-141 [PDF here]
(This article is a larger, different version than the one of the present page).

Chronological table of "Dynasty 0" (Naqada IIIB) F. Raffaele in: AegHelv 17, 2003

Please, wait some seconds (very long page, many images) ...


Francesco Raffaele - I.U.O. Napoli

Part I - Introduction

The general picture we have of the Egyptian Late Predynastic period and early state is profoundly changing in the last decades.
Modern archaeological campaigns, re-examination of scarcely published old excavations, fresh new theoretical and methodological approaches to old and new problems, are quickly transforming the way in which we interpret this important stage of the ancient Egyptian history and its material remains.
An outstanding step of renewal in the Egyptological studies has been accomplished under the influence, since the '70s, of anthropological- formation scholars like B. Trigger and M. Hoffman; Egyptologists have begun to accept and adopt a real multidisciplinary approach in their researches as well.

Especially in the first half of the 20th century the 'lack of history' characterizing the period in object, was a main factor leading very learned scholars to try to extract historical events from myths, iconography and royal symbolism.
K. Sethe arrived to reconstruct two predynastic stages of the process of expansion of the Lower Egyptians southwards and then of the Upper Egyptians northwards, through sparse allusions in later myths and the order of importance of some hieroglyphs of the royal titulary.

In these years one of the mostly debated aspects of Egyptian Late Predynastic studies concerns the State formation: infact we are still very uncertain about the causes and the modalities of its origin and development.
As we will see below there must have been a combination of different factors to start the process of state formation; indeed the attempt to gain the control of Palestinian and Nubian trade routes seems a determining element.

Modern Egyptologist are inclined to give more weight to the archaeological data than to representations imbued of ideology;
and many of the 'dogmas' of the past are falling down: for example, the Narmer palette, once considered one of the key sources attesting the 'Unification' of Upper and Lower Egypt by this king, is now almost completely dismissed as a proof for such an event, and tendencially removed from discussions about Unification.
Scholars now tend to look at this important object as a memorial of a military victory [1] or as a ritual object reinforcing the role of the king through the depiction of a scene (not necessarily happened in Narmer's reign) which was part of an already well formed iconography and ideology of kingship[2].

The Unification is still a recurrent argument in the discussions on the origin and evolution of the Egyptian state.
There is a whole series of so called "monuments of the unification" [3]; palettes, maceheads, other types of decorated objects, but also later-dated documents like Royal Annals, Kings-lists and traditions or quasi-legends preserved by Greek - Roman historians.
We have no explicit source of late predynastic date which mentions the 'Uniting the two Lands' ('Sma Tawy') in the same terms as it appears in Khasekhemwy's reign[4]; the Vth Dynasty Annals report a 'Sma Tawy' ceremony at the beginning of each king's reign, since those of the Ist Dynasty (Djer).
The Palermo stone has preserved, in the first line, some Lower Egyptian kings' names[5], while on the Cairo 1 fragment both Lower Egyptian and Upper Egyptian Kings were listed (although their names are lost); it's possible that the left hand end of the first line of the original monument did report 'Double Crown Kings', thus sovereigns already at the head of a united state[6].
The Turin Canon gives an important list of the kings of Egypt [7]; this papyrus was written during the reign of Ramses II. Contrarily to the funerary Kings lists like those found at Abydos and Saqqara (same period) the papyrus of Turin also includes 'pre-menite' sovereigns like the 'Followers of Horus' and, before them, a number of gods each one reigning in turn for lengthy periods of time since the creation (cfr. Hinduism Yuga, Near Eastern myths, some Maya long counts).
Herodotus was the first one to record the Unification of the two lands of Egypt; in the past some Egyptologists have pushed as far as to propose that this concept did not reflect Egyptian history but it could have been instead an effect of the well known and recurrent dualism of ancient Egyptian ideology tending to conceive the One as union of two opposites.

Some iconographic motives recurring in the predynastic Egyptian 'art' since the Naqada IIc period are assumed to have been introduced through various kinds of contacts with Near Eastern contemporary cultures.
The Master of the Beasts, an hero depicted frontally while grasping with his hands two rampant lions beside him, surely had a precise symbolical meaning. Certainly the Egyptians were initially inspired by the iconography of late Uruk and Elamite glyptic - cylinder seals, which they knew through long distance commercial contacts; but they re-elaborated and manipulated these visual metaphors according to their own ideology: later in Naqada III another similar motif, that of the two 'serpopards' with their long necks held with ropes, recurs in the central register of the Narmer palette obverse. It has been advanced that this would have the same value as the later fusion of the Upper and Lower Egyptian heraldic plants which symbolized the Union of the two Lands.
Indeed, as we have seen, Narmer was probably ritually, magically and symbolically enhancing his role through the depiction of a military victory and subsequent ceremonial of sacrifice of the defeated[8].
The described motives abruptly ceased to be represented with the end of the Dynasty 0; on the other hand a further old motif, the king smashing his enemies' heads by a mace, first attested in middle-late Naqada II (c. 300 years before Narmer) did remain as one of the major symbols of the violent aspect of the Egyptian kingship in its role of annihilator of the forces of chaos which constantly menace the order the king must grant[9]; but we generally don't use to attribute to each depiction of a pharaoh smiting enemies a value of chronicle of a real victory he would have obtained.

It's impossible here to even only list the whole series of attributes, emblems and rituals of the early sovereigns which they had manifestly inherited from the middle Naqada or older chiefs[10]. These 'paraphernalia', which continued to accompain the pharaohs for the following 3000 years, are thus part of an ideology of power which had already begun to form in the predynastic period. Although, as we have shown, some aspects of the predynastic material and ideological culture were abandoned, many others were maintained forming the base of the Ancient Egyptian civilization and the symbols of a successful ruling elite.
This powerful state, which appeared in the past (for the scanty evidence available) as if come out of the nothingness, has had a long period of formation; Cheops and the Great Pyramid are not a starting point in Egyptian history, but the result and the apex of nearly one millenium of evolution, half of which was accomplished before the dynastic period.

Therefore, as a result of the actual knowledge, we are inclined to stress the points of continuity between the predynastic and dynastic periods rather then the sudden change between them, which was only a distorted view depending on the scarcity of data available in the past for the oldest phases of this culture.
The German archaeologist Werner Kaiser is an outstanding figure of modern Egyptology; still young in 1957 he re-elaborated Petrie's Sequence Dating chronology devising the subdivision into stufen: Naqada I, II and III with 11 and later 14 sub-phases; the system has carried on for forty years and has only recently undergone some corrections[11].
In 1964 Kaiser proposed, in an important article, that the political unification of Egypt had to be happened some generations before Narmer [12]; moreover the study of the objects commonly found in cemeteries, particularly pottery, had already shown that well before this political unification, a 'cultural unification' had affected and amalgamated customs and traditions of the peoples living along the Nile valley. These processes must have been both prolonged ones, not lasting the time span of only one or two generations.

As early as the Badarian and Naqada I the cemeteries denote the beginning of social stratification [13].
The increasingly larger funerary offerings in certain tombs, the same presence of larger tombs and wealthy burials for children, are all the expressions of two important factors: 1) diffused specifical mortuary beliefs; 2) the formation of a ruling class which did not share anymore the same destiny in life and death as the common people. The small egalitarian communities are becoming large low-density farming villages[14].

Initially these elites lived in small villages sparsely scattered along the Nile valley; this was not very densely populated at that time; but the climatic conditions were no more favourable for a life far from the river, hence the small population had begun to concentrate near the Nile; the agricolture and breeding, which mean better life conditions and increase in the population, were the main sources of food, but also hunt and fishing were practiced (Badarian, Naqada I).
Once a group of individuals took the leadership of a larger population (for the charisma, success in battle, superstition, inclination to the power or other attributes proper of their leader), this class became the ruling one, the others the ruled.
The rulers exploited the lower classes who were forced to produce for them; the increasing population means larger needs of lands for cultivation and breeding; specialization of crafts requires that agricolture sustains a broader part of population; not only the rulers and their families, but also those who work for them, producing objects, building their houses, procuring them particular materials, defending them from inner and outer dangers. The storage of large quantities of products, made these centers an easy and fat prey for ravagers; but, above all, other similar centers were contemporarily growing by the same 'multiplicatory effect' of various causes interplaying with each other.
The most powerful centers of the late Naqada I period were those controlling the Thinis-Abydos region, Naqada (Nwbt - Ombos and Ballas) and Hierakonpolis (Nekhen); before Naqada II there likely still existed at least two more independent key- areas at Abadiya (on Qena bend, between the Abydos and Naqada region, thus Hu, Abadiya, Dendera; cfr. part II note 36) and in the south at Gebelein, between the Naqada and Hierakonpolis regions.

Naqada II-III model town, after Williams, 1994 op.cit. in n. 15

These sites, possibly founded on old islands of the Nile (flowing within a narrower course than before), began to be fortified with massive surrounding walls; the wood palisades which must have protected the older villages from the beasts, were no longer sufficient for these centers of the Naqada II period; a clay model of fortification walls has been found at Abadiya [15].
Kemp efficaciously described this stage of conflicts and competition in terms of many 'Monopoly' games simultaneously played along the Nile: a combination of chances (local factors, enviroment, gold and other resources, luxury-goods trade, 'military' victories) and personal decisions resulted in the growth of fewer and fewer centers which became more and more important and wide by conquering the territory of the neighbouring city-states.

The scenario at the end of Naqada II - beginning of Naqada III is infact that of few regional states, each one controlling a long sector of Nile valley for many kilometers[16]. These emerging polities were ruled by authoritative chiefs who were continuously strenghtening their position through warfare, monopoly of long distance trade, control of important resources of their territory, and also elaborating a true ideology which is evident in the objects their craftsmen produced ('powerfacts'), the first signs of display and 'conspicuous consumption' [17]. By this time, in Upper Egypt, only the 3 principal polities centered in Abydos, Naqada and Hierakonpolis continued to flourish; Abadiya and Gebelein had already lost their importance. (MAP)

The cemeteries of Naqada, probably the largest center in the Naqada II (Perie's Gerzean) period, show a rather rapid decline in wealth, size and number of tombs during the following period Naqada III; it could be assumed that this site was being eclipsed by the emerging rulers of the Thinite region, buried in Abydos cemetery U [18]; the Thinis/Abydos regional state, alike the southern one with capital in Hierakonpolis (Nekhen), lasted since the dawn of the dynastic period and probably struggled up to that time for the 'scepter of Egypt'; an alternative theory, stressing the importance of trade, would account for the decline of important centers of the past owing to the loss of their commercial importance; the Hierakonpolis leaders might have based their power on the intermediation in long distance trades between northern centers and the Lower and Upper Nubia; if the Thinite had begun to directly entertain commercial relations with the A-Group cultures of Seyala and Qustul [19] by-passing HK with the use of the Western Desert roads [20], the decline of centers like Nekhen (as perhaps Nwbt - Naqada before), would find a good explanation without recurring to military conflicts. In turn the same A-Group rapidly rapidly disappeared with the beginning of the First Dynasty, when the Egyptian kings military expeditions made them capable to directly exploit the Nubian territories.

Indeed it's ascertained that the Thinite kings were the founders of the Ist Dynasty; the commercial contacts that had spread the Upper Egyptian culture in the north since mid- Naqada II probably (but by no means certainly) drove the main U.E. city states to found new centers in the northern lands; C. Kohler [21] has recently pointed out two important factors of this process: Von der Way's 'cultural unification' of Egypt did happen through peaceful interactions (trade contacts) between the Upper Egyptian Naqada Culture and the Lower Egyptian 'Maadi-Buto'; the predynastic Middle Egypt, from Badari to the Gerzah and Tarkhan areas, is now the least known region of Egypt: Kohler thinks there could have been another regional polity, the Badarian facies, in this area, which favoured the northwards expansion of the Naqada culture; certainly this latter had reached the Gerzeh - Tarkhan region (i.e. cemeteries of Gerzeh and, later, Abusir el Meleq and Tarkhan) in early Naqada II, and its superimposition in Buto Layer III, marking the beginning of its influence in the Delta, coincides with Naqada IId2-IIIa1. In this period the local (Maadi-Buto) ceramic types are substituted by a production in the distinctive forms of the Naqadan jars, and a Naqada and Near Eastern influenced mudbrick architecture makes its first appearance here in the same period.

Later the earliest attestations of royal serekhs at Tarkhan (Petrie's S.D. 77-80 = Naqada IIIB-C1) and Helwan (Abydos Horus Ka) seem to show that the Upper Egyptians were now moving themselves, not only their products and culture, to the North.
The Memphite region was a fundamental strategic place: like the U.E. sites it was both very close to important resources and dominating the access to trade routes. Maadi-Buto sites all through the Delta had enjoyed commercial relations with the Palestine and other Canaanite city-states at least since early Naqada; through those relations foreign pottery reached Abydos where it has been aboundantly found in the cemetery U.
In the same way as with Nubia and A-Group cultures in the south, the Thinite rulers shifted their interests towards the northern rich commercial network with Palestine and Syria.
We have said that Naqada culture spread into the Delta at the end of the phase II (d2); the following period signs a progressive uniformation of the whole Egypt into one and the same civilization; but the political uniformity and the events of the phase III, remain obscure: there is not a marked funerary evidence of diffuse warfare and similar tensions; neither the Delta sites show any kind of distructional layers.
Maadi-Buto peoples were peaceful ones, living of their lands products and of trades; instead the southern 'Naqadians' are supposed to have been conquerors which had become few local entities after reciprocal annihilation and consequent enlargement of the strongest proto-states[22]; but if so, where are the proofs of their violent subjugation of the Lower Egyptian region ? We' ll examine these and other arguments in the next part, dedicated to Naqada III and the so called Dynasty 0.


Notes of Part I
[0] This part and the following ones form the core of two articles on Dynasty 0 I have submitted for a review and a concourse.
[1] Victory over the Libyans (A. Schulman, B.E.S. 11, 1992) but also other peoples have been proposed as Asiatics (Yadin, I.E.J. 5, 1ff; W.S. Smith, B.M.F.A. 65, 1967 p. 74ff, asiatic bedouins of the N.E. frontier of Egypt) and Nubians (?) (W.A. Fairservis jr., J.A.R.C.E. 28, 1991 p.1-20; ib. p. 20: "... a memorial to Djbwty Ankh, an officer of Narmer's military forces who participated in the conquest of both banks of the Nile Valley south of Edfu -or Nekhen- and into Northern Nubia").
[2] J. Baines in O' Connor - Silverman eds. Ancient Egyptian Kingship 1995; but note that a recently found ivory label of Narmer (M.D.A.I.K. 54, 1998 p. 139) depicts the same 'eponymous event'. Also cfr. part II n. 16.
[3] J. Monnet Saleh in B.I.F.A.O. 86, 1986 and 90, 1990; H. Kantor, J.N.E.S. 3,1944 p. 110-136+ fig.; E. Baumgartel, The Cultures of Prehistoric Egypt II, 1960; H. Asselberghs, Chaos en Beheersing: Documenten uit Aeneolitisch Egypte, 1961.
[4] This king had succeeded, at the end of the Second Dynasty, in reuniting Egypt after a serious crisis which had probably resulted in two contemporary ruling powers, one in the Memphite area, the other one in the Abydos or Hierakonpolis region.
The formula/ceremony "Sma Shema / Ta-Mhw" recurs during the First Dynasty on Adjib's (and perhaps also on Hor-Aha's) inscribed stone vessels (Pyr Deg IV, nr. 33) and on an important ivory label of Semerkhet (from Qaa's tomb) cf. MDAIK 52, 1995, pl. 14d (lower-right part); this latter has been uncorrectly interpreted by Dreyer as a tax indication (see ibid., p. 73-74).
[5] Below their names the hieroglyph of the sitting king with the Red Crown, later symbol of Lower Egypt. Of seven names fully preserved and readable, not one has been found in other contexts (...pu, Ska, Hayw, Tyw, Tjesh, NHb, Wadj?, Mekh, ..a).
[6] The Cairo 1 fragment, for internal reasons, must be surely placed on the left of the Palermo, i.e. after it (this piece is read from right to left), at 10 year-compartments of distance (in line 2). This object probably does not belong to the same original slab as the Palermo (slight differences in the stone thickness and in the size of the year- compartments) but this doesn't affect the discussion. The major reconstructions of the original slab and the reciprocal placement of the fragments were attempted by L. Borchardt, W. Kaiser (Z.A.S. 86, 1961, 39ff), W. Barta (Z.A.S. 108, 1981, 11ff), W. Helck (M.D.A.I.K. 30, 1974, 31ff; id., Untersuchungen zur Thinitenzeit, 1987). All agree in that the line 2 must have begun with Aha's reign (= "Menes" in their view): henceforth each king's reign is divided in rectangular compartments citing the most important events and the Nile level of every single regnal year; therefore Narmer should have been at the end of line 1 which, as we have said, only enumerates a number of earlier and nearly forgotten (mythical ?) kings.
[7] The Greek historian Manetho (IIIrd century B.C.) who introduced the subdivision of the Ancient Egyptian history into dynasties, likely used a source like the Turin Canon to compile his list; but this latter, except for some intervals giving subtotals of years, is a continuous list of kings names, each with his reign duration and with no grouping into 'dynasties'.
[8] Later pharaohs used to copy the representations of their predecessors' military exploits; Schulman (op.cit.) has shown that the names of the sons of the defeated Libyan chief , Wni and Wsa, are the same in the Abusir reliefs of Sahura and Neferirkara, in the Saqqara reliefs of Pepi I and II and in those of Taharka at Kawa; these belonged respectively to the Vth, VIth and XXVth dynasty! And curiously the two dead prisoners in the bottom register of the Narmer palette reverse, are labelled with hieroglyphs which have phonetical value 'Wnt' and 'Sa', recalling the cited Wni and Wsa. (Cfr. Smith, B.M.F.A. 65, 1967, 76).
[9] S. Hall, The Pharaoh Smites his Enemies, 1986 (esp. p. 4-7).
[10] R. Fattovich, 'Elementi per una ricerca sulle origini della monarchia sacra Egiziana', Rivista Studi Orientali 45, 133-49 describes false tail, penis sheath, crowns, maces, reed, sceptres, ritual race, gazelle and hippopotamus hunt, and some further characters common to both predynastic and dynastic sovereigns. See also n. 17.
[11] W. Kaiser, Archaeologia Geographica 6, 1957, 69-77; id., M.D.A.I.K. 47, 1991; S. Hendrickx, in A.J. Spencer ed. 'Aspects of Early Egypt', 1996; id., Archéo-Nil 9, 1999 p. 13ff.
[12] W. Kaiser, Z.A.S. 91, 1964 p. 86-125.
[13] K. Bard, From Early farmers to pharaohs. Mortuary evidence ... 1994.
[14] For some models of State formation cfr. B.J. Kemp, Ancient Egypt. Anathomy of a Civilization, 1989; M. Hoffman et al., A Model of Urban Development..., J.A.R.C.E. 23, 1986, p.75ff.; C. Kohler, G.M. 147, 1995, 79ff. (see below).
[15] B. Williams,' Security and the problem of the city in the Naqada period' in P. Silverman ed. 'For his Ka' 1994 p. 271-83
[16] C. Kohler, G.M. 147, 1995 p. 79 ff; T.A.H. Wilkinson, M.D.A.I.K. 56. 2000 p. 376-94, fig. 1 p. 379.
[17] K. Bard, 'Toward an Interpretation of the Role of Ideology in the Evolution of complex Society in Egypt' J.A.A. 11 (1) 1992 p. 1-24; B. Trigger, 'Monumental Architecture, a thermodynamic explanation ...' W.A. 22.2, 1990 p. 119 ff.
[18] T.A.H. Wilkinson, M.D.A.I.K. 56. 2000 p. 377-95; id. State Formation in Egypt, 1996.
But note that (as my friend John Degreef justly comments) the general mortuary evidence used as a basis to reconstruct 'events' could be deceiving: the abandonment of a burial ground might have completely different reasons than the political or economical decline of the center which the cemetery served.
[19] The cemeteries 137 at Seyala and L at Qustul have yielded some objects of Upper Egyptian culture inspiration; a row of animals on a gold mace-handle from 137.1 and the important incense burner from L24 (with barks processions leading a ruler with White Crown, Rosette and falcon topped anonymous serekh to a palace facade structure) are dated early Naqada III; the excavator B. Williams hypothesized a Nubian influence or origin of some of the early Egyptian state iconographic traits; but this assumption, as that of the earliest Unification of Nubia than Egypt, was made some years before the most important findings of the German archaeologists in the Abydos cemetery U. (cfr. larger descriptions in part II and n. 62).
[20] For which there is recent evidence in Gebel Tjawty (and Wadi Qash) newly found serekhs and graffiti: cfr. Wilkinson, 'Early Dynastic Egypt' 1999; id. op.cit., 2000 p. 386.
[21] Kohler, op. cit. in n. 16.
[22] But we have already pointed also for them the importance of factors like trade and control of resources. (F.R.)

... wait few seconds more for pt. II ...


(NAQADA IIIb1,2 - early IIIc1)

When W.M.F. Petrie readily published his excavations in the cemetery B of Abydos, [1] it soon became clear to him that that some of the piece of evidence he, and E. Amelineau few years before, had found on that site, did belong to a very ancient period, one immediately preceeding the First Dynasty Horus Aha and the legendary Menes (who was then thought to have been buried in the Naqada "Tomb of Menes" discovered in 1897 by J. de Morgan) [2].
The term 'Dynasty 0', used by James E. Quibell to describe late predynastic materials he found at Hierakonpolis, was adopted by W.M. Flinders Petrie for rulers such as Ka-Ip, Ro, Zeser, Nar-Mer and Sma [3]; only more recently it has gained a general acceptance with its use by W. Kaiser [4].

Abydos Cemetery B (Dreyer et al. M.D.A.I.K.  46, 1990 fig. 1)

The Dynasty 0 rulers of Thinis/Abydos were buried in the cemetery B; its latest royal tomb was that of Aha (if we exclude Dreyer's attempt to attribute B40 to Athotis I); Djer started the cemetery commonly known as Umm el Qa'ab which became the burial place of all the other kings of the First Dynasty, queen Merneith, and the hundreds of retainers slain at their burial; after a period of disuse, kings Peribsen and Khasekhemwy of the late Second Dynasty also built their tombs on this sacred ground.
Cemetery B, the 'predecessor' of the Umm el Qaab, was in turn the continuation of an older necropolis, some steps to the north, i.e. the currently excavated cemetery U.
What had emerged after the work of the archaeologists was not the only clue suggesting the existence of a "Dynasty 0": Royal Annals, Turin Canon and later Greek-Latin sources [5], proved as well that many kings had reigned in Upper and Lower Egypt before the so called 'First Dynasty'.

It must be soon made a precisation: the terms 'Dynasty 0' and 'Dynasty 00' [6], were both cloned to account for newly found royal names and objects of older and older periods: those just mentioned found by Petrie and the more recent ones discovered by the German archaeologists directed by Gunter Dreyer (cfr. below); but the word 'dynasty' is here somewhat improperly used, because it is often no longer applied to indicate a same line of rulers of a certain site and of equal origin (like for the Manetho's dynasties). Dynasty 0 infact, not only includes the Abydos kings of the B cemetery who preceeded Aha, but also chiefs from entirely different ruling elites of other sites like Tarkhan or Hierakonpolis; they have in common only the same chronological collocation in Kaiser's stufe Naqada IIIb1-2. Similarily the tomb U-j king Scorpion I and his contemporaries of Naqada IIIa1-2 period, are to be considered Dynasty 00 kings within the same 'chronological acceptation' of the term [7].

In this survey on Dynasty 0 I' ll proceed in an inverse chronological order (but note that no fixed succession has been followed except for Iry Hor-Ka-Narmer; many of the following kings must have had contemporary reigns).
The predecessor of Hor Aha was ceratinly the famous NARMER. Since his discovery, a century ago, almost simultaneously at Hiraconpolis by Quibell and Green and at Abydos by Petrie, many more attestations of his name (especially by pottery incised serekhs) have been found in Upper and Lower Egypt, Western and Eastern Deserts and outside Egypt in Palestine.
Narmer is one of the few single individuals of the Egyptian history before the Fourth Dynasty on whom whole books might be written; the role of this sovereign, who can be both considered the last one of Predynastic and the first one of the Dynastic age, must have been a crucial one in the development of the early state.
Some uncertainties in his collocation in late Naqada IIIb2 or Naqada IIIc1, possibly also reflect either a long reign with important cultural transformations in act, or the fact that this figure fits equally well at the end of a period as at the beginning of a new one.
The long debated question of the identity of Menes is an argument which can hardly escape any discussion on such a subject: but it has been until recently treated by many scholars [8], thus I won't rehearse discussions already known and available elsewhere, because my aim here is to focus on the fresh new data and objectives, rather than to face over-speculated problems.

Aha Label from Naqada Mastaba (+ Abydos B15 fragment)

Suffice here to underline three points: 1) none of the 'proofs' for the identity of Menes with Narmer or Aha has revealed to be decisive out of any doubt: the so called 'tomb of Menes' a giant niched mastaba at Naqada probably built for the king's mother Neithhotep, produced an ivory label on which the 'Men' sign was below the shrine of the double goddesses, represented beside the serekh of Aha. The scholars advanced scores of theories on the meaning of this shrine[9], on the reading of the sign [10], and on the interpretation of the name Men (Menes) as that of Aha or Aha's dead father (Narmer) [11].
By the same way Helck's interpretation of the "Prinzenseal" of Narmer with rows of his serekh beside the men checkboard [12], has had, with the diffusion of this opinion in some articles of the Lexicon der Aegyptologie, a certain weight in the equation Aha - Menes. Another important factor is that Menes was later said to have been the foundator of Memphis; Narmer is indeed scarcely attested at Saqqara and Helwan [13], while Aha appears as the first ruler to have had a giant mastaba (S 3357) in North Saqqara (probably built for his highest official of the Memphite administration) with impressive funerary offerings [14].
2) I have mentioned [15] the modern interpretations of the Narmer palette and the fact that the Unification it was once thought to depict, seems to have happened well before Narmer's reign and lasted for more than a reign or a generation [16].
3) Despite frequent examples of misinterpretations of early dynastic writings (espec. kings' names) by later scribes, it is not easy to think that Menes (Meni in New Kingdom lists) ought to be considered an entirely mythical figure [17]; leaving aside the latest (and more corrupted) sources we must admit that the Ramses II period occurrance of Meni in the funerary king lists (Abydos) and Royal Canon of Turin [18] can't be overlooked, also given the general correspondence of the other names with Nebty names attested on Ist Dynasty objects. But this name strangely appears only with the 18th and 19th dynasty ! Furthermore on the Turin papyrus it directly follows the Shemsw Hor (which in turn come after the dynasties of gods) and is written twice: on the first of the two lines with a human determinative, and on the second one with the god determinative. I continue to prospect the alternative hypothesis that, whatever the meaning of the 'men' on the Princes-seals of Narmer and on the Naqada and Abydos Aha label, New Kingdom scribes or priests might have mistaken archaic documents which they surely knew or they could have created a mythical figure of the initiator of the Egyptian human kingship for religious and propaganda purposes, for the need to estabilish a precise point of departure of their successful kingship, state, tradition, culture[19].

In 1986 the German expedition re-excavating Umm el Qa'ab and the cemeteries B and U at Abydos, found an important seal impression with the Horus names of Narmer, Aha, Djer, Djet, Den and the king's mother Merneith; some years later a new example, again with the kings' names and the necropolis god Khentyamentiw was found containing all the names up to Qa'a, the last Thinite king of the Ist Dynasty (but now Merneith's was excluded).
On both the clay impressions the oldest king in the list was Narmer: a clear statement of the light in which he was in the middle and late First Dynasty! If a Menes did exist, in his quality of initiator of an epoch, he would have never been preceeded by another individual's name: thus Aha can't be considered Menes and, even if Aha's reign monuments at Saqqara, Abydos, Naqada are much more impressive than Narmer's ones, we can plainly believe that this depends on the fact that Aha enjoyed the wealthy state which his father (?) handed him down. As I' ve stated above, Narmer is much more attested in the whole country and abroad and his reign is marked by an evident evolution in various aspects of the culture of this growing civilization which appears to owe more to him than to Aha [20].

Hierakonpolis cylinder (Quibell, Hierakonpolis I, 1900 pl. 15.7) Ashmolean Mus. E3915
Narmer year-label

Many more objects bearing the name of Narmer are known: in the Hierakonpolis temple 'Main Deposit', together with the Great Palette and further older objects, it was also found a small decorated ivory cylinder with the Nar-fish of his name handing a reed towards three rows of Libyan prisoners; another well known and widely discussed and described object is Narmer's Macehead; very important is also the 1998 finding at Abydos, a label with the year-event depicting the same military victory as on the palette and the cited ivory (see n.16 and part I n.2); the recent book of T.A.H. Wilkinson has a good summary of the sources for this king [21]; however it doesn't include some pieces which have often been related (indeed without any sure ground to do it) to Narmer, as the unprovenanced king's head in University College (he proposes a Second Dynasty date for it), or the ivory statuette from Abydos in the British Museum, or, possibly, the limestone stela fragment from Abydos (U.C. 14278; it might have belonged to Horus Aha); furthermore Narmer's serekh is on the base of a statue of Baboon, the god Hedj-Wr, in Berlin [22], and (almost completely erased) on the thigh of one of the three Coptos Colossi, the one in Cairo Museum (incisions) [23]. A 6,5cm diorite male head found in 1898 by F.W. Green at Hierakonpolis, is at Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (E109.1898): there's no trace of it neither in the original publication nor in B. Adams' publication of Green's MS and in the distribution lists (Ancient Hierakonpolis. Supplement, 1974), but it is proposed as 'perhaps representing king Narmer' (thanks to Laura degli Esposti for informing me of this attribution; cf. Fitzwilliam Museum object label and the on-line catalogue). Indeed, considering material and style, it is more likely of 2nd-3rd Dynasty, besides not necessarily a royal portrait.
A stone vessel from Djoser's complex at Saqqara (note 13) has his serekh incised, some vessels from Abydos bear his serekh in relief and a couple of cylinder jars from Tarkhan (?) are inscribed in ink with Narmer's Horus name. It is not sure if Nar(mer) rather than Scorpion or [Ra]Neb is the inscription in the lower half of a serekh incised on the left part of the thorax of a statuette (h 11,2cm) in München St. Samm. ÄK(7149) (cf. the earlier Oxford -"MacGregor" man [1922.70] and the Third Dynasty Brooklyn Museum [58192] Onuris statuette).

Ivory statuette of a King from Abydos
Berlin Staat. Mus.  22607 (unprovenanced; bought in 1927;  h. 52cm)

As I have said above, Narmer is attested in the Desert (graffiti around Hierakonpolis, Wadi Qash, Gebel Tjawty, Coptos). [NOTA: removed passage on Western Desert graffiti].
Yet most of the occurrances of Narmer's name is on jars and jar fragments; an astonishing number of serekhs has emerged in the last 25 years from excavations in Israel and Palestine (Tel Erani, Arad, 'En Besor, Halif Terrace/Nahal Tillah and more) signifying an apex of commercial contacts between Egypt and Canaan (in comparison, such proofs are less frequent for the preceeding and following periods).
Some more serekhs have been excavated at Minshat Abu Omar (44.3), Tell Ibrahim Awad and Tell Fara'in-Buto in the Delta and at Kafr Hassan Dawood (913) in a c. 1000 tombs cemetery on the southern limit of the Wadi Tumilat.
Dreyer interprets a mark on a jar in a private collection (cfr. n. 22) as an estate of Narmer in the Eastern Delta.
There is a slight possibility that a Naqada IIIb1 ruler with the name Nar did exist: a couple of serekhs of this one appear on too early jars types (cfr. n. 22 and n. 50); but all the other forms 'Nar' do belong to Narmer.

Infact his name often recurs in this abbreviated form with only the Nar sign; it is unlikely that, as it was hypothesized, the use of the writing 'Nar' was (always) from the latter part of his reign [24].
Narmer was buried in the sacred necropolis (B) of Abydos, tomb B17/18 (two united rectangular mudbrick-lined chambers; tot. length c. 10m x 3,00-3,10 large and 2,50-2,80 deep); it is few meters north of the westernmost chamber (B10) of his follower Aha (Kaiser-Dreyer, M.D.A.I.K. 38, 1982, 220-221).

Abydos  B7/9 (Ka)Some meters to the north of Narmer's, a true double chamber tomb B9/7 (these two are circa 1,80 meters distant; B9 is c. 5,9 x 3,1m; B7 is c. 6 x 3,2 m; both are c. 1,9m deep), produced inscriptional material of his predecessor: his name, KA, also appears in at least two different writing forms: with the standard 'ka' sign and with the same sign but upset; because this latter can also have a different reading, i.e. the verb 'to embrace', P. Kaplony proposed (1958) to read the name Sekhen. More than 40 inscriptions have been found in Ka's burial chamber (B7, the southern of the two) of the Abydos tomb: one is a seal impression, all the remaining ones are inscribed on tall jars or cylinder vessels (incised or written in black ink).

Ka, U.C.16072 from Tarkhan tomb 261

Helwan tomb 160 H3 seal
The two jars from Helwan

Apart from this site, the only further attestation of Ka in Upper Egypt is a carbon inscription on a jar fragment recently found at Adaima (N. Grimal in B.I.F.A.O. 99, 1999 p. 451 fig.1; more inscriptions in van den Brink, Archéo-Nil 11, 2001 in print).
Other traces of Ka have been found in northern sites: in the cemetery A of Tarkhan an ink inscribed cylinder vessel from tomb 261, and in Helwan tombs 1627 H2 and 1651 H2 two tall jars with incised inscriptions; a couple of inscribed vessels fragments are unprovenanced.
A new serekh has been found on pottery by F. Hassan in tomb 1008 at Kafr Hassan Dawood, at the southern boundary of the Wadi Tumilat (Hassan in E.A. 16, 2000, 37-9), and another one is known from a pottery fragment from Tell Ibrahim Awad (van den Brink, The Nile Delta... p. 52 fig. 8.2).
Finally there is a cylinder seal from Helwan 160.H3 with an anonymous serekh and a human figure beside it; this has his arms raised and the right hand appears to be partly placed in the serekh, just nearby to where the name would be written; A.J. Serrano has thus proposed that this figure could designate the king and his royal name -Horus Ka- contemporarily [25].
The serekh is probably anonymous and of slightly earlier date than Ka's reign, as Dr. C. Koehler believes.

The stratigraphic analysis at cemetery B seems to confirm that Ka immediately preceeded Narmer; indeed there are some inconsistenies: an important tall jar type which has been used before and after Ka's reign, has never been found during his own.
A recent useful innovation in the study of this period has been achieved by E.C.M. van den Brink [26]: he has produced a catalog of 24 complete jars with incised serekhs of Naqada IIIb-c1. The interest of this work is in that, contrarily to two older corpora provided by W. Kaiser in 1964 and 1982, van den Brink's has been prepared giving much more than a superficial consideration to the pottery types on which the serekhs are incised. The analysis of the pottery types has resulted in a distribution of the serekhs within four main phases corresponding to the development of the jars types; this comparative study has succeeded in fixing a more certain chronological frame for some royal names of Naqada IIIb; although few minor problems do arise [27] this system has offered a valuable means of relative datation of these names and it has even avoided the weak points inherent to Kaiser's subdivision into three 'Horizonten'.

King Scorpion on the Hierakonpolis Macehead (cfr. the other link for a drawing of the whole relief)Before continuing to ascend the Abydene line of Dynasty 0 we must consider two rulers who have left no trace of themselves at Abydos; King SCORPION (II) and Horus Crocodile. Both are known by very few inscribed objects.
The particularity of these rulers is that the epigraphy, provenance and typology of their sources speaks for a datation surely not post-Narmer and very likely neither pre- Ka. They might be thought to represent 'Gegenkonigen' (as Dreyer defines Crocodile) thus rebels or usurpers; more likely they were the last expressions of ancient local indipendent ruling lineages which ceased to reign only when the powerful kings of the Thinite region moved northward to occupy the territiries with which, until then, they had only entertained peaceful commercial relations; but in this respect the position of Scorpion II at Hierakonpolis is harder to explain and Dreyer thinks this was a Thinite king too. The different writing of his name and the Nekhen finds can't be a certain indication of the Hierakonpolite origin of Scorpion II: Iry Hor had a different royal name mark too, and Narmer was also known at Nekhen.
The giant macehead of Scorpion from Hierakonpolis (it's bigger than Narmer's) is another important masterpiece of the period; for this reason (as well as for its being virtually the only object surely attributable to this king, for the debates on the ritual it depicts and for some further motives) this macehead is of public domain in the field of divulgative Egyptology; there is no need to add a detailed description; I only remark that the name of this king is not written in the serekh and is not surmounted by Horus; the expression for 'sovereign' is rendered by the 'Rosette' [28]; Cialowicz thinks that at the right end of the rows of Rekhyt-bows standards and dancers in the upper registers, there would be the standing king Scorpion represented (in higher scale) with the red crown of Lower Egypt (cfr. Adams - Cialowicz, Protodynastic Egypt, 1997 fig.1).
Another macehead from the same cachette at Hierakonpolis, far more fragmentary than the already fragmentary previous one, shows a king sitting under a canopy; he wears the red crown and the Heb Sed robe; Arkell interpreted a slightly visible sign before the head as a Scorpion [29]; Adams has found no trace of the rosette in a break in front of the red crown curl; therefore the object could belong to another king of the period immediately before Narmer (or Narmer's own): I would suggest that the fragmentary glyph might be interpreted as a standard with a crocodile whose tail hangs down (Horus Crocodile ?).
Cialowicz has given a convincing interpretation of the scene as the Sed celebration after a military victory of Scorpion (or Narmer); to the right of the sitting king, in the centre of the scene, there is a big falcon (turned towards the king) holding in the claws a rope which directs to the right-end of the preserved fragment; here, behind and in a lower position than the falcon, there must be a number of prisoners (one ear is clearly visible) which the rope kept during their presentation to the king by Horus.
The last reluctantly accepted piece of evidence for king Scorpion II is a graffito in Upper Nubia, Gebel Sheikh Suleiman [30].
It is not far from the notorious graffito now in Khartoum Museum: it represents a scorpion with a prisoner into its claws; two more human figures with a bow and false tails, are directed towards the captive and the scorpion. This scene could, in my opinion, be far earlier than the presumed time of Scorpion II: it's surely related to a chief, but I would prefer a date in Naqada IIIa (Scorpion I?) or even late Naqada II.
The date is far more certain for an alabaster vessel from Quibell and Green's Hierakonpolis excavations: but the scorpions and bows which surround its body can't be attached with full confidence to king Scorpion; a larger group of objects which would be assigned to this king's reign has been proposed by Kaplony [31]: but it can't be assumed that almost any known late predynastic representation of scorpions ought to refer to the king in object.
The tomb of Scorpion II has never been found; Dreyer and Hoffman have speculatively proposed respectively the 4- chambers Abydos B50 and the Hierakonpolis loc. 6 tomb 1 [32]. Therefore the slight traces of Scorpion II hinder any safe reconstruction about the place of origin of this obscure sovereign and his role in the late predynastic history.

Minshat Abu Omar tomb 160.1 jar incised serekh; after van den Brink op.cit., 1996 pl. 28b (Type III)

A royal name within a falcon topped serekh incised on a jar from tomb 160.1 at Minshat Abu Omar has been alternatively read as Aha and Scorpion. The sign does look like a scorpion, curved with both the tail (which is drawn above the body) and the head looking rightward, whereas the falcon looks towards the left. Ink serekh on a jar from Tarkhan tomb 315Van den Brink has proposed that this sign might be an upset variant of the coil identified by Dreyer on two vessels and a seal impression from Tarkhan (cfr. below) [33].
The two ink-inscribed cylinder vessels were found by Petrie [34] in tombs 1549 and 315.

Crocodile: Seal impression from Tarkhan t. 414

Kaiser and Kaplony read their serekhs name as Scorpion (with the tail now curved below the animal); but this is impossible because the scorpion would have on both the examples an opposite orientation than the falcon above the serekh; Dreyer [35] has introduced, to account for these two serekhs (but not the M.A.O. one), a king CROCODILE, ruler of the Tarkhan region; he also advanced that to this king might belong the apparently anonymous serekh (? cf. n. 36) (surmounted by a bull's head and surrounded by crocodiles) on a seal impression also found by Petrie at Tarkhan (tomb 414, Narmer's reign)[36].
Contrarily to Kaiser and Kaplony, Dreyer (thanks to new infrared photos) doesn't see only one sign in the ink serekhs, but a crocodile (in profile) above a coil of rope (cfr. note 39).
I must now make a remark: the M.A.O. 160.1 has much more distinction between a squarish body and a slender linear tail, but I suggest that a crocodile would not be depicted, even in a cursive and stilized writing, as an animal with two very distinct parts of the body (cfr hieroglyphs of other animals as bees, scarabs, birds), because it has a uniform shape from his head to almost all the tail length; so this is surely not a crocodile. The sign looks more like a scorpion (this must not necessarily mean that it belongs to king Scorpion II of Hierakonpolis, it might also be another omonymous sovereign). The alternative proposed by van den Brink is also interesting (note 33) becuse he thinks that the only coil is here represented, thus (Crocodile) The Subduer (snj.w).
The crocodile is generally depicted in profile (with straight or curved tail) not to be confused with the lizard [37]; the scorpion sign here is identical with the Gardiner's sign G 54 ('fear') which is used in Saqqara king list and Turin Canon as a later variant of the mid Second Dynasty king's name Sened.
This makes what we have assumed to be the scorpion tail become the head of a goose; and this is the only way to account for the animal to look towards the opposite direction than Horus (unless considering it as an unlikely kind of political statement against the other Horus kings of the country), because the sign 'snd' is always written with the body in accordance to the writing direction and the curved snout and face in the opposite direction (cfr the Saqqara King list and Turin Canon).
Therefore the two vessels in Tarkhan t. 315 and 1549 could not name Scorpion (II) but a Naqada IIIb2 king whose name can be read Horus Sened, The Dreadful [38] or (if two signs are involved as Dreyer has hypothesized) Crocodile the Subduer [39].

Iry Hor: wine jar from Abydos B1 in Univ. College (16089) after van den Brink op.cit. 1996 pl. 31 (Type IVa) digitally colored

The oldest king known from Abydos necropolis B is IRY HOR. His name was read 'Ro' by Petrie but the identification as a royal name was considered doubtful because the falcon is directly placed on the mouth sign and it never appears in a serekh; only since an article of Barta (G.M. 53, 1982 p. 11-13) and the publication of the second DAIK (re)excavations campaign at Umm el Qaab his status and reading as king 'Iry Hor' has been almost universally accepted; Wilkinson has advanced this could be a treasury mark; Kaplony read it, since 1963, as a private name Wr-Ra (thus interpreting the bird as a wr swallow) [40].
Many jar fragments from the chamber B1 (c. 6 x 3,5) of his double tomb (B1/2) were incised with this name; the German equipe excavation of B2 (m. 4,3 x 2,45) produced another incised jar fragment plus eight ink inscriptions and a private seal impression, vessels fragments with the name of Narmer and Ka and parts of a bed, in particular a fine ivory fragment of bull-leg bed-foot. An offering pit B0 is immediately south of B2.
Two seal impressions with rows of Hor+mouth (no register line) are known: one from Abydos B1 and another from debris of tombs Z86-89 at Zawiyet el Aryan [41]; this latter is the only signal of the presence of Iry Hor outside of Abydos necropolis, if we exclude a further uncertain incision on a spindle whorl from Hierakonpolis [42].
Few meters north of Iry Hor's B 0/1/2 there are 3 tombs (X, Y, Z) which link the B cemetery with the more ancient cemetery U; some of its latest tombs (U-j, U-k, U-s, U-f, U-g, U-h, U-i, U-t and the cited U-x, U-y, U-z datable to Naqada IIIa2-b1) prosecute towards the past the history of the Abydos chiefs; they will be analyzed in a further study ("Dynasty 00").

We leave now definitively Abydos to consider royal names from other cemeteries. Note that (contra Kaiser, Dreyer, van den Brink and partly T. Wilkinson) Stan Hendrickx doubts that all the serekhs I am going to consider from early Naqada B actually do represent royal names (G.M. 2001 in print).

Hedjw Hor (?) tall jar from Eastern Delta (MMA 61.122) after van den brink op.cit., 1996 pl. 30 (Type III)

Three pear-headed mace signs form the name of another king whose serekhs were found at Turah [43]; these have both three circles below the serekh and no falcon atop it. These signs substitute the palace facade device in the serekh, and only a narrow empty space (where the name is usually written) is left in the upper part. But a variant of the same name was found somewhere in the Eastern Delta, with the palace facade lines, the three maces in the name compartment and a further mace out of the serekh (which this time has the falcon on it) [44]. All the three inscriptions were incised on (completely preserved typ.74j) jars which belong to van den Brink's IIIrd phase/type [45], roughly spanning Naqada IIIb2 (Kaiser's Horizon B), therefore the same period as the reigns of Iry Hor, Ka, early Narmer, Crocodile and Scorpion.
The serekh from Tura tomb 17L7a  jarInterestingly van den Brink has associated this rulers' name with the sign Gardiner M8 (sha) and with Helck's reading 'Wash' of the name of the prisoner Narmer smites on the verso of his palette [46]. If the writing showed instead tree maces the reading would be Hedjw / HEDJW-HOR.

Serekh on jar from Turah tomb 16g9Two more serekhs from Turah are dated in v. den Brink phase/typology IIb (Kaiser, 1982 Horizont A) or Naqada IIIb1 [47]; the serekhs have only an horizontal line in the name-space, so, despite the lack of the falcon, they' re usually read NY-HOR.
Sometimes they have been read as a variant of Narmer's name [48]: a serekh of this latter (?) from Ezbet el-Tell [49] has the Nar sign represented just as an horizontal stroke. Another serekh has been always considered to be of Narmer: it was found by Petrie in Tarkhan tomb 1100; the (complete) jar inscription has the Nar fish inside the serekh (no falcon upon) and a kind of mer-hoe below it; Helck supposed this sign was an alternative to the mer chisel for the second part of the king's name; but probably the hieroglyph is Gardiner sign U13-14 (shen'a, deposit). The problem with this vessel arises by its form typology (74b), which is v.d.Brink type IIb: too early for Narmer's reign; indeed the horizontal hieroglyph is here not a simple stroke but it closely resembles the body of the Nar-fish [50].
Serekh from Tarkhan tomb 1702HAT-HOR is the reading of a serekh on a jar from Tarkhan tomb 1702 (as for Nj-Hor this serekh is falconless too, so the reading could be simply Hat or Haty [51]); the name sign would be probably associated with Nar(mer) too if the jar on which it is incised (type 74b) wasn't of too early a type for Narmer's reign which is Naqada IIIb2-c1.

The earliest serekhs of Naqada IIIb1 (van den Brink type IIa) are, alike the oldest of those emerged from the necropolis U at Abydos (IIIa2) [52], anonymous and without falcon atop of them.
The only exception is provided by five known attestations of an anonymous serekh surmounted by two falcons facing each other.

Double Falcon complete jar from El Beda
Particular of the Geneva palette relief

Generally indicated as Double Falcon this king name was encountered by M.J. Cledat; in the spring of 1910 he was excavating at El Mehemdiah, in north-eastern Delta, when a bedawin arrived to his camp with a jar and some fragments incised with inscriptions which Cledat soon recognized as archaic; their provenance was a site few miles distant, known as El-Beda, where they had been found during the planting of a palm-grove. Led to that place Cledat found more fragments in the debris, but, when he returned once again in the following year he only gathered few flints [53]. In his publication he reported three serekhs with the double falcon and another one with only a strange mark on its right (see below and n.56).
In 1912 it had already been published the excavation in Turah by Junker; in a tomb at Ezbet Luthy (SS) [54] some years before, a complete jar with the Double-falcon serekh had been found.
The fifth inscription of Double Falcon is on a jar from Sinai [55]; all the 5 incised serekhs have a mark on the right (but the Turah on the left). Dreyer (M.D.A.I.K. 55, 1999, 1ff) thinks the upper part of two of the serekhs from el-Beda represents a 'dw' related to the royal name Double-Falcon (he considers dw as a variant of the three-mounts sign khaset) which might have influenced later concave-top serekhs.
The last known Double-Falcon serekh fragment has been found at Tell Ibrahim Awad (van den Brink, Nile Delta p.52 fig. 8.1).
More inscriptions of Double Falcon will be published by van den Brink in Archéo-Nil 11, 2001 in print.
A relief on a slate palette in Geneva shows a standard (?) with two falcons facing each other; beside it there is the curly-tail dog which is also found on the Brooklyn Museum Knife handle from Abu Zeidan tomb 32 (early Naqada III, cfr. Needler, 1984), on the Pitt-Rivers comb, and on the Gebel Arak and Gebel Tarif knife-handles (see their pictures below, in the Conclusions).

The serekh on a fragment from El BedaAnonymous serekhs are being somewhat frequently found in Delta, Upper and Lower Egypt, but also in Southern Palestine.
One of the fragments Cledat found at El-Beda had and incised serekh (without name-compartment) with a strange mark on its right: it could perhaps represent a name, Ka(?)-Neith [56].
Two complete jars with serekh have been found at Rafiah, Southern Palestine [57], one on a v.d. Brink type IIa and another on a type I jar; type I corresponds with late stufe IIIa2 / early IIIb1 to which two more examples are added by van den Brink: they are anonymous serekhs on two jars from tombs 1021 and 1144 at Abusir el Meleq [58].
Early Naqada IIIb1 are the Abydos tombs U-s (119) and U-t (120) which yielded some ink anonymous serekhs [59].

The study of these inscriptions provide important informations about the oldest forms of writing and their use: this always concerns the royal propaganda and the royal administration.
They can give interesting clues about the regional authority of the rulers and the range of their commercial - exploitative activities.
Indeed it is very difficult trying to trace the area of influence of many of these local chiefs basing on few inscriptions only. The problem is that all the rulers attested in Naqada IIIB (= b1-2), with the exception of the Thinite line Iry Hor-Narmer, have not been documented by royal tombs of their own but only from inscriptions found in their dignitaries' tombs, in desert graffiti or on some unprovenanced objects. In this respect it is noteworthy the material excavated in urban or cultual areas as those reached by the German at Tell Fara'in Buto where serekhs have been found too.

Ancient royal inscriptions reported in the desert sites can be a valid suggestion not only to know the paths to some resources but also to understand possible directions of commercial or 'colonial' interest (as the discussed case of the Wadi Qash and Djebel Tjawty or those in Nubia).
During the 1910-11 archaeological survey of Nubia, C.M. Firth found at Sayala in a disturbed tomb (n.1 of cemetery 137) a gold mace-handle (now lost) decorated with embossed motives representing rows of animals, a typical late Naqada theme often found on ivories, bones, combs and knife-handles [60]. This object was probably imported from Upper Egypt; the chiefs of the Seyala polity controlled the entrance to the Wadi Allaqi (rich in gold mines) and a part of the trade circuit between Egypt and Upper Nubia. Some of the graves in cemetery 137 had sandstone slabs as a roof and the mentioned tomb 1 also contained two Egyptian palettes, two stone vessels, two mace heads (each one with gold handle) and other status-marking objects; thus Seyala must have been an important trade center which, as possibly the whole A-Group and the much later C-group culture, benefited of the role of mediation in the complex net of interexchange of products between Upper Nubia and Upper Egypt and beyond; near Seyala there were found rock drawings with reprsentations of boats in the peculiar style of Naqada IIc-d.

Qustul "Archaic Horus" Incense burner from L24

Some 150 km upriver from Seyala there is the site of Qustul; some materials from older excavations have been published by B. Williams; they show clear traces of Egyptian influence. The most important tomb of the cemetery (L) was L24, in which a stone decorated fragment from an incense burner revealed an astonishing representation of a boat procession towards a palace facade building; the first boat carries a prisoner held onto a seat by another individual; the central boat carries the king, sitting and equipped with long robe, flail and white crown; he faces towards the last boat as the falcon on the serekh which is just in front of his head followed by a 9 slender petals rosette; before the last boat an arpoon, a rampant antelope and a man and, below the prow of the last boat a kind of saw-fish saw (cfr. those on Coptos Colossi) and a big fish. The last boat is occupied by a wild animal (halfway between bull and lion) followed by a falcon (?) topped standard [61]. Another incense burner was found in tomb L11(below).
Such a evidence, even not lacking chronological problems, was interpreted by the excavator as a proof for a possible Nubian A-group influence on the Egyptian state formation! Now that excavations in the cemetery U at Abydos have brought to the light a series of early Naqada III royal tombs (the 12-chambers U-j is contemporary or earlier than Qustul L24) this theory needs no alternative discussions to be disproved (but indeed K. Seele and B. Williams proposed an early Naqada IIIa datation for the "Archaic Horus" burner from L11, the Qustul burner of L24 and the emergence of the Nubian monarchy -cfr. B. Williams, op.cit. 1986, 1987).
Some of the paintings on vessels from the tombs of Qustul have motifs related to the late Naqada II- early Naqada III Egyptian iconography, especially the bowls from tombs L19 and L23 (see figure below); this parallels the similarities between the A-group incense burners (but also seals -cf. below- and the Sayala mace-handle) and the Upper Egyptian decorated ivories.

Painting on a bowl from Qustul A-group cemetery L (tomb L23); initially dated to Naqada IIIa, the largest tombs of the cemetery (also L11, L24, L19) must instead date Naqada IIIb, thus Dynasty 0. (Drawing by F. Raffaele after B. Williams, 1986 pl. 84-85)

Cross-comparisons of ceramic types (in the richest tombs there was also pottery imported from Upper Egypt and Palestine) lead us to prefer a later Naqada IIIb1-2 date for the emergence and apex of this Ta-Seti state into the A-Group culture.
Initial A-Group coincides with Naqada I, terminal A-Group with Early Dynastic period; military raids and the more frequent presence of Ist Dynasty rulers in Nubia likely aimed to obtain a direct control of the products trades with the lucrative markets of the far south (felines pelts, elephant tusks, gold, resins, timber, apes and other exotic genders); therefore when Egypt was capable to bypass or to abolish the costly intermediation of A-group centers, this culture rapidly declined, and certainly the military intervention of Egypt accelerated its complete extinction.

Another tomb (L2) at Qustul contained, among some objects, a cylinder jar (net-painted decoration) and, above all, a storage jar [62] inscribed with a falcon on a squarish sign; it has been read PE-HOR. This possible royal-name was incised, unlike most of the serekhs on jars, post - firing; in these circumstances, as van den Brink notices [63], the clay can't consent easy round scratches as when it's wet, but, like in rock graffiti, it forces the engraver to produce mostly squarish signs. T. Wilkinson [64] states that the inscription may merely represent a ownership mark.
Two serekhs from Site 34 graffitiThis latter author recalled the attention on two rock graffiti (which he never coupled with the one from Qustul) [65] whose serekh contained, just below the falcon, a sign he reads P (althogh in one of the two inscriptions it has more rounded horizontal sides); even harder to interpret is the lower sign, which rests with some vertical strokes one the base of the serekh and has a rounded upper part; Wilkinson proposes it could be 'spt' (Gardiner D24) or more likely 'khent' (Q3) comparing it with similar signs in Den's domain 'Hor Sekhenty Dw' on seal impressions [66]. But almost certainly this is not a 'khent', which would be drawn with the vertical signs partly overlapping and surpassing the upper horizontal curve. I would propose two alternatives: the lower sign could be either the one of serekh panelling or the profile of an animal with tail and snout bent close to the ground[67]. Infact G. Dreyer (Umm el-Qaab I, 1998 p. 179) reads it P + Elephant.

Siyali seal impressions (Williams and Kaplony)

The first evidence to suggest the possibility of a Nubian (A-Group) proto-state 'Ta-Seti' during early Naqada III was a seal impression from Siali, found in 1960 by K. Seele. It represents a sitting, bearded, bare, ruler (?) apparently saluting with his hand the Ta-Seti glyphs (Land of bows). There are also a falcon atop a niched building (in Kaplony this seems an ensete tree; note the differences in the interpretation of the impression by Williams and Kaplony), an anonymous falcon-topped serekh (maybe two) (near the head of the sitting man) and some hounds (or monkeys). Over the nestled rectangles-palace with falcon there are two "D-Pylons" (?) and seven circles with a projection from their upper part; finally, alike on the Qustul burner and on the Metropolitan Museum knife-handle, there is a crescent and also the strange wavy band (false tail ? Cfr. below).
Since long before this latter finding, a seal from Faras (near Qustul) was known displaying the same kind of Palace Facade (Williams, J.N.E.S. 46, 24; I.A.F.S. fig. 884, no falcon).
Faras seal (P. Kaplony, I.A.F.S. 884)

Gebel Sheikh Suleiman GraffitoThe southernmost attestation of a possibly Dynasty 0 serekh is that at Gebel Sheikh Suleiman, near Wadi Halfa and Buhen (IInd cataract, 50 Km south of Qustul). This graffito (now in Khartoum Museum) had been interpreted as reporting a military raid of king Djer, early First Dynasty [68]. W. Helck expressed first doubts about the reading as Djer, proposing the serekh ought to have been an anonymous one [69]. This was further developed after a new analysis by Murnane [70] showing that the 'djer' sign was a deeper and later antelope facing left. Despite the now widely accepted datation to the Dynasty 0 (Naqada IIIb1) I wouldn't exclude a priori (on the basis of the iconography and falcon/ serekh/ cities signs) a possible lower date up to the IInd dynasty [71].

Three jar ink inscriptions from Tarkhan must now be reviewed: they are two serekhs from tombs 415 (S.D. 80 cemetery A) and 300 (S.D. 80 cem. L?) and a possible private name from 412 (S.D. 78, cem. A) [72].
Tomb 415 serekh has been equated to Narmer (cfr. n. 24); a long beaked falcon surmounts the serekh from t. 300; two roughly circular signs in the name frame are possibly remains of Aha's name [73].
The oldest of the three inscriptions (s.d. 78) with no-serekh, was read as the private name Djehwty Mer by Petrie; it has been considered a royal name by Kaiser, while Dreyer [74] compares the bird with the falcon of the previously dealt serekh attributed to Aha. Therefore the two surely royal names among these three jar ink inscriprions should be dated to Naqada IIIc1.

Particular of the Metropolitan Mus. handle (Click for the full image)

Two among the most important decorated objects of Dynasty 0 are now in Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
We have already considered the unfrequent device called 'Rosette' appearing as a mark of royalty near the name of Scorpion II and the Qustul incense burner ruler into a boat (and as a title of Narmer's official or priest on the Narmer Palette).
The rosette also accompaigns a possible serekh (?) and other erased signs (crescent) which appear nearby another white crown king on the right hand of the the Metropolitan Museum knife handle recto [75]. As on the Qustul object this ivory handle represents a boats procession. The king with flail sits in an high prow/stern boat facing and paddling towards a standard which has two crescents atop of it (throwing sticks?); from the pole of the standard a rope appears to catch four heads before which there is the same 'enemy head + papyri' sign surmounted by Horus on Narmer palette verso, 3 papyri and undecipherable signs. Below this row three canonical boats probably land by a Per-nw (Per nsr) shrine; the last boat on the right carries a bearded man with his arm raised (hand in front of his face); this man is thus depicted just below the king; behind his head there's a kind of thick wavy band (similar to that at the waist of the man standing before the Bull's boat on the Qustul incense burner) which could be part of the boat stern (the following boat has a lotus-bloom like sign on the stern, not beside it).
The verso of the knife handle shows two rows of men turned towards a mat-work and niches shrine (Per Wr?) apparently surrounded by water; there's a man kneeling behind the shrine and the lower row is made of seven kneeling men (squatting with one knee raised, a typical pose of the prisoners) preceeded by the walking king with white crown. Of the upper row remain five partly visible bearded men holding in the left hands a kind of crook resting on the left shoulder and, in the right hand, the bent and incised handle of a throwing stick. The space between the two rows behind the king's head is completely defaced.

Metropolitan Museum of Art palette

The other object is the Metropolitan Museum decorated palette [76] . It is decorated on one side only and shows the typical scenes with animals and monsters within a frame provided by the two rampant canids (Lycaons) forming the unpreserved edge of the palette. Above a coiled snake, which forms the usual circle for grinding powder, there is a falcon topped anonymous serekh: it is low in height and its internal seems to be entirely fulfilled by the palace facade device; Fischer has suggested this sign to be very similar to that on the Narmer (?) stela fragment from Abydos [77]; it slightly resembles 'men' and 'djer' hieroglyphs too.
It's not the place for a detailed discussion of the palette and its probable chronological position relatively to the other palettes.
We must here only underline the importance of the serekh which indicates that other more developed palettes must have been late Dynasty 0 productions and many of them (as the Bull, Tehenw, Battlefield palettes) certainly even contained, in their lost portions, the royal names of some of the Dynasty 0 kings we have reviewed here [78]. Despite the recent occurrance of a decorated palette at Minshat Ezzat in a middle First Dynasty context (with tools with Den's serekh) this latter palette must have been a two centuries old ceremonial object for that time and all these palettes do remain chronologically linked with the period Naqada IIIa1/2-b1/2 (Hendrickx's A1/2-B) [79].

The possible royal names Dreyer proposes to read on the Coptos Colossi and on some seal impressions, tags and vessels inscriptions from Abydos cemetery U, will be considered in the page of Dynasty 00/Naqada (IIc-d2/) IIIa1-2.
For some more Dynasty 0 royal names which have been published after this page was finished (or which I have known later) see the Table of Royal Names [*Nj-Neith, *Hwt-Hor (?) and the Adaima serekh (Horus Ka ?)].

The Naqada IIIB 'culture' can now be analyzed through a considerable number of found-types: pottery and stone vessels, decorated- palettes, -knife handles and -ivories, other gravegoods, desert graffiti, tombs.
But this apparently densely populated scenario is instead somewhat hard to be satisfactorily figured out.
One of the major lacunae is the lack of known royal cemeteries other than the Abydos B and Qustul L necropolis.
Despite the good picture we are depicting of Hierakonpolis (espec. loc. 6 and 29A) and the data from the Memphis/Fayyum area and Delta, no other royal tomb has ever been located of Naqada IIIb1,2 period. Serekhs continue to emerge from private tombs (*), but it is very hard to reconstruct the history of Late Predynastic Egypt without other 'precious pieces' of this complex puzzle. Delta sites as Tell Fara'in-Buto and Tell Farkha are noteworthy for their urban - templar contexts.

Ivory Knife-Handle, Petrie Museum, U.C. London

Artifacts like the knife handles of Gebel Tarif, Gebel el Arak, Carnarvon, University College (see figure) and Brooklyn Museum, or the Metropolitan Museum Davis comb and others, are known since long time (see them all here) [80]; the same goes for the corpus of Ceremonial Slate Palettes; they demonstrate the existence of a still partially obscure world of 'visual metaphors' pertaining to the ideology and to the 'artistical' expression of well formed leading minds.
Another ivory knife handle, very similar to the one from Gebel Arak, has been found in tomb U-503 (see below) at Abydos, dating Naqada IId2. And the german excavators of the cemetery U have also published some late Naqada I vessels which provide us the earliest attestation of motives common to the later royal iconography [81]. This was already 'announced' too by well known representations like the Hierakonpolis tomb 100 paintings, the Gebelein cloth, the Naqada jar-fragment red crown and more [82]. Therefore the process of origin and evolution of the most ancient proto-state(s) must be investigated since a period which is very distant from the time of "Menes", and which involves the need to fill up many gaps (cfr. below).

Of course the prime mover of our deeper knowledge and understanding of this 'historical' periods and its products lies always beneath the ground: like for the deciphering of unknown scripts (or for the interpretation of forgotten languages) the principal aid comes from the variety of sources. The more documents we have, the easier our task.
But I have likewise expressed above (part I) the need for multidisciplinary approaches to practical and theorical questions: in other words it's important to try to see our objectives from different points of view (not only art history, philology, archaeology, but also palaeobotany, geology, anthropology, semiothic, sociology, history of religions, statistics, ethnology and others) like indeed it's happening in these last decades [83].

The problem of the reliefs carved on palettes and knife-handles, apart from the meaning of their symbolism, is that nearly all of them are unprovenanced, thus without an archaeological contest which may indicate their datation. Only the Abu Zeidan t. 32 knife handle and few more had a precise chronological collocation.
The mentioned German excavation at Abydos have produced some additional important evidence which can be useful to set these categories of objects into a better defined chronological framework: in part III I' ll try to elaborate a sequence of the known palettes and knife handles, starting from these objects as the Knife handle from Abydos U-503 or the fragments from tomb U-127; both tombs date Naqada IId; I would suggest that such a date, earlier than Abu Zeidan knife handle in Brooklyn (Early Naqada III in W. Needler, 1984), suggests that the reliefs with rows of animals were contemporary, not earlier, than those with human figures and boats. Alternatively the Brooklyn ivory handle would have been already c. two centuries old an object when it was buried in tomb 32 (other implications of the datation of U-127 handle, will be dealt with below in pt. III).
Therefore the first need is always that for newer and newer archaeological campaigns.
Related to this aspect is the necessity for an equal consideratrion of the territory: until recently the Delta was a big question mark many scholars didn't hesitate to define "a closed book". Kaiser, Bietak, Wildung, Von der Way, van den Brink, Kroeper and many others have contributed to open that book...
Now it is the Middle Egypt, between Badari and Gerzah, the least known part of the Nile valley [84].
There is a number of further question marks like the Mesopoltamian influences, the writing in Naqada IIIa1,2, the meaning of some enigmatical representations, the relative and absolute order of ceremonial palettes, knife-handles, maceheads, pottery types, the horizontal stratigraphy of whole cemeteries, foreign commercial contacts, chronological problems and correlations with Near Eastern phases, stages and modalities of the successful expansion of the Naqada culture and the state formation.

After this introduction on the footprints of the Dynasty 0 rulers, I am going to consider, in part III, some specifical problems concerning their world.
It's difficult to understand a culture only by means of some of its aspects; we have no transparent documentation of the political, social, economical and religious systems of the earliest state. Only few clues which must be carefully analyzed and interpretated.
Some of the hypothesis we actually do accept might be disappointed in the future. It's still a long way to go: the main point is that we are already walking it.


Notes of Part II
[1] Petrie, Royal tombs pt. I, 1900, id., Royal Tombs pt. II, 1901, id., Abydos pt. I, 1902; For general discussions of the period see J. Vandier, Manuel d' Archaeologie Egyptienne I, 1952; J. Hayes, The Sceptre of Egypt, 1953; B. Trigger in Trigger, Kemp, O' Connor, Lloyd eds., The Rise of Egyptian ..., 1-70, 1983; W. Helck, Untersuchungen zur Thinitenzeit,1987 (esp. p. 90-99); T.A.H. Wilkinson, State Formation in Egypt, 1996; id., Early Dynastic Egypt, 1999, esp. 47-59; id. M.D.A.I.K. 56, 2000; Jimenez Serrano, Los Reyes del Predinàstico Tardìo (Naqada III), in: BAEDE 10, 2000, 33-52; K. Cialowicz, La Dynastie 0, conquerants ou administrateurs ?, in Studies in Ancient Art and Civilization, n. 7, 1995 p. 7-23; id., La Naissance ... , 2001; S. Hendrickx, Arguments for an Upper Egyptian Origin of the Palace-Facade and the Serekh during Late Predynastic - Early Dynastic times, G.M. forthcoming 2001 (I must thank Stan Hendrickx for sending me this article).
Petrie was undoubtly the first Egyptologist to think and work in a modern scientific way; he excavated sites from all the periods of Egyptian history, but his greatest contribute was that in the Perdynastic and Early Dynastic. He always used to quickly publish his excavations (although he was often forced to make selections of his findings for limits of budget and costs); his researches had not as a main aim the 'hunt for Museum pieces' (he openly criticized Amelineau's "methods") but in his view a sherd could have the same value as a statue. He was not only a forerunner in the fieldwork, but also in theoretical approach: despite the lack, at that time, of methods of absolute datation, Petrie had invented an ingenious system of relative chronology (Sequence Dating) based on seriations of archaeological contexts (tombs) through their founds (mostly gravegoods which he previously arranged in a relative order basing on the development of their shapes, decorations and other attributes). This method allowed him to have a sufficiently precise idea of the datation (into 50 seq.dat. stages) of any tomb(-type) he excavated which produced a good number of pottery types or other classes of seriated objects. Petire's published excavations and corpora of predynastic pottery (nine classes and more than 700 types), protodynastic pottery and slate palettes continue to be of fundamental importance for the modern pre- and proto-dynastic studies.
His subdivision of the predynastic into three 'cultures', Amratian [S.D. 30-37 (mod. shift. 30/31 - 37/39)], Gerzean [S.D. 38-60 (38/40 - 52/62)] and Semainean [S.D. 60-75/76 (54/62 - 76/79)], was later refined and correlated with the Early Dynastic period, forming the basis of the successive chronologies (Kaiser's 'stufen'; cfr. W. Needler, Predynastic and Archaic Objects..., 1984, 44: NAQADA I = S.D. 30-38; NAQADA IIa,b = S.D. 38- 40/45; NAQADA IIc,d = S.D. 40/45 - 63; NAQADA III = S.D. 63-80; for further adjustments see Kaiser, M.D.A.I.K. 46, 1990 and especially S. Hendrickx, in A.J. Spencer ed., Aspects of Early Egypt, 1996 p. 36-69).
[2] Petrie equated Aha with 'Menes' which, in later traditions, is the name given to the foundator of Memphis and of the 'First Dynasty'. Petrie was one of the first scholars, with J. Garstang, to challenge the ownership of the Naqada mastaba to Menes. For a recent re-analysis of this tomb and its founds cfr. Kahl et al., M.D.A.I.K. 57, 2001 (in print) and id., Vergraben, verbrannt, verkannt und vergessen. Funde aus dem "Menesgrab", Munster 2001 (my most sincere thanks to J. Kahl for presenting me this publication).
[3] Zeser and Sma revealed not to be royal names at all; 'Ip' is not part of Ka's name but an indication of U.Eg. product.
I have been unable to ascertain the absolute first use of the name "Dynasty 0"; Petrie uses it in Diospolis Parva, 1901, 24, (and in his divulgative 'History of Egypt' 7th ed., 1912, but I think already in its 5th edition, 1902 and I don't know if in the older editions too). In Hierakonpolis part I, 1900, J. E. Quibell describes some predynastic objects as 'Dynasty 0', thus it must be Quibell or Petrie to first adopt this term around 1899. (I am indebted to J. Kahl and E.C.M.van den Brink for their suggestions on this and other matters; but obviously eventual mistakes are only mine).
[4] M.D.A.I.K. 41, 1985, p. 71.
[5] As Herodotus, Manetho, Diodorus Siculus, Plinius the Elder; for the Shemsu Hor, the names on Annals line 1, and Annals reconstructions cfr. pt. I passim and notes 5-7; also cfr. Kaiser, Z.A.S. 84, 1959 p. 119-32; id., Z.A.S. 91, 1964 p. 86ff; W. Helck, Untersuchungen zu Manetho..., 1956; id., Untersuchungen zur Thinitenzeit, 1987.
[6] 'Dynasty 00' has been introduced by E. van den Brink, The Nile Delta in Transition, 1992, vi n.1, but it hasn't been as widely used as 'Dynasty 0'. He states that Dynasty 00, 0 and 1 respectively coincide with the periods Naqada IIIa, b and c.
[7]cfr. prev. n.; also note that T. Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, 1999 p. 52 tends to include in the Dynasty 00 meaning, also the anonymous "owners of the Abydos vessel [U-502, U-239], the tombs in Naqada cemetery T, the Hierakonpolis painted tomb (100) and the Gebelein painted cloth", therefore all evidence of high status, likely local chiefs, which do belong to the previous period, Naqada II and, above all, to different regions-stocks. See Wilkinson op. cit. 53, 61 for the term 'Dynasty 0'.
As noticed above (n. 3) J.E. Quibell, in Hierakonpolis I, 1900, already applied the definition "Dyn. 0" to his book plates with late predynastic materials, thus in a clear chronological not 'genealogical' sense.
[8] W.S. Smith, Two Archaic Egyptian Sculptures, B.M.F.A. 65, 1967, 70-84; D. Wildung, Die Rolle Agyptischer Konige ..., 1969, 4ff; S. Morentz, Z.A.S. 99, 1972 pref.; Helck, op. cit. 1987 passim; id., Lexicon Ag.; J.P. Allen, G.M. 126, 1992 p. 19ff; M. Baud, Archéo-Nil 9, 1999, 109ff; ; P. O' Mara, D.E. 46, 2000 p. 49ff; id., G.M. 182, 2001 p. 97ff. For a good general summary of the discussion cfr. J. Kinnaer, Narmer or Aha. Who was Menes ? KMT forthcoming issue, 2001 (I disagree with this author on few minor points only); see also n.11.
[9] W. Spiegelberg, O.L.Z. 4, 1900; V. Vikentiev, A.S.A.E. 33, 1933 (double throne); B. Grdseloff, A.S.A.E. 44, 1944 p. 279ff; S. Schott, Hieroglyphen 1950.
[10] The new fragmentof this label found in Aha's tomb central chamber (B15) at Abydos (M.D.A.I.K. 38, 1982 pl. 57c) leaves out any doubt that the sign is really the men checkboard hieroglyph (Gardiner sign Y5).
[11] Cfr. arguments for Menes in W.B. Emery, Archaic Egypt, 1961, 33-7; J.P. Lauer, Histoire Monumentale ... 1962, 19ff; I.E.S. Edwards, The Early Dynastic Period in Egypt, C.A.H. IIIed. I.1, 1-70, 1971.
[12 ] Helck, ZDMG 103 (=28 n.s.), 1953 and id. et al, in L.A.
[13 ] Saqqara: serekh on stone vessel found in the Step Pyramid gallery 7 (B) (Cairo Mus. J.d.E. 88406), Lacau -Lauer Pyr. Deg. IV.1, p. 9 pl. 1.1; ibid. IV.2 p. 1-2; Abydos: Petrie, R.T. I pl. 4.2; id. R.T. II pl. 2.3,6; Helwan: serekh on a fayence tag in the debris near tombs 1H3 and 40H3.
[14]W.B. Emery, Hor aha, 1939; circa 800 cylinder vessels with ink inscriptions of Aha were found, but also stone vessels, labels, long pottery horns of rhinoceros.
Isolated serekhs of Aha from other memphite cemeteries have been found on cylinder jars at Helwan, Zawiyet el Aryan (Z1), Abu Rawash (402).
[15] cfr. part I passim and n.1 and 2.
[16] I want to shortly express here my view on the matter of the period of political Unification; it has been argued since Kaiser's foundamental researches (part I n. 12) that this must have happened some generations before Narmer; indeed, although we have seen that a cultural uniformity was achieved as early as Naqada IId2-IIIa on the whole Egypt, it is equally true that up to the very end of the predynastic period few local and indipendent royal lines did exist at Tarkhan, Tura, Hierakonpolis and probably elsewhere; the relationship of these ones with the Thinite rulers whose successors form the Ist Dynasty is obscure. But the mere attestation of mysterious and yet undefined figures like Scorpion II and Crocodile (also cfr. text below) may indicate that only with Narmer's reign the last local polities had been finally and definitively abolished (in a peaceful or violent way).
Important clues in this question are the already discussed (part I, esp. n. 2) Narmer's label year-event, mentioning the same defeat as the palette' s, the abrupt disappearance of the 'dualistic motives' (like the two monsters on the palette's recto) just with the end of his reign, and, finally, the apparent contemporaneity of his reign with that of his rival (?) of Hierakonpolis, Scorpion II (indipendently of how did Narmer ruled him out).
Therefore, even if I agree that the process of political superimposition or subjugation of the southerners over the north did last for generations and did begin before Narmer, it seems to me very likely that this latter king might have had still an outstanding part in this play.
[17] A mythical Sesostris, mixing the characters of more than one XIIth dynasty kings, is known from the Greek sources; the name Menes could be interpreted as well as conflation of two or more archaic kings.
[18] D.B. Redford, King-lists, Annals and Day-Books ..., 1986; for the Shemsw-Hor cfr Kaiser, Z.A.S. 84, 119 ff; id., Z.A.S. 85, 118 ff; Helck, ArOr, 18, 120ff; von Beckerath M.D.A.I.K. 14, 1ff.
[19] H. Fischer pointed out two more possible men-like occurrances (Artibus Asiae 21, 1958): the palace facade device on the serekhs on a stela fragment (UC14278) found by Petrie at Abydos (nearby Narmer and Aha tombs) and that on the Metropolitan Museum palette (anonymous serekh) are very apt to be confused with the sign men (also some graphies of the sign djer can and have been mistaken with the serekhs palace facade).
Schott, po.cit., 1950, proposed to read "Ma-nu" the Lion + nw-vessel name in a fortress of the Bull palette, Louvre E 11255.
[20] See T. Wilkinson op. cit, 1999 p. 68 for the Menes-Narmer debate and p. 71 for the change in the commercial relation with Near East during Aha's reign.
[21] op.cit.1999, p. 68,69,70 (Zawiyet el Aryan, Tura, Helwan, Naqada); for a complete list of all the inscriptions of Narmer known up to 1993 cfr. J. Kahl, Das System der Agyptischen Hieroglyphenschrift der Dynastie 0. - 3., quellen 79-131; my website http://members.xoom.it/francescoraf/  has an updated list in the Dynasty 0 page.
[22] Berlin Mus. 22607, h. cm. 52; cfr. also E. Schott, R.d.E. 21, 1969 p. 77ff.; and M.D.A.I.K. 50, 1994, 224ff.
The limestone stela fragment with serekh device (niches and a 'men-like' top) is in Petrie, Abydos I, 1902 pl. 13; Fischer, Artibus Asiae 21, 1958 fig. 24; id., J.A.R.C.E. 2, 1963 pl. VIb.
Other mostly unprovenanced inscriptions on jars and stone vessels are found in Kaplony I.A.F.S. fig. 1061-2; id. K.B.I.A.F. 1138; id. Steingefasse 5; id. Klein Beitrage... pl. 6,7,18,19 (= id. M.D.A.I.K. 20, n. 1-3).
An alabaster plate fragment M.D.A.I.K. 46, 1993 p. 38 fig.5; an ink inscription on cylinder vessel M.D.A.I.K. 54, 140, fig.30; a (type 74b !) jar incised serekh Dreyer interprets as a eastern Delta estate of Narmer in M.D.A.I.K. 55, 1999, 1ff.
[23] B. Williams, J.A.R.C.E. 25, 1988 p. 35-59; in fig. 1, p.26 there are also three further incisions: a Nar fish, a serekh and an harpoon. (Also cfr. G. Dreyer, S.D.A.I.K. 28, 1995 and id. Umm el Qaab I, 1998; B. Kemp, C.A.J. 10, 2000, 211-242).
[24] In the important tomb Tarkhan 414 a third form, Narmer-Tjay, appeared on one of the seal impressions of Narmer found in it: cfr. Petrie et al. Tarkhan I, 1913 pl. 2,2 (also cfr below and n. 36); V. Vikentiev (J.E.A. 17, 1931, 67-79) proposed to read his name 'Nar Ba Tjay', whereas Godron advanced the reading 'MeryNar' (A.S.A.E. 49, 1949, 217-20, pl. 1 with 24 examples, + note compl.). The Nar sign in the abbreviated form varies from a simple horizontal stroke to a wider sign (where the fish head and tail are easily distinguishable) as the R.O.M. example G.M. 180, 2001, 67ff.
Another very doubtful attestation of Narmer is a ink inscription on a jar from Tarkhan tomb 415 (Petrie et al. op.cit. 1913, pl. 31.69) cfr. below.
[25] The seal was found by Z. Saad; recently reconsidered by C. Kohler (G.M. 168, 1999 p. 49ff) and by A. Jimenez Serrano (G.M. 180, 2001 p. 81ff).
For the tomb of Ka and more findings from within and nearby it cfr. M.D.A.I.K. 38, 1982 p. 221ff, 229-30; fig. 14 and 15; Petrie, Abydos I pl. 1, 2, 3; id., R.T. I pl. 13.89 (seal impr.) and 13.90; Gilroy, G.M. 180, 2001 fig. 2, pl. Ib (Royal Ontario Museum unpublished fragmentary serekh).
About the Helwan jars: note that Z. Saad (S.A.S.A.E. 3, 1947 p.111) states that the provenance of these jars is inverted than that shown in the number written on his plate 60 (where 1627H2 is written below the right hand jar with inverted ka; I think I can also read 1651H2 at the right end of the label placed below the left hand jar); I have followed the plate 60 indication as did Kaiser 1964 and contrarily to Kaiser 1982 and van den Brink 1996.
[26] In A.J. Spencer ed. 'Aspects of Early Egypt', 1996 p. 140-158; E. van den Brink has kindly informed me that the second part of his study (Incised Serekhs on pottery fragments) is going to be published in Archéo-Nil 11, 2001.
[27] For example the serekh with the Nar fish from Tarkhan 1100 has too early a position to be Narmer's as the epigraphy would suggest; the serekh 22, of king Iry Hor (B1), is later than those of Ka and than some of Narmer too; of course these strange behaviours can't depend on van den Brink's method of tracing and subdividing the pottery types development: instead it's possible that there are external factors to be reconsidered, as the duration of some pottery types which might have to be stretched out.
[28] E. Baumgartel proposed that there was no need to distinct this king from Narmer; in the same way Horus Ka had been already interpreted to be possibly an indication that B9/7 was the tomb of Narmer's ka (but this is impossible for the finding of a seal impression in B7 and other reasons).
Cfr. H.S. Smith in Adams - Friedman eds. 'The Followers of Horus', 1992, 244ff for the semantic value of the Rosette; but also T. Schneider in S.AK. 24, 1997 p. 241ff. For other Rosettes cfr. below (Qustul incense burner and MMA knife handle) but note that some more appear on Gebel Tarif, Carnarvon, Univ. College and Brooklyn Museum knife handles, Metropolitan Mus. comb).
[29] In Antiquity 37, 1963; see also B. Adams, Ancient Hierakonpolis, 1974, p.3, pl. 1, 2; K.Cialowicz, Le Tetes de Massues..., 1987 p. 41-3 fig. 5. The Macehead is in Universoty College, London inv. 14898. For another macehead in UC (inv. 14898 A) the 'Bearers Macehead' cfr. Quibell 'Hierakonpolis' I (1900) pl. XXVIA and Cialowicz op. cit.
[30] Published by W. Needler in J.A.R.C.E. 6, 1967, p. 87-91 pl. 1 and 2.
[31] i.e. the incision on the Abu Umuri palette and others: Orientalia 34, 1965, p. 132ff, pl. 19-23; id., I.A.F. I, II passim
[32] Dreyer in M.D.A.I.K. 43, 1987; id., M.D.A.I.K. 46, 1990 p. 71; Hoffman, The Sciences, Jan/Feb 1988, 40-7.
[33] Wildung, Aegypten vor den Pyramiden, 1981 fig. 32; van den Brink op. cit. pl. 28 a,b: Horus (Crocodile -Sbk or Hmz-) the Subduer (cfr. id. op. cit. 1996 and 2001 in preparation); only B. Adams has attempted the equation of this serekh with Horus Crocodile; for Dreyer cfr. n. 35. A. Jimenez-Serrano (BAEDE 10, 2000) points to Scorpion II. In my opinion this serekh must be compared with those of Horus Ka, especially the falcon of the serekh incised on the jar from Helwan tomb 1627 H2 (also associated with the mace sign) and the inverted ka sign of that from Helwan t. 1651 H2; alternatively the MAO serekh could name Hor Aha or even quite a different unattested sovereign. See this table n. 29, 30a, 30b.
[34] T. 1549: Petrie, Tarkhan II, 1914, 11 and pl. 9.3; t. 315: Petrie et al. 1913, 9, 29, pl. 31.66 (wrongly reproduced as Ka) and pl. 60 (no mention of the vessel here); cfr. Kaplony I.A.F. III pl. 1, 2; id. I.A.F. II, 1090.
[35] G. Dreyer in Adams - Friedman eds. op. cit. 1992, p. 259ff.; also cfr. n. 39.
[36] cfr. n. 24; Tarkhan 414 (S.D. 78) contained some seal impressions of Narmer and a wine jar (type 76b) of his too; for Dreyer cfr. notes 35, 39. My friend Andreasson Leif notes that the crocodile on standard, with a feather on the head, is the later emblem of U.E. nome VI (Dendera); as I state above there was, before Naqada II, a strong polity between the Thinite and Ombite regions (Hu, Abadiya, Dendera). I would also add that the bull-head on the serekh of the seal recalls the Hathor cow heads on Narmer palette. John D. Degreef kindly points out to me that the central element of the seal is not a serekh at all, but it must be the representation of the temple of Sobek at Crocodilopolis, an opinion which I fully agree with.
[37] Gardiner signs i3-i5; Moller, Hieratische Palaographie I, 1927 sign n. 239, 241; 'snd' is n. 226. See IInd Dynasty ink drawing and glyph of a crocodile in Lacau-Lauer, La Pyramide à Degrées V, 1961 n. 247 and 18*.
[38] The presently known oldest attestations of the goose hieroglyph date to the Old Kingdom (Unas P.T.). But in the Second Dynasty offering lists on Helwan stelae (with 'pictographical use' but drawn alike the later hieroglyph G54) at least two examples are shown in Z. Saad, Ceiling Stelae (C.A.S.A.E. 21), 1957 pl. 13 and espec. 24 (1641 H9).
W. Helck, Untersuchungen zur Thinitenzeit, 1987 p. 92, states about the goose-like sign that "an die snd-Gans ist wohl kaum zu denken!".
[39] Dreyer, loc.cit., proposes the reading of the (Gardiner V1, V7) curls on one of the seal impr. from Tarkhan 414 and on the two mentioned Tarkhan vessels (below the crocodile) as Sheny or Shendet, recalling the Fayyum old name Shedet; but also the reading I ve proposed of the ink inscriptions Sened recalls She(n)ed(t),and this could have been an efficacious word- pun for a king of the Fayyum region (see also n. 36).
Note that Dreyer's op.cit, 1992 fig. 1b presents a clear spot on the crocodile's head, like a kind of eye: but owing to the brush size and to similar spots which must be traces of the ink deterioration (see fig. 1a and 2a) this can't by no means indicate the animals' eye; finally I rehearse that the attributive 'The Subduer' for the reading of the rope coil has been proposed by van den Brink (op. cit. 1996, 2001 cfr. n. 33) whom I thank for some informations and corrections.
[40] Barta' s (loc. cit. in the text) reading followed by Kaiser-Dreyer (M.D.A.I.K. 38, 1982, 232ff) has been questioned by Wilkinson in J.E.A. 79, 1993 p. 91-3; see also Petrie, Abydos I, p. 4. For Wr-Ra cfr. Kaplony, I.A.F. I, 1963, 468 (Personal names index).
[41] Kaplony, I.A.F. I, 62, 66, 467-8; I.A.F. III fig. 13; Zawiyet el Aryan: Dunham, Zawiyet ..., 1978 pl. 16B.
[42] Quibell- Green, Hierakonpolis I, 1900 pl. 63.1; this is attributed by Kaplony to Wr-Ra, and inserted in J. Kahl 's S.A.H, 1994 quelle n. 5 (Iry Hor).
Note that van den Brink has proposed to read Iry Hor the post-firing scratch on a storage jar from Qustul L2 and two desert graffiti actually considered a distinct royal name, Pe-Hor (cfr. n. 63 , 67 and text below).
For the evidence on Iry Hor and the whole 'Dynasty 0' also see Jimenez Serrano, op. cit. in n. 1 (pt. II).
[43] By Junker (1912) in tombs 15g2 and 17L7a.
[44] H.G. Fischer, J.A.R.C.E. 2, 1963 (part 8), p. 44; fig. 1, pl. 6a, 6c. Other drawings in T. Wilkinson, op.cit. 1999 fig. 2.3.3; Helck, op.cit. 1987, 93 i; photos in van den Brink, op.cit. 1996 pl. 30a; although considering the difficulty to draw precise small circles, it's relatively easy to do this when the clay is still wet, before firing the jar; a careful look at the drawings and photos procures me at least a light doubt that the name on this jar in the Metropolitan Museum might not be formed by three identical signs and none of these might be an hedj mace. The serekh on Fischer published jar might indeed represent a different ruler than the one attested on the two Tura jars.
[45] Op. cit. 1996, 140ff and tab. 5
[46] Van den Brink, op.cit. 1996 p. 147; for the reading Wash and other textual considerations on Dynasty 0 kings: Helck op. cit. 1987 p. 90-99.
[47] Junker, 1912, tombs 19g1 and 16g9, both incised on completely preserved jars of Petrie' s (Protodynastic Corpus, 1953) type 75s.
[48] As T. Wilkinson, op. cit. 1996 p. 13 indicates.
[49] Van den Brink, op.cit., 1996 number 21; it has a falcon on serekh, the name variant Nar, and a circle with central point (as the later sign Ra or day). The two Nj-Hor jars of n. 47 are in van den Brink, op.cit. 1996 nos. 8 and 7 respectiv., fig. 25 b-d.
[50] Petrie, Tarkhan II, 1914 pl. 6 and 30; Kaiser-Dreyer, M.D.A.I.K. 38, 1982 fig. 14.39; van den Brink, op.cit., 1996 n.10; the same problematic affects Narmer' s (?) jar in M.D.A.I.K. 55, 1999, 1ff (n.22).
[51] Petrie, Tarkhan II, 1914 pl. 6 and 30; Kaiser-Dreyer, M.D.A.I.K. 38, 1982, 264ff ('Hat Hor' reading) fig. 14.6 ; van den Brink, op. cit., 1996 n. 9.
[52] Pumpenmeier, in Dreyer et al. M.D.A.I.K. 49, 1993, 39-49; Dreyer in Umm el Qaab I, 1998.
[53] M.J. Clédat, A.S.A.E. 13, 1914, 115-121, fig. 3-6, pl. 13.
[54] South of the southern cemetery; Junker, Tura, 1912, 1, 31, 46ff, fig. 57.5; van den Brink, op. cit., 1996 n. 6.
[55] Oren, Sinai, 184 fig. 37; Kaiser-Dreyer, M.D.A.I.K. 38, 1982 marke 5.
[56] Cledat, op. cit. 1914 fig. 5; Kaiser-Dreyer, M.D.A.I.K. 38, 1982 marke 12.
[57] Cfr. ref. in Kaiser-Dreyer, M.D.A.I.K. 38, 1982, 268 fig. 16.1, 16.2; van den Brink, op. cit., 1996 n. 3 and 4.
[58] Van den Brink, op. cit., 1996 n. 1 and 2; Kaiser-Dreyer, M.D.A.I.K. 38, 1982 marken 9 and 19 (inverted references in fig. 15).
[59] U-s: Dreyer et al., MDAIK 46, 59 fig. 3a,b; U-t: Dreyer et al., MDAIK 49, fig. 9; Dreyer, M.D.A.I.K. 55, 1999, 1ff.
I must rehearse that, although the oldest known serekhs are (ink) inscribed in Naqada IIIa2 tomb U-j vessels and incised or painted on early Naqada IIIB jars, the lack of name (compartment) can't be taken as an early-dating proof per-se: some anonymous serekhs (potmarks of royal ownership ?) are found on Ist dynasty jars, as those from Abu Rawash t. 402 or Abydos B15 (Aha' reign).
[60] See H. Whitehouse in Friedman-Adams eds. op.cit., 1992, p. 80-1 fig. 3.
[61] Williams - Logan, J.A.R.C.E. 46, 1987, 245ff.
[62] B. Williams, Excavations between Abu Simbel ...Part I: The A-Group Royal Cemetery at Qustul, 1986, 147-50, pl. 76-7 (the jar is reg. 24168).
[63] Personal communication; also the opinion that this inscr. and the graffiti might represent Iry Hor has been expressed to me by this author.
[64] T. Wilkinson, op.cit. 1999 p. 54.
[65] T. Wilkinson, J.E.A. 81, 1995 p. 205-210 fig. 1a, 1b (= Winckler, Rock Drawings I pl. 11.2, 11.3 from Site 34 in Armant Western Desert)
[66] Kaplony, I.A.F. III, fig. 218, 227
[67] Van den Brink has informed me that these graffiti may perhaps represent Iry Hor too: as in the Qustul jar, incised post firing, the scratches hardly yield fine round signs; indeed Iry Hor is always written without any serekh and one of the two P (?) is perfectly square. A. Jimenez Serrano interestingly proposes [Los Reyes del Predinàstico Tardìo (Naqada III), in: BAEDE 10, 2000, 38] that the lower sign might be the hieroglyph for gold (nub) reading: Hor hwt nwb (Horus, lord of the house of gold).
[68] Sayce, P.S.B.A. 32, 1910, 262ff; Arkell, J.E.A. 36, 1950 p. 28-9, fig. 1, pl. 10; I. Hoffmann, BiOr, 28, 1971, 308-9.
[69] Helck, M.D.A.I.K. 26, 1970, 85.
[70] J.N.E.S. 46, 1987, 282-5; ibid., 263-4 (Williams-Logan date the serekh to Kaiser's Horizon A 'the period of incense burners and seals from Nubia'.
[71] Arkell, op.cit. 1950, already pointed out the similar representation of dead enemies' corpses on Khasekhem(wy) statue beses (but this motif is indeed roughly unchanged in Eg. reliefs and incisions' -cfr. some late Naqada IIIb decorated palettes-).
[72] Petrie et al. op.cit., 1913 pl. 31.69, 31.70, 31.71 respectively.
[73] But note that the ink inscr. in ibid. 31.66 (Crocodile/ Scorpion) had been drawn in the plate as a kind of upset ka. See Dreyer loc. cit. in note 74.
[74] Kaiser in Dreyer-Kaiser, op.cit. 1982 p. 262,267 (fig. 15 n. gg); Dreyer in Friedman - Adams op. cit. 1992 p. 261 n.9.
[75] Number 26.241.1; it was gifted (with its flint) to the M.M.A. by Howard Carter; the decoration is very poorly preserved; provenance unknown; cfr. Williams - Logan, op.cit. 1987, 245ff, fig. 1-7; the rosette has indeed the shape of a 5 pointed star, while that from Nubia has 9 slight petals.
[76] Hayes, Scepter of Egypt, 1953 p. 28-9, fig. 22; H.G. Fischer, Artibus Asiae 21, 1958, p. 82 ff, n.34, fig. 19,20; H. Asselberghs, Chaos en Beheersing. Documenten uit Aeneolithisch Egypte, 1961, fig. 170.
[77] Fischer, loc.cit.; cfr. above notes 19, 22.
[78] Another important general consideration on these palettes has since long ago involved the seemingly Delta provenance of most of them.
[79] For the Minshat Ezzat palette see: S.G. el Baghdadi: La Palette decorée de Minshat Ezzat ... una palette decorée en contexte archaeologique, Archéo-Nil 9, 1999.
[80] For these objects see Vandier op.cit. 1952; Asselberghs, op.cit. 1961; Benedite, J.E.A. 5, 1918, 1ff, 225ff; Cialowicz, in Friedman - Adams eds. op.cit. 1992 p. 247-258.
[81] New ivory knife-handle: M.D.A.I.K. 54, 1996 p. 99 fig. 7, pl. 5; Two Late Naqada I interesting vessels: ibid. pl. 6; also cfr. T. Wilkinson, op.cit. 2000.
[82] The Mid-Late Naqada II and Naqada IIIa1,2 will be the object of another study.
[83] Egyptology has been often criticized in the past for its markedly conservative character. It has remained for long time a basically phylological discipline, because of the overwhelming importance the writing and texts had in the '800; the predynastic studies are in this sense a world apart, because only archaeological fieldwork can explain writingless cultures.
More than twenty years ago Egyptology has begun to be more open to other disciplines and this has had a positive effect of regeneration: K. Butzer, Early Hydraulic Civilization, 1976; K. Weeks ed., Egyptology and the Social Science, 1979; M. Hoffman, Egypt before the Pharaohos, 1979; Trigger, Kemp, O' Connor, Lloyd, Ancient Egypt. A social History, 1983; B. Kemp, Ancient Egypt, Anatomy of a Civilization, 1989; these are all examples of the new vitality of Egyptological studies through innovative minds and inspired thoughts which have heavily influenced present generations of scholars.
It's also very important the increased variety of countries which now play an active part in the excavations: not only France, Germany, United States and England but also the same Egypt, Italy, Spain, Australia and especially Poland.
[84] Cfr. Bard, J.F.A. 21.3, 1994, 265-288; id., J.A.R.C.E. 24, 1987, 81-93; C. Kohler, G.M. 147, 1995.

This page is part of two articles I have submitted for a paper and for a University concourse.
The author is preparing a degree thesis on the Second Dynasty at the I.U.O. Napoli; he has also created the website EARLY DYNASTIC EGYPT on the Internet at http://members.xoom.it/francescoraf/


-Essential Bibliography-

B. Andelkovic, The relations between Early Bronze I age Canaanites and Upper Egyptians, Belgrade 1995

J. Baines, Origins of Egyptian Kingship, in: D. 'Connor - D. Silverman (eds.), Ancient Egyptian Kingship 1995, 95-156

K. Bard, The Egyptian Predynastic: A review of the Evidence, in: JFA 21/3, 1994, 265-288

K. Cialowicz, La naissance d'un royaume, Krakow 2001

A.M. Donadoni Roveri - F. Tiradritti eds., Kemet. Alle Sorgenti del Tempo, Milano 1998

G. Dreyer, Umm el-Qaab I, Mainz 1998

R. Friedman - B. Adams eds., The Followers of Horus, Oxford 1992

F. Hassan, The Predynastic of Egypt, in: JWP 2, 1988, 135-185

S. Hendrickx, Arguments for an Upper Egyptian Origin of the Palace-Facade and the Serekh during Late Predynastic - Early Dynastic times, in: GM 184, 2001, 85-110

M. Hoffman, Egypt before the Pharaohs, New York 1979

A. Jiménez Serrano, Chronology and local traditions: the Representations of Power and the Royal name in the Late Predynastic Period, in: Archéo-Nil 12, 2003, in press

W. Kaiser, Einige Bemerkungen zur ägyptischen Frühzeit, in: ZÄS 91, 1964, 86-125

id., Zur Entstehung des gesamtägyptischen Staates, in: MDAIK 46, 1990, 287-299

B. Midant-Reynes, Préhistoire de l'Egypte, Paris 1992

F. Raffaele, Early Dynastic Egypt (Internet site) http://members.xoom.it/francescoraf/

id., Dynasty 0, in: S. Bickel - A- Loprieno (eds.) Aegyptiaca Helvetica 17, 2003, 99-141 (in press)

id., La fin de la période pré-dynastique et la Dynastie 0, TM 1, 2001, 20-23; TM 2, 2002, 26-29; TM 3, 26-29

A.J. Spencer (ed.), Aspects of Early Egypt, London 1996

J. Vandier, Manuelle d'archeologie egyptienne I, Paris 1954

E.C.M. van den Brink ed., The Nile Delta in Transition, Tel Aviv 1992

J. Vercoutter, L'Egypte et la vallée du Nil, vol. I, Paris 1992

S. Vinci, La Nascita dello stato nell' Antico Egitto: La Dinastia "Zero", Bologna 2002

T.A.H. Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, London/New York 1999

id., Political Unification: towards a reconstruction, in: MDAIK 56, 2000, 377-395.

Naqada IIIB (early C1) serekhs and other possible indicators of royal names (by F. Raffaele, in: AegHelv 17, 2003)