(ORDO NEWS) — It seems to many that the history of Egypt is rooted in time immemorial. But how old is Ancient Egypt? Does the origin of Ancient Egypt have an official date?
According to Aidan Dodson, a professor of Egyptology at the University of Bristol in the UK, “if we understand ancient Egypt as a civilization that included the power of the pharaohs, the language written in hieroglyphs, and the religion that was eventually replaced by Christianity, then it began around 3100 BC and ended around 400 AD.
Katherine Bard, emeritus professor of archeology and classical studies at Boston University, gave a similar date. “The state of the pharaohs began around 3000 BC”
However, people lived in Egypt long before 3000 BC.
“The oldest known human presence in the Nile Valley is estimated at about 400,000 years ago,” says Pierre Vermeersch, emeritus professor of geography at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium.
Agriculture in Egypt originated around 5000 BC, says Sally Katari, a professor of Egyptology at Laurentian University in Ontario. “By 4100 BC, permanent year-round agricultural settlements had been established in parts of Egypt.”
“Some year-round settlements eventually developed into cities. Naqada and Hierakonpolis (also known as Nekhen) became important urban centers between 3500 and 3000 BC,” says Stephen Snape, professor emeritus of Egyptian archeology at the University of Liverpool in the UK.
Around 3100 B.C. Egypt was unified under the rule of the pharaoh and a writing system, often referred to as hieroglyphs, was created.
The Egyptian priest Manetho, who lived millennia later, around the third century BC, reported that the first ruler of a unified Egypt was a king named Menes, but modern scholars debate the identity of Menes and the accuracy of Manetho’s claim.
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