How old was ancient Egypt really?


To many, Egypt’s history seems to go back to ancient times. But how old is ancient Egypt?

Aidan Dodson, professor of Egyptology at the University of Bristol, UK, said: “If you think of it as a civilization that combined pharaonic power, language was written in hieroglyphics, and religion meant eventual replacement by Christianity, it Begins around 3100. Ends around 400 BC.”

Catherine Bard, professor of archaeology and classical studies at Boston University, offered a similar timeline. “The rule of the pharaohs began around 3000 B.C.,” Bard said.

However, humans were living in Egypt as early as 3000 BC. “About 400,000 years ago, the oldest known human existence in the Nile Valley”.

Agriculture in Egypt dates back to around 5,000 B.C.E., says Sally Katary, professor of Egyptology at Laurentian University in Ontario, “by 4100 B.C.E., year-round villages had been established in many parts of Egypt.”

How old was ancient Egypt really?

Some settlements eventually developed into cities. From 3500 BC to 3000 BC, Naqada and Hiraconpolis (also known as Neken) became important urban centers. Content taken from “All the Cities of Ancient Egypt” by Steven Snape, professor of Egyptian archaeology.

Around 3100 BCE, Egypt was unified under a pharaoh who lived for the next few thousand years, around the 3rd century BCE Egyptian priest Manetto wrote that the first king of a unified Egyptian state was May King Ness, but scholars today still do not agree on who King Menes was and whether the information provided by priest Maneto was accurate.

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