King Menes and the Double Crown
By 3200 BC, small farming villages along the Nile had come together to form two kingdoms: Lower Egypt, near the mouth of the river, and Upper Egypt, to the south. While the two kingdoms shared a language and religion, they did not get along.
Around 3100 BC, King Menes of Upper Egypt took control of Lower Egypt by invading and marrying one of its princesses. This unified Egypt for the first time. At first, Menes wore both crowns but later combined them into the "double crown".
The First Dynasty
Menes became Egypt's first pharaoh, starting Egypt's first dynasty (series of rulers from the same family), lasting 200 years. He built a new capital city named Memphis, on the Nile Delta. Eventually, rival families challenged the first dynasty for power.
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