Abstract and Keywords
Ancient Egypt essentially encompassed some 1,180 kilometers of the Nile Valley where the river fans out into multiple branches and ultimately reaches the Mediterranean Sea. The ancient Egyptians themselves viewed their homeland as the “Two Lands,” Upper (southern, riverine) and Lower (northern, Delta) Egypt, unified by a king traditionally named Meni and over which his successors ruled for nearly three millennia. Bronze Age Egyptian history after this unification and its succeeding Early Dynastic period is divided into the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms, periods of centralized royal authority, separated by numbered “Intermediate Periods,” when instability and loss of this authority divided Egypt into multiple smaller political units, some even ruled by foreigners. Despite these interruptions, the concept of Egypt as one unified “Two Lands” remained unshakeable and all pervasive to the ancient Egyptians themselves.
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