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Menes: First Pharaoh of Egypt?


According to Ancient Egyptian history (as written by the Egyptian historian Manetho, c305--285 BCE), Menes was the founder of the unified Egyptian state which combined Upper and Lower Egypt under a single monarchy.
Archaeologists are unsure whether Menes should be identified as either Narmer or Aha, the first and second kings of the First Dynasty. Archaeological evidence exists for both possibilities: the Narmer Palette excavated at Hierakonpolis shows on one side King Narmer wearing the crown of Upper Egypt and on the reverse side wearing the crown of Lower Egypt, whilst an ivory plaque excavated at Naqada bears both the names Aha and Men (Menes).
A seal impression discovered at Umm el-Qaab lists the first six rulers of the First Dynasty as Narmer, Aha, Djer, Djet, Den and [Queen] Merneith, which suggests that Narmer and Aha may have been father and son.
Archaeologists agree that it is likely that the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt occurred over the reigns of several First Dynasty kings, and that the legend of Menes was, perhaps, created at a much later date to represent those involved.
The Greek historian Herodotus, in the 5th century BCE, refers to the first king of a unified Egypt as Min, and claims that he was responsible for the draining of the plain of Memphis and founding the Egyptian capital there.
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