Predynastic Period

The Predynastic Period took place in Ancient Egypt between 3150 BC to 2686 BC.

This was a period when the Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt were brought together to be one country instead of two.

At one time, this was called Two Lands because they were separate.


During the Predynastic Period, the First Dynasty and the Second Dynasty ruled the land.

This stopped around the year 2686 BC and that was when the Old Kingdom started.


The capital of the Two Lands was Memphis.  It started in Thinis and was later moved to Memphis.

Ruler during Predynastic period

The ruler of the Predynastic period was an Egyptian god-King, or a pharaoh.

The first king of the Two Lands was named Menes.

Even though he might not have been the real first king, he was the first one that someone wrote about and so he is considered to be the first.

Some people believe that Menes was the same as Narmer who was the one that founded Egypt.

Even though Menes could not be Menes and Narmer, some believe that he was.

Some believe that Narmer was an important figure to Egypt and that is why Menes is the same person.

Narmer Palette

The Narmer Palette is a palette that was used for rituals.

It was shaped like a double crown that was of the Lower Egypt and the upper Egypt.


The Egyptians during the Predynastic Period were farmers and they grew crops and had animals.

During this time agriculture played an important role with the government organizing large-scale increase in farming to supply the ever-growing population.

Archaeological evidence tells us they made pottery and used copper to make their pottery stronger.

These Egyptians were known for making bricks and building things.

They used the sun in order to dry bricks and this is how they were able to build buildings.

The Egyptians were very talented, and they developed stone tools and made arches and walls that were different shapes so that they could decorate the places that they lived.

Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt

During this time, there were wars between the Lower and Upper Egyptians.

The Upper Egypt was part of the Nile River and the Lower Egypt was part of the Nile Delta.

When King Menes (Narmer) was in power, he fought off enemies that were by the Delta.

He joined the Upper and Lower kingdoms together.


The Lower Egypt was symbolized by the papyrus reed and the Upper Egypt was symbolized by the lotus flower.

These symbols were used by rules after Menes and all the rules that came in the future.

Egyptian Papyrus Reed


In mythology, the Upper Egypt is symbolized by the god Seth and Lower Egypt is symbolized by the falcon-god named Horus.

Because of these symbols, many people started the rumor that the Egyptians were gods and that they were all powerful.  This was believed for thousands and thousands of years.

Death Rituals

People that were rich in the Predynastic Period would have big funerals.

They would build pyramids that the dead people were buried in and they were called mastabas.

Some royal tombs were built at Abydos and Saqqara.  Also, during this time, people would sacrifice humans as part of a funeral ritual.

This allowed the pharaohs to have servants when they came back in their afterlife.


During this period, the Egyptian writing was based on symbols.

They would show different items that would mean words.  There were over 200 different symbols that they used.

Facts About the Predynastic Period:

  • The Predynastic Period was similar to the Neolithic Period which was part of the stone age.
  • The people of the Predynastic Period were more advanced than the earlier Egyptians.
  • There was a calendar during this time that had been made.
  • The Egyptians of the Predynastic Period had invented measurements and basic astronomy.
  • Africa influenced the culture of the Lower Egypt.
  • Skills in writing, art and architecture were getting stronger during this period.
  • Egyptians begin to move to bigger cities and wanted to live in bigger communities.
  • The names of kings during this time were recorded on Palmermo Stone.
  • During this period, the people paid taxes.
  • The Narmer Palette includes different types of writings.
  • The government stayed in temples that were made of wood and sandstones.
  • Gods were built out of statues and this was a place that people would come and worship.
  • The Predynastic Period was a polytheistic religion. Polytheistic means that they worshipped many gods at one time.
  • Some of the gods had human bodies and animal heads.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What is the Predynastic Period?  The Predynastic Period is a period of time in Egypt that was called the Two Lands.  This was the time when Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt came together to be one area.
  2. Who was the first king that was recorded? The first king that was recorded was Menes.
  3. What was another name that they called Menes? They called Menes, Narmer.
  4. What were some of the things that the early Egyptians were starting to learn? The early Egyptians during the Predynastic Period were learning art, writing and architecture.
  5. Was religion important during this time?   The Egyptians believed in worshipping more than one god, this is called polytheistic religion.