The Archaic Period

The Archaic Period of Ancient Egypt is also known as the Early Dynastic Period.

This is also said to be part of the Thinite Period.  This is a time after the Upper Egypt and the Lower Egypt decided to come together and become one area.

This period was from 3100 B.C. to 2686 B.C.


The Archaic Period had two Dynasties, the First Dynasty and the Second Dynasty.

First Dynasty

During the First Dynasty, the capital started out as Thinis and it was later changed to Memphis.

This was a period of time when the ruler was called the Egyptian god-king.

All of the Egyptian rulers during this time were thought to be gods.


It was during the Archaic Period that people realized that there were many talents that they had such as art, writing and architecture.

The people during this time learned to make things out of pottery and this was a time where copper was also used.

The people learned how to build by making bricks out of clay and drying them in the sun so that they would be strong.

The architecture became popular and the Egyptians learned how to make arches and walls that were dipped so that they could make decorative places for people to look at.

This was also a period of time where religion became very important for people.


At first, there were different rulers, but later in this period, the pharaohs made a group of government workers and they appointed people to be governors and to have power over the people.

The government worked in buildings that were made and they were temples that were made of things like sandstone and wood and they were open to the world around them.


Many of the Egyptians that lived around the Nile River learned how to grow crops and work the land they also raised animals that became food and pets.

This helped the Egyptian civilization to become stronger and to be able to grow.


Before the Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt came together, they were often times at war with each other.

When King Narmer ruled, he put the Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt together and formed one area.  He was the only ruler for these lands.

King Narmer

King Narmer was a popular king and he is thought to be a falcon-god called Horus.  He is seen wearing two crowns and this is because he brought the two areas together (lower and upper Egypt).

The death of King Narmer is a myth.  It was said that he was killed by a hippopotamus and many believed this and never questioned if it was real or not.

Funeral Rituals

Most of the time, the funeral rituals were normal and many of the poor people would have the same type of funerals, but during this time, the rich people wanted more.

The rich decided that their dead should be buried in mastabas.  A mastabas is like a pyramid that has steps.  They would build these and then the rich dead would be buried in them.


During the Archaic Period is the time when writing became very important.

There were symbols that were used but by the end of the Third Dynasty, there were more than 200 different symbols that were used in their writing.

Facts About the Archaic Period:

  • The Archaic Period had the areas beginning with two different lands, Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt.
  • The Nile River was very important to the people of this time period. The Nile River flows north.
  • Narmer, the first king, was also called Menes.
  • Many believe that Menes was the king of the Upper Kingdom and he defeated people of the Lower Kingdom and that is how they became one area.
  • Hieroglyphics was the writing that the Egyptians created.
  • Hieroglyphics means “Sacred writings,” in Greek.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What was the period called between 3100 B.C. to 2649 B.C.?  The period between these time periods was called the Archaic Period.
  2. What dynasties were part of the Archaic Period? The two dynasties that were part of the Archaic Period were the First Dynasty and the Second Dynasty.
  3. Who was the ruler of the Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt? Narmer or Menes was the ruler of the Upper and Lower Egypt.
  4. What kind of writing did the Egyptians create? The Egyptians created hieroglyphics.
  5. What does hieroglyphics mean? Hieroglyphics means “Sacred writings.”
  6. What were some of the things that were important to the Egyptians during this time? The Egyptians thought that writing, architecture, art and pottery were important during this time period.