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15 Oct

Following Egypt’s decisive early intervention in lower Nubia, this stretch of the Nile Valley---though it would remain a thorn in Egypt’s side---would not rise again as a serious power for nearly a thousand years.

"Secure in its borders, with hegemony over the Nile Valley and flourishing trade links, the early Egyptian state witnessed a marked rise in overall prosperity, but the rewards were not evenly spread across the population.

Governments seek to manipulate livelihoods as well as lives.

The development in ancient Egypt of a truly national administration was one of the major accomplishments of the First to Third dynasties, the four- hundred- year formative phase of pharaonic civilization known as the Early Dynastic Period (2950-2575).

To be successful over the long term, a regime must also exercise effective economic control to reinforce its claims of legitimacy.Its transformative power---in the transmission of knowledge, the exercise of power, and the recording of history itself---cannot be overstated.Today, it is virtually impossible to imagine a world without written communication. We are unlikely ever to know exactly how, when, and where hieroglyphics were first developed, but the evidence increasingly points toward a deliberate act of invention.It allowed the monarch to be a visible presence in the life of his subjects; enabled his officials to keep a close eye on everything that was happening in the country at large, implementing policies, resolving disputes, and dispensing justice; defrayed the costs of maintaining the court, and removed the burden of supporting it year- round in one location; and, last but by no means least, facilitated the systematic assessment and levying of taxes.(A little later, in the Second Dynasty, the court explicitly recognized the actuarial potential of the Following of Horus.Cemeteries that span the period of state formation show a sudden polarization of grave size and wealth, a widening gap between rich and poor, with those who were already affluent benefiting the most.The greatest beneficiary by far was the state itself, for the practical effect of political unification was to convey all land into royal ownership.While individuals and communities continued to farm their land as they had before, they now found themselves with a landlord who expected rent in return for their use of his property., “Among the great inventions of human history, writing has a special place.The xenophobic ideology masked the practical reality.This should serve as a warning for the historian of ancient Egypt: from earliest times, the Egyptians were adept at recording things as they wished them to be seen, not as they actually were. Before the beginning of the First Dynasty, when the predynastic kingdoms of Tjeni, Nubt, and Nekhen were rising to prominence in Egypt, a similar process was under way in lower (northern) Nubia, centered on the sites of Seyala and Qustul.