Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Dynasties 2 and 3
- Author(s): Wilkinson, Toby
- et al.
The 2nd-3rd dynasties were crucial for the early development of Pharaonic civilization, yet they remain obscure due to a paucity of contemporary texts and securely dated material. The broad historical outline has been established with some certainty, but numerous questions remain unanswered. Royal funerary monuments dominate the archaeological record and help to chart changes in the underlying ideology. Religion as a whole was virtually indistinguishable from the royal cult, and the disconnect between state and private worship reflects a wider division between the ruling elite and the populace. Nevertheless, the demands of pyramid building led to the opening up and professionalization of government. Long-lasting initiatives to enhance economic productivity included better record-keeping, greater exploitation of Egypt’s mineral wealth, and increased foreign trade.