As well as "Who united Egypt?" Narmer is often credited with uniting Egypt through the conquering of Lower Egypt by Upper Egypt. While Menes is often regarded as the first ruler of Ancient Egypt, the majority of Egyptologists believe Narmer is the same person as Menes.
Narmer is usually dated to around 3100 B.C. and his reign lasted all of about 30 years. But it was his successor Inti I that really brought Egypt together under one government. During his own short reign, Inti I expanded the borders of Egypt into the southern part of the country (modern-day Sudan and Ethiopia).
Inti I is believed by many historians to be the true unifier of Egypt. Not only did he expand the kingdom's boundaries, but also reformed its laws and regulations. He also built several cities throughout the new territory.
Inti I was probably born into an upper-class family, since he was adopted by the king of Uruk, another city in modern-day Iraq. But even though he was not actually born in Egypt, he is considered its founder because he set up courts for lower class Egyptians and ruled according to ancient Egyptian law.
He died at a very young age (about 25 years old), but already had three sons who succeeded him as king. Inti II fought against Nubia again, this time winning more territories for Egypt.
THE DOUBLE CROWN: Around 3100 BCE (almost 5000 years ago), Upper Egypt's mighty ruler marched his army north to capture Lower Egypt. Narmer was the name of that ruler. Sometimes King Narmer is referred to as King Menes. "Menes" is Latin for "founder." King Narmer brought the two kingdoms together and established a unified Egypt. He is regarded as its first true king by many historians.
Meanwhile, down in South Africa, a new kingdom was being founded by a woman named Ezana. Her rule didn't last long but it still counts as one of the earliest monarchies in history. She probably belonged to the Khoisan tribe and she may have been a relative or friend of Queen Nefertiti's. They both came from the same area of Egypt so they likely knew each other. In addition, there are reports of gold objects with Ezana's name on them being found in South African caves, which means she must have had authority over people who worked in gold mines. These findings show that she was more than just a queen; she also had officials who worked for her. This is similar to how later kings built up power by appointing officials to help run their countries.
Ezana's son Thutmose emerged as the next king and he too built up power by gaining allies through gifts and promises. Eventually, he went to war against the Kingdom of Zannanza and destroyed it. This campaign took him to far-away lands where he captured prisoners to take back home as slaves.
Menes conquered the monarch of Lower Egypt in battle by sending an army down the Nile. Menes was able to combine the two kingdoms in this manner. The combining of two different portions, in this case the two kingdoms, is referred to as unification. Menes, also known as Narmer, was the first pharaoh.
Egypt had many rulers before Menes, but they were usually chosen by other members of the royal family or appointed by the king who then usually moved his capital to be closer to the new city. Menes decided that it would be better for the kingdom if he ruled directly rather than through a proxy so he overthrew all previous kings and ruled alone. This is how Egypt became one country under one ruler.
After Menes there were more wars between kings until Peh-hehernub (also called Pepi II) made peace with the last king of the old royal family and united Egypt again. Pepi II was the first king to rule over both Upper and Lower Egypt. He managed to make peace with his lower kingdom counterpart because he needed the south's agricultural products. Then he could protect his northern territory from invasion while still earning money by selling crops to the Greeks and others who traded with Egypt.
After Pepi II, Egypt was divided into two parts again when Siamun (also called Mernameser I) took over from his cousin Pepi III.
Narmer (Mernar) ruled Egypt during the end of the Predynastic Period and the start of the Early Dynastic Period. He is often regarded as the first monarch of both Upper and Lower Egypt, and is credited for unifying Egypt. The earliest evidence of rulers of Upper and Lower Egypt being one single authority comes from the tomb of Narmer in Giza.
Narmer is known from several royal tombs located near Beni Suef in Upper Egypt. His body was found in a well-preserved coffin made of wood with gold decorations. The only other king known from such a richly decorated burial is Menkaura of Mitanni. This suggests that Narmer ruled over an empire consisting of multiple city-states or kingdoms. Although no artifacts have been found which would identify his predecessors or successors, archaeological evidence indicates that he was widely recognized as the ruler of all Egypt.
In addition to being the first ruler of ancient Egypt, Narmer is also noted for introducing major changes into his country's politics and society. Prior to his reign, Egypt was divided into small city-states who sometimes warred with each other but usually worked together. Narmer is said to have brought these cities under one rule by establishing a central government with himself at its head.