"Dynasty 00"
Early Serekhs
2nd Dynasty
Stone Vessels
"Dynasty 0"
1st Dynasty
3rd Dynasty


On the terms "Dynasty 0" and "Dynasty 00" *

(Francesco Raffaele, Jan. 2003)

I - Manetho and the Late Period King-list tradition

The framework of thirty dynasties by which Egyptologists use to divide the history of the Pharaonic civilization is more than two thousand years old. It was Manetho, an Egyptian high priest of Sebennytos (in Central Delta), who handed down to us this kind of subdivision used in his Aegyptiaca, a three books account of the history of Egypt written in Greek under (and for) Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 BC). Before the end of the Ptolemaic period, the work of Manetho was epitomized, and this abridged version soon became more diffuse than the original one, until entirely replacing it. Although both the original and the epitome of the Aegyptiaca are now lost, we have quotations of the latter one in the writings of some Christian chronographers, namely Africanus (c. 160-240 AD), Eusebius (c. 260-340 AD); important excerpts of some passages are also provided by the Hebrew Josephus Flavius in his Contra Apionem (c. 70 AD).
In its present state the work of Manetho[1] is reduced to a list of kings' names grouped into thirty dynasties, with regnal years provided for each king and short glosses attached to some of the reigns (for various critical periods of Egyptian History only the total number of rulers and years is stated). Historians and Egyptologists have devoted many efforts in discussing several aspects of the Aegyptiaca original version ('Vorlage'): the weight of the eventual influence of the classic writers (espec. Herodotus) on Manetho's work; the differences between Africanus' and Eusebius' versions; and above all, it has been tried to correlate Manetho's graecized names of the Pharaohs with the corresponding Egyptian royal names preserved on the kings-lists and monuments discovered during the last two centuries.[2]
The "dynastic structure" was adopted since the dawn of Egyptology, when there were mainly classic sources available; however it soon became evident that a long series of important inconsistent statements and mistakes affected Manetho's work: not only owing to the omissions and copy errors which had (further) deformed the 'original' royal names and the regnal-years, but undoubtedly also due to different factors proper to the mother-version itself.
First of all the purpose of Manetho's history (or of his commissioner): the aim was historical more than annalistic or calendarical, but nonetheless some pragmatism must have existed in the need to know the kings and the main events of the long past of Egyptian kingship. We ignore the sources that were used, but it's sure that indigenous documents were employed (cf. Redford, op. cit.); we mustn't nevertheless forget the amount of centuries dividing the beginning of the dynastic period from Manetho's time: nearly three Millennia; many royal names (or even whole dynasties) are artificially duplicated as also are regnal years (duplicated or modified on the basis of the number nine) to conceptually fit with the principle of the Ennead; in various instances, especially with regards to the obscure periods of turmoils, the listed kings and dynasties were assembled in chronological succession, whereas we know that they had been (wholly or in part) contemporary. Summing up the regnal years handed down from Manetho's work, Champollion obtained 5867 BC as the date of accession of Menes, the first ruler of the First (human) Dynasty!
Scholars started to suspect that the original account or the copies could have been heavily if not absolutely misleading and consequently the work lost large part of its prestige and authoritativeness.
Indeed the main problem with Manetho's work concerns the very concept of "Dynasties".
A subdivision like that of Manetho is unknown in the Egyptian sources of any period; we could argue that Manetho himself invented this grouping-device (even if we don't know the reason why), but this hypothesis would heavily depend on the large gap existing in our knowledge of the king-lists tradition in the Millennium between the Ramesside period and Manetho.
It is perhaps more logical to rely on the theory that Manetho adopted the subdivision after the sources available to him, hence those of the (first three quarters of) First Millennium BC (cf below).
The (Greek) term dynasty denotes a succession of regnants from the same family ("house") generally reigning the same city, region or state; in the Aegyptiaca it seems to have been used with more emphasis on the geographical than on the genealogical bonds; the numbered dynasties are in fact also labelled after the place from which their rulers did originate or reign (and perhaps also after their burial place; it could have been initially referred to the city in which the royal palace and the administration were situated or even to something else): thus we have Thinite, Memphite, Heracleopolitan, Diospolite dynasties.
The "geographical connection" is therefore ambiguous, especially for the Old Kingdom (see below); only since the First Intermediate Period is the seat of Dynasties given by Manetho consistent with the historical and terminological truth (blood-line/ royal family); before this date, Manetho's dynasties show that the criterion of family ties was not the basic one as it did for later periods. Additionally, not all the dynasties have been shown to have been effective; and not all the dynasties reigned on the whole Egypt, but some had only a local power.
This distorted use of the term must be always present when we deal with Egyptian "dynasties".

It's sure that Manetho's dynasties were in no way a product of the ancient (e.g. earlier than Late Period) Royal Annals (gnwt) and funerary or archivistic king-lists: the NK lists and the Turin Canon (hereafter TC) never retain such a structure.[3]
Donald Redford has analyzed the Annals, King Lists and the Aegyptiaca in a classic book (op. cit., 1986): he has shown the correspondence between (Manetho's) dynastic framework and the change of Royal residence in the Old Kingdom.
He has also attempted a reconstruction of the Aegyptiaca and of the categories of books and literary genres which Manetho must have found in the libraries of his time[4]; in Redford's opinion, the further degree of compartmentation, which characterizes the Aegyptiaca as against the NK lists, is tributary of the (Lower Egyptian) 'annalistic' tradition of those centuries. It's however very hard to guess where or what did this more complex 'architecture' in turn developed from.
Jaromir Malek hypothesized that Manetho (or the Late Period scribes) could have quite interpreted as "dynastic changes" some particulars of their sources: the eventual use of red ink (which would have been misinterpreted as marking the foundator of a 'dynasty'), the summation of years or other formulas which recur at different intervals (Ir.n.f m nsyt in the TC; or the subdivision columns of a document similar to the one from which the TC was copied; Manetho probably read papyri like the TC)[5]; indeed, as Malek explains, columns, years subtotals and other formulas should have had nothing to do with political or genealogical breaks, and the use of red ink in the TC obviously intended only to signify that the colored line corresponded to the beginning of a column in the original version from which the TC was copied.
Michel Baud [6] has recently advanced a further possible solution: the extent of the (earliest) dynasties could have depended on calendaric rather than on administrative and geo-political reasons; the changes in the method used to count the years (preserved on the First Dynasty labels, on some ink inscribed vessels, on Annals and other monuments) seem to bear a strict correspondence with the 'dynastic breaks' documented for the Old Kingdom period.[7]
This hypothesis is particularly convincing, although it is possible that the calendaric reformations were a consequence of other transformations introduced in the state administration and bureaucracy.
We have thus reviewed various possibilities, some tremendously futile, proposed for the origin of the Egyptian "Dynasties". Manetho's dynastic structure seems to agree with the seat of the respective capitals of the country only since the FIP. But, perhaps even more important, it mustn't be forgotten that whatever the criterion to identify and group the dynasties was, probably it was by no means coherent all through the thirty dynasties.

Contrarily to what one might think, the discovery and publication of the TC and of the king lists of Abydos, Saqqara and Karnak, the Annals and other similar documents, did not contribute to the final eclipsing of Manetho's list (and reigns lengths): in some way the work resulted even re-evaluated as it is still nowadays. Despite the listed faults and the presence of more useful sources, Manetho's fragments remain of considerable importance and still attract scholarly interest. For the most remote Early Dynastic kings, it has been possible to ascertain the series of transformations which led from the original Egyptian (Nebty/)Nesut-Bity royal names to the Greek ones provided by Manetho.[8]
The persistency in the adoption and conforming to Manetho's system is quite another matter of fact: its suitability undoubtedly also depends on convenience purposes: dynasties were and are a good way to avoid precise chronological indications (which might result wrong), or too large ones.[9]
They also provide a useful periodization for purpose of history, arts and literature studies. The mentioned advantages in identifying and grouping blocks of sovereigns and, not last, the long Egyptological tradition, actually do play in favour of Manetho's Dynasties.

II - "Dynasty 0" and "Dynasty 00"

The existence of predynastic kings and also of possible predynastic dynasties, is a long known fact. Many studies have been devoted to these subjects in relation to the names preserved on the Annals, on the TC, in Manetho's and Herodotus' accounts and about the Smsw-Hr (Followers of Horus).[10]
Late in the Nineteenth Century the knowledge of the Egyptian predynastic period was going to move its first steps with the excavations at Naqada, Abydos, Koptos, Hierakonpolis. Initially the extremely old age of some finds had not even been suspected (except for some happy intuitions of J. De Morgan); the slightly later publications of Quibell - Green (Hierakonpolis site and cemeteries) and Petrie (the Abydos, Umm el-Qaab Royal Tombs) were, beyond the criticism that could be moved to them now, key-works for the comprehension of the Late Predynastic and Early Dynastic Periods.
In 1900 Quibell introduced the comments to many of the objects shown in the plates of his book [11] with the chronological-indicator "Dyn. 0" to account for the probable datation of several objects found in the Horus temple of Hierakonpolis; this material was reported in fact as belonging to the reigns of Scorpion and Narmer, considered the last rulers of "the dynasty … before Mena".[12]
After the excavations of Petrie in the B cemetery of Umm el-Qaab Abydos, with few exceptions[13], the history and the names of the Dynasty 0 kings fell back into the oblivion for circa eighty years only to be reexhumed by Kaiser in 1982 with the first new excavation campaigns of DAIK at Abydos.[14]
It began to be clear that Abydos (Umm el-Qaab) was the effective burial ground of the First Dynasty kings (and of two more rulers of late Second Dynasty) accordingly to the opinion of Petrie and, much later, of Kemp and contrarily to that of Emery; the latter's excavations of impressively large tombs at North Saqqara had led him and many other scholars to erroneously believe that the Memphite cemetery had been the primary royal burial ground even in that early period, while Abydos would have hosted nothing else than mere cenotaphs.
The new Abydos finds of the German archaeologists now directed by G. Dreyer (and additional reasons inherent to the North Saqqara cemetery, tombs and gravegoods) have nowadays definitively acknowledged Abydos as the site of the First Dynasty royal cemetery.
It must be stressed that Egyptologists are actually not much in agreement about the significance and use of the term "Dynasty 0": it seems that Quibell and later Kaiser meant to apply it to the line of kings who reigned from This/Abydos before Menes (Aha or Narmer): thus Narmer, Scorpion, Ka, Iry-Hor (Petrie's Ro); indeed the Abydos tomb of Scorpion (II) hasn't been found yet and some scholars doubt that he was a Thinite (in the geographical sense) ruler.
Furthermore, despite important recent achievements, the process of political unification of Egypt and the history of the very late predynastic period are still rather obscure; the site (and the role) of the Thinite capital during the First Dynasty is pratically unknown.
It seems that Memphis was already the capital centre of political and administrative life of the early Egyptian state at least since the reign of Horus Aha.[15]
According to this theory, 'Dynasty 0 kings' lived in Naqada IIIb2 period (in Kaiser's chronology, or also Horizont B), corresponding to Petrie's latest Semainean, Sequence Dates 77 (last part) and 78.
To complicate the question, in the last 15 years some scholars have occasionally labelled as 'Dynasty 0' the whole group of predynastic sovereigns whose serekhs have been found in many sites of the Egyptian Nile Valley and Delta (Double Falcon, Hat-Hor, Nj-Hor, Pe-Hor, Crocodile and others; cf. notes 13 and 21).
This acceptation of the term corresponds to T. Wilkinson's [16] "Late Predynastic kings": it means that any link with a circumscribed time (Naqada IIIb2, or eventually Naqada IIIb1-2) and space (Abydos) has been lost.
The earliest known serekhs date in fact to Naqada IIIb1 [17]; royal names written without the serekhs are dated to Naqada IIIa2 (Scorpion I, the owner of tomb U-j at Abydos); even the oldest attestations of kingship in Egypt are sometimes included within this fictitious Dynasty: the owner of the Hierakonpolis painted tomb 100 and the chief who was buried at Gebelein with the painted cloth (now kept in Turin Museum): they are dated to Naqada IIc and IIb respectively, thus circa 3400-3500 BC.
Therefore Dynasty 0 often identifies a period corresponding to either Kaiser's Naqada IIIb1-2, or Naqada IIIa1-b2, or to the whole phases and subphases from Naqada IIb/c to N. IIIb2! In the latter two instances, despite the uncertainties about the number of kings and generations involved in this lapses of time, the use of the word dynasty conveys a misleading idea of a single ruling line of a certain place and period, which is not the case at all.
In my opinion we should either consider Dynasty 0 only the sovereigns buried in Abydos cemetery B, or, for convenience, use the term as a synonym of (Hendrickx's) Naqada IIIB phase (Kaiser's IIIb1-2): this period is characterized by the use of anonymous, plain or personalized serekhs as probable indicators of kingship or of particular kings (names); it corresponds to a somewhat marked cultural break (but mainly in pottery types and assemblages) with the previous phase IIIA(2).[18]
Following the first criterion, "Dynasty 00" (see below) would designate in turn the predecessors of the (Abydos) Dynasty 0 kings, therefore those buried in cemetery U during Naqada IIIA(1-2).

Another problem connected with this deformed meaning of "Dynasty 0" concerns the space, thus the geopolitical status of early Naqada III Egypt and its kings.
We actually ignore the precise period and modality by which Egypt achieved the Unification: since Kaiser's studies it has been assumed that the process of Unification lasted more than hundred years and was certainly not limited to the reign of Narmer (as the interpretations of the scenes on his palette from Hierakonpolis initially had led to believe).
The Abydos royal line is the best one known of predynastic Egypt owing to Petrie's and Dreyer/Kaiser's excavations there; but the Naqada IIIB period has even produced more evidence of royal presence, especially pottery incised serekhs, from other sites in the Nile Valley and Delta.[19]
However we don't know if many of these rulers must be considered chiefs of independent polities (eventually Gegenkönige, 'rebels') or instead further Abydene kings whose tombs haven't been located yet.
The predynastic serekhs found in Egypt outside of Abydos were not from royal burials[20]; and this is quite another problem: were there other royal cemeteries early in Naqada III? When did Egypt become a Unified state? Was Hierakonpolis the site of a parallel dynasty during Naqada IIIA/B and in which relations were its sovereigns with the contemporary ones of This/Abydos and of other regional polities (if any)?

G. Dreyer was the first Egyptologist to informally talk about a "Dynasty 00"; his playful expression was first used in a publication by E. van den Brink but it has been never as widely used as "Dynasty 0". In van den Brink's intention the term should have designated the "members of the ruling class buried in cemetery U at Abydos, Umm el-Qaab"[21], thus the predecessors of the (Abydos) Dynasty 0 kings; Dynasty 00, 0 and 1 would respectively coincide with Kaiser's stufen Naqada IIIa, IIIb, IIIc. With such a meaning and the acceptation of a periodical designation, the definition would only entail a readjustment according to Hendrickx chronology, which refines Kaiser's one and whose phases fit better with the "cultural" breaks[22]: modifying van den Brink's proposal, we would eventually relate Dynasties 00 and 0 to Hendrickx's Naqada IIIA(1-2) and IIIB respectively (but see also below).
The terms 'Dynasty 0' and especially 'Dynasty 00' have been object of various criticism; the former one is somewhat frequently employed; to recapitulate, I generally find it used as referring 1) to the period before Narmer (or before Aha), therefore not to the king's succession; 2) to the late predynastic Abydos royal line, the kings buried in late Naqada IIIB in cemetery B at Umm el-Qaab; 3) to all the Naqada IIIB (IIIb1-2) rulers of Egypt (and eventually Nubia).
These latter kings were the successors of the chiefs buried during late Naqada II-early Naqada III in cemetery U, at short distance North of the B cemetery.
"Dynasty 00" should have been used to identify the kings earlier than the period of Dynasty 0 (in the same way as the latter term was coniated for the kings before Dynasty 1); however I have recently discussed about this topic with some Egyptologists[23], who all agree, for various reasons, in rejecting this misleading terminology, especially with regards of the younger and even more misleading term "Dynasty 00" which is not yet rooted in the lexicon of Egyptologists and historians. I think that the diffidence for the term also depends on the different meaning with which it is alternatively used by Egyptologists.

III - Conclusions

For the above mentioned reasons I would completely agree about the necessity to stem the use of the term "Dynasty 00", particularly if no explanation or clarification about its sense is provided. Such a rejection should be also extended to all the Dynasties (cf. above) and certainly to the 'Dynasty 0'.
Even if we don't know whether the Naqada IIIB Abydos-Dynasty 0 did reign on the whole Egypt or not, there are various instances in which Manetho's Dynasties indicate local rulers. Hence the fact that late predynastic kings were or not chiefs of a Unified Egypt mustn't be a deterrent to the use of the term 'dynasty' for the period of the protostate(s).[24]
As I have explained, the difficulty to find good designations for these predynastic polities also depends on the fact that several uncertainties exist about the political situation in Egypt during Naqada IIIA-B.

Our prime objective must be that to investigate more in depth (and more aspects of) the earliest phases of the Egyptian State formation[25] and the related questions of the creation and development of a peculiar ideology (especially concerning the institution of kingship), of élites and of a complexly organized and highly specialized state apparatus (administration, bureaucracy, economy, technology); obviously the availability of more data is fundamental not to make debates rest in the pure speculation; thus the new fieldwork is the primary source and base for any analysis, synthesis and reinterpretation.
When these traits of the oldest phases of the Egyptian culture as a proto- and early-state have become more clear, it will be certainly easier to device a proper terminology[26]; already since now we could more properly indicate the late predynastic kings with the Naqada phase (and eventually subphases) during which they are supposed to have lived and the geographical sphere of their influence (whether known): e.g. "Naqada IIIA1 Abydos sovereign".
Yet 'Dynasty 0' could still be a convenient way to group them all up, independently from their period and regional collocation.
I myself have used the two terms discussed here in my website[27] and not only to facilitate Internet-search; admittedly in a somewhat arbitrary way I have distinguished a period of "Dynasty 00" (or, less misleadingly 'Dynasties 00') e.g. phases Naqada IIIA1-A2 (true serekhs not yet used for royal designations[28]), from the Dynasty 0 period, covering Naqada IIIB (early anonymous serekhs as in Abydos U-s, U-t, plain serekhs, Double Falcon up to the time of Narmer or Aha excluded).
The key point is, in my opinion, to conform to only one meaning of the discussed terms, so as to avoid equivocal statements; thus to use these 'dynasties' only in the periodical or in the geographical/genealogical (as far as can be ascertained from the funerary structures) sense. But, beyond this, I think that the real problems with Predynastic Egypt are quite other ones, and more in the field of concepts and facts than in that of "labels", in particular when considering the antiquated character of the currently adopted Dynastic subdivision.[29]
Presently, a good number of archaeological missions are working on Egyptian sites of late predynastic period; reports, syntheses and new studies are being prepared or will be published within the next years; I cannot doubt that more light is going to be shed on the causes, modalities and effects of the origin of the state in Egypt, which will in turn result in a more adequate terminology; the ambiguity of the terms here discussed reflects our uncertainties about the questions expressed above: time and research will surely make our ideas and expressions clearer.

Finally, after having reviewed the origin of Manetho's Dynasties and having outlined the weakness of the system, I do not consider its use in predynastic ambit a negative trend.
Obviously it results paradoxal to deal with dynasties in a period which we call 'predynastic'; but I don't see it as an obstacle, and I guess that it is the term 'predynastic' which is outdated (or to be shifted farther back in time). Because now we know that the Ancient Egyptian State and many of its features originated before the First Dynasty: regional or super-regional entities existed long before Narmer and these socio-political units (proto-states) bore a culture which passed into and through the Dynastic period; this continuity is even more evident than the transformations, differences and breaks; and the extended use of the dynasty-concept to the 'Late Predynastic' period by means of the terms Dynasty '00' and '0', does justice to this newer perception of the origin of the Dynastic Egypt tradition. For in the light of the last decades discoveries, in cultural and perhaps also in political terms, it was what we call Late Predynastic to have been the Early Dynastic period indeed.


NOTES - (click the link to open a new window/page for the notes)

[1] W.G. Waddell, Manetho, 1940.
[2] D. Redford, Pharaonic King-lists, Annals and Day-books, 1986, chapt. 6-9; see also note 8.
[3] Indeed the TC preserves traces of geographical arrangement of rulers, yet within a less compartmented assemblage than Manetho's one: even if only for summation purpose, there is a grouping of the first five dynasties' kings; some kind of break between the Fifth and Sixth Dynasty seems also evident from the contents of the South Saqqara stone (Baud - Dobrev, in: BIFAO 95, 1995): in fact these Annals concern only Manetho's Sixth Dynasty!
It has been much debated about the Abydos Umm el-Qaab necropolis seal-impressions with the names of First Dynasty kings from Narmer to Den (tomb T, cf. G. Dreyer, in: MDAIK 43, 1987, 33ff.) and from Narmer to Qa'a (tomb Q: Dreyer et. al., in: MDAIK 52, 1996, 72, fig. 26): the latter specimen precisely spans Manetho's First Dynasty.
These door seal-impressions testify the existence of funerary cult of the royal ancestors in the necropolis and the effective (?) succession of the eight Thinite kings. Ancient Egyptians of that period certainly considered the rulers from Narmer to Qa'a as forming a group owing to both their common origin (Thinis) and their 'final destination' (the sacred burial ground of the Umm el-Qaab).
Similarly, we often find the Nswt-Bity names of the last four kings of the First Dynasty incised on stone vessels, although for different purpose (celebrative or administrative inscriptions) and in a different modality (royal names added nearby -or over- those of the earlier kings) than that of seals; another close parallel can be drawn with the royal names incised on the shoulder of the statuette (Cairo CG 1) of Redjit (formerly erroneously named 'Hotepdief'): this priest served the funerary cult of the first three kings of the Second Dynasty, whose tombs were at Saqqara (only Hotepsekhemwy's and Ninetjer's tombs -A and B- are actually known).
The important movement of the Royal Necropolis from Abydos to Saqqara could have also influenced the layout of Manetho's Dynasty (cf. text below). But the royal names on the sealings are not king-lists and in my opinion any further speculation about the coincidence of the names on the Narmer-to-Qa'a sealing with what we call "First Dynasty" is extremely dangerous and potentially misleading. The seal impressions do not prove that OK Egyptians thought in term of "dynasties" in the same way as Manetho and ourselves do.
The fact that Narmer is the earliest king mentioned on both the quoted sealings is clearly a relevant matter, as also is the omission of Merneith's name on the later sealing, but the implications of these two particulars cannot be analyzed here; I only want to remark that Horus Narmer must have been a true pivotal figure of Egyptian History, perhaps really the author of the definitive Unification, and to be considered in some way both the last king of "Dynasty 0" and the foundator of "Dynasty 1", recalling in this the two entries of Menes in the Turin Canon (verso, col. II, lines 10-11).
[4] The author appeared very skeptical about the possibility that Manetho might have used both Egyptian monumental inscriptions and any kind of non-Egyptian sources to compile his work.
[5] Malek, in JEA 68, 1982, 93ff. (espec. the conclusions at p. 105-106).
[6] Menes, la memoire monarchique et la chronologie du IIIe millénaire, in: Archéo-Nil 9, 1999, 109-147; id., Les frontières des quatre premières dynasties. Annales royales et historiographie égyptienne, in: BSFE 149, 2000, 32-46; id., Djéser et la IIIe dynastie, 2002, 53ff.
[7] The first kings of the first four dynasties (Narmer, Hotepsekhemwy, Djoser and Snofru) apparently introduced important transformations in the method of counting and reporting years/dates; the numerical count used during the Second and Fourth Dynasty (and on) replaced the evenemential designation (by important cerimonies or other 'events' happened during each year) which seems to have been precisely adopted all along the First and Third Dynasties.
On the fifth line of the Palermo Stone recto we can plainly observe the two different methods at work: numerical counts on the reign to the right (Khasekhemwy, last king of the Second Dynasty), while in the following one (to the left, Netjerykhet/Djoser) the events-based system already used in the First Dynasty is re-introduced in the Third.
[8] R. Weill, Les IIe et IIIe Dynasties Egyptiennes, 1908, 26-64; Helck, Untersuchungen zu Manetho und den ägyptischen Königslisten, 1956; id., Untersuchungen zur Thinitenzeit, 1987; Godron, Etudes sur l'Horus Den et quelques problèmes de l'Egypte archaïque, 1990; id., Les rois de la Ire dynastie chez Manéthon, in: Berger-Mathieu, Etudes sur l'Ancien Empire et la nécropole de Saqqâra dédiées à Jean-Philippe Lauer, 1997, 199-211; also cf. Barta, in: ZAS 108, 1981.
[9] Similar criticism of artificial degree of grouping and incoherent principle of subdivision could be made also in respect of the terminology of the Intermediate periods and that of the Old-, Middle- and New- Kingdom. However the peculiar acceptation of all these terms in Egyptological ambit is often remarked and well known.
[10] Redford, op. cit, 1986, 231ff.; Von Beckerath, in: MDAIK 14, 1956, 1-10; Kaiser, in: ZAS 84, 1959, 119ff; id., in: ZAS 85, 1960, 118ff; id., in: ZAS 86, 1961, 39ff.; id., in: ZAS 91, 1964, 86ff.; Helck, op. cit., 1987, 90-99.
[11] Hierakonpolis, pt. I, 1900, 5ff.
[12] Loc. cit., 5; Menes was equated with Hor-Aha owing to the interpretation of an inscribed label discovered by J. de Morgan in the niched Mastaba of Naqada in 1897.
[13] Serekhs of late predynastic kings were found in those years at Turah, El Beda, Tarkhan and Helwan in tombs of the local élite; cf. F. Raffaele, in: Aegyptiaca Helvetica 17, 2003 in press.
[14] The term 'Dynasty 0' wasn't used in the 1982 massive report (Kaiser-Dreyer, in: MDAIK 38): only since a 1985 paper by Kaiser (in: MDAIK 41, p. 71) it started to reacquire popularity in the Egyptological publications.
Also cf. one earlier mention of 'Dynasty 0' (Narmer) in M. Hoffman's Egypt before the Pharaohs, 1979, 270, table XI.
[15] As shown by the serekhs with names of Dynasty 0 kings from the Helwan cemetery (Nj-Neith, Ka, Narmer) and tomb S3357 at North Saqqara (reign of Aha). For a recent synthesis of the Dynasty 0 cf. F. Raffaele, op. cit., in press.
[16] Early Dynastic Egypt, 1999, 53.
[17] Kaiser - Dreyer, in: MDAIK 38, 1982; van den Brink, in: Archeo-Nil 11, in press; F. Raffaele, op. cit.; also cf. n. 18.
[18] S. Hendrickx, in: A.J. Spencer (ed.), Aspects of Early Egypt, 1996, 36-69; also see below.
[19] Cf. notes 13, 17.
[20] It could even be doubted that some of the (non personalized) serekhs were royal marks at all.
[21] In: E.C.M. van den Brink (ed.), Nile Delta in Transition, 1992, vi, n. 1. But cf. G. Dreyer, ibid., 295: "…W-ware with painted net pattern datable to Naqada IIIa2-IIIb (Dynasty 0)".
[22] Cf. op. cit. in note 18; also see S. Hendrickx, in: Archaéo-Nil 9, 1999, 13-107.
[23] J.J. Castillos, S. Hendrickx, J. Van Wetering, in pers. communications via e-mail or via the EEF Internet forum (cf. the archive of October 2002, txt-file: "Periodisation in AE history").
[24] On the other hand, it is true that the two terms only add more confusion to Manetho's system: to consider "00" and "0" by the same meter as "1-30" generates a further unknown, especially when dynasty comes to coincide with a period.
[25] Cf. K. M. Cialowicz, M. Chlodnicki, S. Hendrickx (eds.), Origin of the State. Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt, Abstract of Papers, to: http://members.xoom.it/francescoraf/Cracow.htm (publication of the proceedings in preparation).
[26] Certainly it will be much harder, if not impossible, to re-elaborate or replace Manetho's thirty dynasties.
[27] Early Dynastic Egypt, at : http://members.xoom.it/francescoraf/
[28] Some bone tags from the Scorpion I's tomb U-j at Abydos (G. Dreyer, Umm el-Qaab I, 1998, fig. 80, nr. 127-129) show representations of a bird perched atop a niched building which might be interpreted as a forerunner of serekhs.
[29] Yet this doesn't obviously mean that we are authorized to be superficial and imprecise in this respect only because of the basic faults.

© Francesco Raffaele
* This article is published in: BASADE, February 2003
(both in Spanish translation by Mrs. Teresa Soria and in my English original)