Episode 1: The Two Lands

Narmer and the Birth of Egypt’s Kingdom.

Around 3000 BCE, a King rose to power in the Nile Valley. His name was Nar-mer, and he may be the first king of Egypt. In this episode, we meet the first ruler of the land, get a sense of Egypt and its people, and introduce the podcast as a whole. Welcome!

  • Time period: circa 3050 – 3000 BCE.
  • Kings: Narmer, Scorpion
  • Notable sites: Abydos (Abdju), Memphis (Ineb-Hedj).

01. Narmer Victory 1

Direct Download (Save As mp3).

The Two Lands

The major divisions and sites of early Egypt (Map: Nasa)



The Narmer Palette, smiting side (Wikimedia).
Narmer Palette, the “Parade” side (Wikimedia).
The possible tomb of Narmer, in the necropolis of Abydos (Touregypt.net)

podcast episode 1 narmer palette 1 (Wilkinson 2000)

Detail of the Narmer palette: the King smites his foe while a sandal-bearer (left) and the falcon Horus (right) watch.

podcast episode 1 narmer palette 2 (Wilkinson 2000)

Detail of the Narmer palette: the King and his followers march in parade, holding the banners of the gods (centre) and counting the dead enemies (right).

A macehead from the reign of Narmer (Wikimedia).


Detail of the Narmer macehead: it shows the King (centre) seated on a plinth, beneath a canopy. A woman (or divine statue) is brought before him, along with bound captives (centre right), the banners of gods (top right) and the animals of the realm (bottom right). The King’s followers gather behind him, and his fortress and shrines are secure.


King Scorpion

A machead of King Scorpion (Wikimedia)


The macehead of King Scorpion, who reigned just before Narmer in Egypt’s southern lands. Scorpion (centre) digs a canal or irrigation, while attendants help. At the top, banners of the gods carry dead birds in his name.


Select Bibliography

Vivienne Gae Callender, In Hathor’s Image: The Wives and Mothers of Egyptian Kings from Dynasties I – VI (Vol. I), 2011.

John Romer, A History of Ancient Egypt from the First Farmers to the Great Pyramid, 2013.

David Wengrow, The Archaeology of Early Egypt, 2006.

Toby Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, 1999.


13 Comments Add yours

  1. Denis Nardin says:

    I cannot seem to download this episode. Please fix it because I really want to listen to this podcast!

    1. DominicPerry says:

      Hi Denis,

      My apologies – when I re-jigged some of the early episodes I plum forgot to update the blog.

      Page should now have the correct link.

      Alternatively, I recommend subscribing via iTunes or a podcast app (Player Fm, Podbay etc) to get new episodes when they are released, and in their most up-to-date form 🙂

  2. dukeofethereal says:

    Thank you very much for this phenomenal podcast series Dominic!

    1. DominicPerry says:

      Thank you for listening 🙂

  3. Jordi says:

    Is it possible to get a written file of the listening?

    1. DominicPerry says:

      Hi Jordi,
      Unfortunately I do not give out the transcripts at this time.

  4. Caro says:

    Great work, Dominick. Just I was surpris of seeing you jump straight this time from mound primordial to Nagada 3.

    1. DominicPerry says:

      Hi Caro,
      As part of the remaster project I am putting the Mythological tales into their own episodes. The first one is “Infinite Waters,” just after episode 3


  5. Franco says:

    I really admire your work. Congratulations and thanks you

  6. Franco says:

    I really admire your work. Congratulations and thank you

  7. Rick van der Horst says:

    This is really great. Have you ever thought of uploading this podcast to spotify for easy use and a wider audience?

    1. DominicPerry says:

      Hi Rick 🙂 I’m trying to upload it to Spotify, but they are currently not accepting the platform on which I host (Acast). Unfortunately it is out my control, at the present time; but when that changes, I’ll be first in line.


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