“The Elements of Early African Civilization”
The History of Africa: The Quest for Eternal Harmony, 3rd Ed, Molefi Kete Asante

Kemet: The First Major Civilization of Africa
first major civilization of Africa
meaning “land of the Blacks”
later called Egypt by the Greeks
first location where human beings organize themselves as a nation
first towns and villages under the control of a central government emerged in Kemet

Kemetic Phases
Archaic Period (3400-2600 BCE)
Old Kingdom (2685-2200 BCE)
First Intermediate Period (2200-2000 BCE)
Middle Kingdom (2040-1785 BCE)
Second Intermediate Period (1800-1600 BCE)
New Kingdom (1570-1085 BCE)
Resurgent Kingdom (750-590 BCE)
Do you know the meaning of BCE?
before common era
prior to year 1 or year 1 common era
imagine year 1, that is, 2021 years ago
then further subtract 3000 years
The Archaic Period (3400-2600 BCE)

Unification of Kemet
Narmer 3400 BC, also known as Menes
conquered the other kings of the Nile Valley
combined lower and upper Kemet
considered the symbol of god on earth
Nile runs down to the north from the African highlands to the Mediterranean
North icalled lower Kemet
South is Upper Kemet

Unification of Kemet
Narmer 3400 BC
42 ethnic groups or administrative kingships came under his rule
Narmer Per-aa or pharaoh (Hebrew)
an incarnate of god
No king could serve if he did not have the direct link to the supreme deity
All priesthoods recognized the Per-aa as the son of God or sa Ra

Beginnings of International Law in Ancient Kemet
Scholar Jeremy I. Levitt asserts that Ptah-Hotep, the first major philosopher posits the idea of political rules or international law
Challenging the idea international law began with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 between European nations
Eurocentric history omits the importance of African contributions to human civilization
Treaty of Westphalia based on ideas from Africa, specifically Mesopotamia that had rules about interstate interactions, as well as Kemet, Nubia, Mali, Ghana, among other nations
No kingdom, nation, or government has existed as long as Kemet.
Lasted 3,000 compared to the United States which has only existed since 1776

Writing in Early Kemet
Writing dates to Kemet starting around 3400 BCE
executed on any type of surface but primarily on papyrus.
The three primary purposes of writing consist of:
Recording historical events
Communication between the king, priest , and scribes;
Literary and instructional writings
German archeologist, Gunter Dreyer found writing dating back to to 3400 to 3300:
ivory labels found attached to bags of linen and oil in the tomb of King Scorpion I in Egypt
inscriptions found on pottery in a cemetery date
idea of using marking to store and record information occurred in Africa before anywhere else in the world

Writing in Early Kemet
God Tehuti
invented writing and served as “the scribe and historian of the gods”
tracked time
created mathematics, art, and science

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