At Abydos, not only rulers but also many royal officials were interred.Bits of bone and hair and plant material associated with several individuals could therefore be expected to come from each monarch’s reign, helping mark out roughly how long each ruled.In Mesopotamia, for example, you have agriculture for several thousand years before you have anything like a state.”15 “The origins of Egypt began a millennium before the pyramids were built, which is why our understanding of how and why this powerful state developed is based solely on archaeological evidence,” Dee explained.
“Egypt was a state that emerged quickly—over that time one has immense social change.
This is interesting when one compares it with other places.
Egyptian monarchs didn’t start building pyramids until the Third Dynasty, conventionally dated around 2686 BC.11 Since the focus of the study was the First Dynasty, the researchers obtained most of their regnal results from the Royal Tombs at Umm el-Qaab, the sacred burial site of Abydos.
Abydos had also been Egypt’s capital until a First Dynasty pharaoh moved it north to Memphis.
Image by Michael Dee, via NBC.10 The investigators statistically compared the results of radiocarbon testing on 74 new and 112 old specimens from Egypt’s Pre-Dynastic periods and First Dynasty with all the other archaeological data collected on those materials.