Narmer Palette, verso

The Narmer Catalog is a comprehensive database, gathering in one convenient location all available information about archaeological objects with inscriptions related to Narmer, the first king of Ancient Egypt, and his regional predecessors from Dynasty 0. The Catalog includes 262 inscriptions, from 42 different sites in Egypt, Nubia, the Sinai, and the Southern Levant. Newly discovered inscriptions will be added as they are published.

This digital catalog is provided as a free public resource for researchers and others interested in these key figures in the history of Ancient Egypt.

What the Narmer Catalog Contains

The Catalog contains records for all known artifacts with inscriptions bearing the name of Narmer and his regional predecessors, including Iry-Hor, Ka, and Scorpion II, as well as every royal name proposed for regional Dynasty 0 (Protodynastic) rulers. Incorporated into this database are all inscriptions attributed to their reigns, including "problematic" inscriptions whose exact meaning and dating have yet to be positively determined.

Each record in the Catalog includes key information (including Catalog No., Date (Period), Date (King), Dated by, Type, Method of Inscription, Material, Region, Site, Locality, Depository, Registration No., and Dimensions), illustrations (both drawings and photographs), as well as an extensive bibliography of the inscription. See About page for further information.

The most well-known entries in the Catalog are the Narmer Palette (shown here) and the Narmer Macehead. The Catalog also encompasses more recent discoveries, including unpublished inscriptions and recent reconstructions such as the Narmer Boxes (IDs 6101, 6102, and 6103).

The Narmer Catalog was originally created to shed light on the reign of Narmer. In doing so, one enduring question that these inscriptions have helped to address is whether the legendary first king of Ancient Egypt was Narmer. Did the Egyptian ruler known by the personal name Menes take the Horus Name “Narmer” (as the majority of Egyptologists agree) or was Menes was actually Narmer’s successor, Hor-Aha? The article “Who Was Menes?”, which can be found on this website attempts to answer this question.

Subsequent to its inception, the Catalog has been expanded to include inscriptions dating to the reigns of Narmer's regional predecessors, including Iry-Hor, Ka, and Scorpion II, as well as all inscriptions plausibly proposed to represent other Dynasty 0 royal names. With this additional material, we hope to shed light on this little known but crucial period of early Egyptian history.

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Last updated 6/21/2022