Archaeological sources indicate the emergence, by the late Gerzean period (about 3200 BC), of a dominant political force that was to become the consolidating element in the first united kingdom of ancient Egypt. The earliest known hieroglyphic writing dates from this period; soon the names of early rulers began to appear on monuments. This period began with a 0 Dynasty, which had as many as 13 rulers, ending with Narmer (about 3100 BC), followed by the 1st and 2nd dynasties (about 3100-2755 BC), with at least 17 kings. Some of the earliest massive mortuary structures (predecessors of the pyramids) were built at Saqqara, Abydos, and elsewhere during the 1st and 2nd dynasties.
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