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Memphis: United Egypt’s First Capital
    1. Memphis was in a better location for maintaining administrative control.
    2. Memphis had long been a regional administrative center by the time Egypt was united.
    3. This and Hierakonpolis had never actually been incorporated into the unified state.
    4. Egyptian rulers had failed to keep political control over This and Hierakonpolis in predynastic times.
    1. the reduction of the strategic importance of older centers of power
    2. the opportunity for the recently united Egypt to become economically self-sufficient
    3. the increase in political tensions between the rulers of Upper and Lower Egypt
    4. the reduction of Egypt's dependence upon the Nile for trade and communications
    1. Two simultaneous developments are described, as well as the reasons why neither one would have occurred without the other.
    2. A hypothesis is presented, and then points in favor of that hypothesis as well as points against it are discussed.
    3. A major event is described, and then the most obvious effects of that event are presented.
    4. A decision is described, and then one likely motivation for that decision is presented.
    1. Once internal trade was fully controlled from Memphis
    2. Not until early dynastic Egypt established its state-directed economy
    3. As early as predynastic times
    4. Only when local supplies of those goods had been completely used up
    1. Thus in Memphis, the rulers of the Early Dynastic Period were ideally placed to control internal trade, which they had to do in order to run their economy.
    2. Therefore the rulers of the Early Dynastic Period thought Memphis was the ideal location for trade with nearby countries.
    3. In short, a state-directed economy like that of the Early Dynastic Period requires choosing a single location to which goods can be moved-Memphis, in this case.
    4. In sum, then, a state-directed economy first developed during Egypt's Early Dynastic Period because Memphis was an ideal location for controlling trade.
    1. The level of the Nile floodplains was much higher in predynastic and dynastic times than in later times.
    2. The sediment deposits of wadis were not as noticeable in predynastic and dynastic times than in later times.
    3. The Nile valley at the point of Memphis was narrower in predynastic and dynastic times than it was in later times.
    4. Frequent rainy periods may have caused a significant reduction of trade traffic during the predynastic and dynastic times.
    1. It was at the junction of a major trade route with the Nile valley.
    2. It was near land that could be used for animal grazing and for growing crops.
    3. The nearby outwash fans led into wadis that could be used as desert trade routes.
    4. Since foreign traders had settled in nearby Maadi, trade between the two cities could be established.
    1. to have gone wrong
    2. to have been helpful
    3. to have occurred by chance
    4. to have made a difference
    1. To give an indication of the level of prosperity that Memphis is thought to have enjoyed from its earliest days
    2. To compare the Memphis region to them in terms of their similar combinations of characteristics providing advantages for early settlement
    3. To identify the models that the founders of Memphis followed in laying out the national capital
    4. To suggest that the combination of desert pasturage and alluvial arable land in the same area was very common
  1. While considerations of political power and ease of administration were decisive in choosing the location of the new capital, the site clearly had other advantages.
  2. Around 3100 B.C. Memphis was chosen for its strategic importance to be the first capital of a recently united Egypt.
    1. River-based trade from northern Egypt and imported goods going south all passed through the Memphis region, making Memphis an ideal location for controlling trade.
    2. Recent geological surveys suggest that the topographical features of the Memphis region made it particularly well-suited for controlling communications and trade.
    3. The rulers of unified Egypt enjoyed a monopoly over foreign trade because all such trade was required to go through the Wadi Digla, to which the rulers controlled all access.
    4. After Memphis became the capital city, river-based trade along the Nile gained in importance, while land-based desert trade declined in importance.
    5. The Nile, despite a constriction of its valley near Memphis, was the most advantageous route for communication and travel once the floodplain had begun to rise.
    6. While the location of Memphis was agriculturally favorable, it was particularly attractive because it enabled Egypt's rulers to control trade moving through the desert from the Near East.