Ancient Egypt UnitedMenes - Although slightly younger than Mesopotamian civilization, Egypt unified under a single kingdom more quickly. No doubt due to its easily defensible location, making it less vulnerable to foreign conquest. Credit for unification goes to Menes of the Upper Nile who conquered the Lower Nile ca. 3000 B.C. and ushered in the dynastic era. He is considered Egypt's first pharaoh and established his capital at Memphis. The Narmer Palette, named for the king it portrays, is said to commemorate this event. However, are Narmer and Menes the same person? The general consensus is they are. But another theory is that Narmer was the last ruler of the pre-dynastic period (King Scorpion) and Menes his successor as pharaoh. Of significance, the palette depicts Menes wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt on the front and the White Crown of Upper Egypt on the back, indicating unification. According to historian Manetho, Menes was mauled to death by a hippopotamus while hunting after a 62 year reign.