The Narmer Catalog

The Narmer Catalog contains a complete set of inscriptions bearing the name Narmer, as well as inscriptions attributed to his reign, including problematic inscriptions. For each inscription, the information includes the Source Number, Date, Dated by, Type, Material, Region, Site, Locality, Depository, Registration No., references, drawings and/or photographs, and comments. To the greatest extent possible, the references include every substantive source in English, French, and German. Several references discuss substantial numbers of inscriptions. They include Kaplony 1963 and 1964, Kaiser and Dreyer 1982, Kahl 1994, van den Brink 1996 and 2001, Jiménez-Serrano 2003 and 2007, Pätznick 2009, and Regulski 2010. These works will not be cited in the individual inscription records unless there is a particular reason to do so. For purposes of The Narmer Catalog, the term “inscriptions” is used in its widest sense.

This Catalog is, to a substantial extent, based on the Database of Early Dynastic Inscriptions by Ilona Regulski. For inscriptions 0077-4814, the Source Numbers and most of the other information are from that database. They will not be listed as a reference for individual entries, except where there is a controversy on which they shed light. This project would not have been possible without her kind permission to utilize the Database of Early Dynastic Inscriptions as the foundation of the Narmer Catalog. We have added extensively to the references and comments; included in this Catalog are illustrations, photographs, and drawings. Inscriptions 6001-6020 are new additions. The Narmer Boxes (6101-6103) are treated as three inscriptions, with individual fragments illustrated in the entry for the relevant Box, but they are not given separate Source Numbers.

Elise MacArthur designed the database assisted by Jason Mundok. She also translated articles and was my chief research assistant. Michael Bridgman, MajorMega, implemented the web site. Rozenn Bailleul-LeSuer, Natasha Ayers and Brendan Hainline acted as research assistants and translators. Renée Friedman provided encouragement and numerous comments. Stan Hendrickx provided the Narmer Palette Bibliography and many of the photographs. His Analytic Bibliography of the Prehistory and the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt and Northern Sudan (1995) and the annual updates in Archéo-Nil were invaluable in finding references. The Catalog was first suggested to me by Günter Dreyer, who has also provided numerous comments. Additional helpful comments were received from Edwin van den Brink and Lisa Mawdsley.

The inscriptions can be viewed either in a list, or as individual inscription pages, which include all of the details, illustrations, and references. In the individual inscription page, there is one or more compressed illustrations (either photographs or drawings). If you click on one, a full resolution image will appear which can be downloaded and/or printed. Where there are multiple seal impressions of the same seal that have been divided between different museums, all of the museums are listed as Depositories, and all of the Registration Numbers are listed within a single Source Number. The Object Bibliography lists all of the references in alphabetic order with the Source number being referenced. Because of their large number, references to the Narmer Palette are not shown in the Reference section of the inscription page or the Object Bibliography, but only in the Narmer Palette Bibliography and the Complete Narmer Inscriptions Bibliography. All other references can be found in the Other Narmer Inscriptions Bibliography.

If the Date is shown as “Narmer”, it means that the inscription has been definitely ascribed to Narmer either by reading the royal name on the inscription, or what might be the royal name on the inscription corroborated by some combination of the typology of inscription and/or vessel that it appears on, and/or the grave assemblage. If “(Narmer)” is shown it means that the inscription has been definitely ascribed to the reign of Narmer, but without the presence of the royal name. If “Narmer(?)” is shown, it means that it has been attributed to Narmer on the basis of the royal name, but that the attribution/reading is controversial and/or questionable.

Thomas C Heagy

Comments are welcome at

Inscription not found