Who is the earliest person recorded in history? Whose fame has survived the greatest amount of time to come down to us today?
The Narmer Palette, dating to the 31st century BCE, displays the name "Nar-Mer", the Pharaoh credited with unifying Upper and Lower Egypt. There are names from before this time in later written records, which may or may not be legendary figures, and then there is Iry-Hor, which is either a predynastic pharaoh of upper-egypt preceding Narmer - or a symbol for the Royal Treasury, we're not sure which. So the first person we know for certain to be recorded by a contemporary scribe was Narmer.
Ka may be older, as it is a single hieroglyph enclosed in a primitve serekh, and a direct predecessor of Narmer, or, again, something to do with the pharaoh, without being the pharaoh.
One interesting possibility is a person who described the making of beer on a tablet in Sumer, dated 3400 to 3000 BC. The suggested transcription of the tablet is
BEER PRODUCTION, 134,813 LITRES OF BARLEY TO BE DELIVERED OVER 3 YEARS (37 MONTHS) TO THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL KUSHIN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BREWERY AT THE INANNA TEMPLE IN URUK
It is not cleared up whether Kushin is the person's official title or given name. But Yuval Noah Harari says that if it is his name, then this is the first human in history whose name was recorded.
Perhaps the oldest known human being is the cave painter with a distinctive twist in his or her little finger whose hand imprint—thought to be a kind of signature—is found in several different locations in the Grotte Chauvet in France. The date given these imprints varies between 30 and 36 thousand years ago. Clearly, this predates history as the term is normally used, but it is a record, and it is much, much older than anything like it in Mesopotamia, Egypt, or China.
Imhotep, is the first "artist" whose name is recorded. He built the first pyramid during the Third Dynasty for King Djoser. Before that however, there were kings, gods and goddesses whose names were recorded. As it has been mentioned, King Narmer’s palette is the earliest surviving labeled work of historical art. On the back, in the middle on the top, a hieroglyph gives his name (catfish = nar; chisel = mer) within a frame representing the royal palace.
protected by Steve Bird Aug 8 '17 at 15:05
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