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o                   "l be (Calendars and, UbronoLogy
putting the 3rd epagomenal day, which was the festival of Set,
on the day of the autumn equinox, 372 years before 2769 (i.e. in
3141) and thereafter maintaining a Julian calendar of 365 days;
so that the calendar or conventional autumn equinox would
move forward in the solar year at the rate of a day in about
135 years.
Again the Palermo Stone divides the last year of Menes,
which was also the first year of his successor, into two portions
which aggregate to 320 days only. It seems clear that at this
period the opening day of the seasonal year was moved back
45 days in the seasons. Since then we find a calendar which
opened at the autumn equinox, we may reasonably infer that
prior to this change the opening day was about November 6
of our present calendar.
Further, the apparent movement of this conventional autumn
equinox in the seasons indicates that the New Year day was
subsequently determined not by the celestial event, but by the
New Year day of a calendar of 365 J days.
The picture so far presented of the origins of the calendars
of Egypt is admittedly conjectural as regards the first four
centuries of dynastic history, inasmuch as the scanty and indeed
ambiguous evidence available is insufficient to prove the theory.
On the other hand, it is claimed that the picture now to be
presented is logical and consistent both with permissible inter-
pretations of the evidence and with the general view of this
period held by Egyptologists.
We see then the kings of Upper Egypt extending their
sovereignty northwards until, about the epoch of the accession
of Menes, they conquered the peoples of Lower Egypt and
absorbed the Delta in their realm. The people of Lower Egypt
already at this period had trading contacts with Knossos and
Syria, exchanging the surplus produce of the Delta perhaps
for the metals collected by the fleets of Knossos and for the
timber of Lebanon. It seems to be a reasonable assumption