Griffith in England and Sethe in Germany were among the first to recognized that they were in the presence of the remains of Manetho's 1st and 2nd Dynasties.
The burnt wooden linings of the tombs and the wide scattering of broken fragments were tracked down to Coptic Christians of the fifth or sixth century.In spite of these disadvantages Petrie was able, besides making plans of the tombs, to recover a vast multitude of important objects, including inscribed stone vessels, jar-sealings, ebony and ivory tablets, as well as several superbly carved stele of imposing size.Meanwhile scholars in Europe went to work on the inscriptions found by Amelineau.Egypt's 1st Dynasty saw the emergence of a unified land stretching from the Delta to the first cataract at Aswan, a distance of over one thousand kilometers along the Nile Valley.The memorable years which gave Egyptologists their first glimpse of the predynastic period also brought them face to face for the first time with the earliest dynasties, which commenced areound 3,000 BC. Amelineau, a Coptic scholar with no previous experience of excavating.
Supported by funds from private sources he started operations at Abydos in 1895, working westwards until he reached a low spur of the desert known as Umm el-Ka'ab 'Mother of Pots' after the innumerable potsherd covering the surface.
In this remote spot, a full mile distant from the cultivation, he came upon a cluster of brick pit-tombs which subsequently proved to have belonged to the kings of the 1st and 2nd Dynasties.
According to his count they were sixteen in number, and since, so far as he could see, the royal names were all of the Horus-name type while none of them corresponded to the names in Manetho and the king-lists, he naturally concluded that his new kings were those 'Followers of Horus' whom the Turin Canon of Kings gives as predecessors of Menes (the first king of the Unified Upper and Lower Egypt) and whom Manetho describes as Demigods of Manes.
Closer study by competent philologists quickly dispelled this error.
Amelineau's excavation was badly conducted and badly published, and it was fortunate when, in 1899, Flinders Petrie obtained a permit to investigate the site once more.
The highly successful results of his work were made accessible very quickly in several memoirs published by the Egypt Exploration Fund.