The crown and the scepter



The pharaoh’s crown

The Egyptian crowns worn by the kings defined the pharaoh’s status in a certain moment of time. The role could vary from the political one (head of the State), to the spiritual one (priest) to the moral one (teacher). Even the Gods (divinities) wore headgears that were used to identify the roles they had in the world of the living and in the world of the dead and at the same time they were used to distinguish one from the other. These identifying headgears were sometimes exchanged moving the owner’s qualities to who was wearing it.




Amentet feather and bird on a support
Amun also Horus two feather
Anuket feather series
Aten solar disk and sun rays (not illustrated)
Atum double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt
Geb ram feather and horn (not illustrated)
Ha hieroglyphic for the desert and the hills
Hathor ox horn and solar disk
Heh notched palm leaf
Isis hieroglyphic for the throne, sometimes with the shape of an ox horn and solar disk, others as a headgear shaped as a vulture
Khepera beetle
Khnum horns of ram and solar disk, Ba of Ra, Shu, Osiride and Geb
Khons disk and scythe of moon
Labet (est) normal lance
Lower Egypt and Hapi normal lance
Maat feather
Meskhent uterus of cow
Nefer-Tum flower of lotus (not illustrated here)
Neith two cross arrows and shield with a red crown
Nekhbet crown of Low Egypt or headgear to form of vulture
Neftis “lady of the hieroglyph of the house”, basket on square
Nut ceramics vase
Onuris four feather
Osiride Atef’s crown
Ra-Horakhty solar disk or hawk, ram of the night
Reshef horns of gazelle on the white crown of tall Egypt
Satet it crowns white with horns of antelope
Serket Scorpio (not illustrated)
Seshat flower to five or you are stung, with horns
Shu feather of ostrich (not illustrated)
Sobek usually in partnership to two feathers, two snakes and a solar disk
Thot ibis (not illustrated)
Upper Egypt flower of lotus
Wasret scepter was with ribbon

The Scepter

In the official representations, the pharaoh is often portrayed as he holds to his chest, his crook, the heka sceptre and the scourge ( nekhekh or nekhekhat) Osiris’s symbols.

The symbolism is evident: the pharaoh is the shepherd of his people, he protects them with the scourge and he guides them with the crook. Other symbols of the king’s power were the kherp sceptre, originally a cylindrical club which appeared as a battle weapon in the knife of Gebel al-Araq at the end of the pre-dynastic period and the khepesh which, in the New Reign was given by Amon to the sovereign as a reward for a victory.
The word sceptre defined many signs of the divine power and royalty.
Uas, the club which on top had a stylized head of a greyhound that evoked the animal sacred to Seth, and ended with a fork, was the scepter used by the gods.
Uadj, the stylized stalk of papyrus, similar to a papiriform column, was the goddesses’ magic scepter that symbolized the vigor and the eternal youth.

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