THE CROWN AND THE SCEPTER

ANCIENT EGYPT

The crown and the scepter

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.

The crown
LEGEND
Amentetfeather and bird on a support
Amun also Horustwo feather
Anuketfeather series
Atensolar disk and sun rays (not illustrated)
Atumdouble crown of Upper and Lower Egypt
Gebram feather and horn (not illustrated)
Hahieroglyphic for the desert and the hills
Hathorox horn and solar disk
Hehnotched palm leaf
Isishieroglyphic for the throne, sometimes with the shape of an ox horn and solar disk, others as a headgear shaped as a vulture
Kheperabeetle
Khnumhorns of ram and solar disk, Ba of Ra, Shu, Osiride and Geb
Khonsdisk and scythe of moon
Labet (est)normal lance
Lower Egypt and Hapinormal lance
Maatfeather
Meskhentuterus of cow
Nefer-Tumflower of lotus (not illustrated here)
Neithtwo cross arrows and shield with a red crown
Nekhbetcrown of Low Egypt or headgear to form of vulture
Neftis“lady of the hieroglyph of the house”, basket on square
Nutceramics vase
Onurisfour feather
OsirisAtef’s crown
Ra-Horakhtysolar disk or hawk, ram of the night
Reshefhorns of gazelle on the white crown of tall Egypt
Satetit crowns white with horns of antelope
SerketScorpio (not illustrated)
Seshatflower to five or you are stung, with horns
Shufeather of ostrich (not illustrated)
Sobekusually in partnership to two feathers, two snakes and a solar disk
Thotibis (not illustrated)
Upper Egyptflower of lotus
Wasretscepter 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.