Serekh of Double Falcon. Redrawing of an inscription on a vessel found in el-Beda.
|Reign||32nd century BC (Naqada III)|
Double Falcon (also possibly Dju and Nebwy) was a ruler of Lower Egypt from Naqada III. He may have reigned during the 32nd century BCE. The length of his reign is unknown.
Lower Egypt is the northernmost region of Egypt: the fertile Nile Delta, between Upper Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea — from El Aiyat, south of modern-day Cairo, and Dahshur. Historically, the Nile River split into seven branches of the delta in Lower Egypt. Lower Egypt was divided into nomes and began to advance as a civilization after 3600 BC. Today, it contains two channels major that flow through the delta of the Nile River.
Naqada III is the last phase of the Naqada culture of ancient Egyptian prehistory, dating approximately from 3200 to 3000 BC. It is the period during which the process of state formation, which had begun to take place in Naqada II, became highly visible, with named kings heading powerful polities. Naqada III is often referred to as Dynasty 0 or the Protodynastic Period to reflect the presence of kings at the head of influential states, although, in fact, the kings involved would not have been a part of a dynasty. They would more probably have been completely unrelated and very possibly in competition with each other. In this period, those kings' names were inscribed in the form of serekhs on a variety of surfaces including pottery and tombs.
In 1910, Egyptologist M. J. Clédat discovered the first evidence of Double Falcon's existence. Clédat was excavating the site of el-Mehemdiah in the northeastern Nile Delta when a peasant brought him a jar and some incised fragments that he had uncovered during the planting of a palm-grove in nearby el-Beda. Investigating the site, Clédat soon discovered four serekhs of Double Falcon.
Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, architecture and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the 4th century AD. A practitioner of the discipline is an "Egyptologist". In Europe, particularly on the Continent, Egyptology is primarily regarded as being a philological discipline, while in North America it is often regarded as a branch of archaeology.
The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers 240 km (150 mi) of Mediterranean coastline and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is approximately 160 km (99 mi) in length. The Delta begins slightly down-river from Cairo.
A serekh was a specific important type of heraldic crest used in ancient Egypt. Like the later cartouche, it contained a royal name.
The next attestation of Double Falcon was discovered in 1912 during excavations by Hermann Junker on the site of Tura, where a tomb yielded a complete jar bearing a serekh topped by two falcons.
Hermann Junker was a German archaeologist best known for his discovery of the Merimde-Benisalam site in the West Nile Delta in Lower Egypt in 1928.
More recently, serekhs of Double Falcon have been found in the Sinai Peninsula,in Tell Ibrahim Awad in the eastern Delta, in Adaima and Abydos in Upper Egypt, and in the Palmahim quarry in southern Israel.
The Sinai Peninsula or simply Sinai is a peninsula in Egypt, and the only part of the country located in Asia. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south, and is a land bridge between Asia and Africa. Sinai has a land area of about 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi) and a population of approximately 1,400,000 people. Administratively, the Sinai Peninsula is divided into two governorates: the South Sinai Governorate and the North Sinai Governorate. Three other governorates span the Suez Canal, crossing into African Egypt: Suez Governorate on the southern end of the Suez Canal, Ismailia Governorate in the center, and Port Said Governorate in the north.
Abydos is one of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt, and also of the eighth nome in Upper Egypt, of which it was the capital city. It is located about 11 kilometres west of the Nile at latitude 26° 10' N, near the modern Egyptian towns of el-'Araba el Madfuna and al-Balyana. In the ancient Egyptian language, the city was called Abdju. The English name Abydos comes from the Greek Ἄβυδος, a name borrowed by Greek geographers from the unrelated city of Abydos on the Hellespont.
Upper Egypt is the strip of land on both sides of the Nile that extends between Nubia and downriver (northwards) to Lower Egypt.
The concentration of Double Falcon's serekhs in Lower Egypt and the north-western Sinai indicates that his rule may have been limited to these regions. Nonetheless, the wider geographic presence of his serekhs, notably in Upper Egypt and the Southern Levant, suggests that the long-distance authority of the Naqada III kings had already commenced towards the end of the period, be it through trading or warfare.
The Southern Levant is a geographical region encompassing the southern half of the Levant. It corresponds approximately to modern-day Israel, Palestine, and Jordan; some definitions also include southern Lebanon, southern Syria and/or the Sinai Peninsula. As a strictly geographical description, it is sometimes used by archaeologists and historians to avoid the religious and political connotations of other names for the area.
The serekh of Double Falcon is unique in its layout and composition. Firstly, it is the only serekh topped by two Horus falcons, facing each other. Secondly, the serekh does not have a name compartment, being filled by the vertical lines which usually represent the niched facade of a palace. The serekh also lacks the horizontal line that delimits the palace facade from the name of the ruler above. Finally, each falcon stands on its own peak. Egyptologists M. J. Cledat, Günter Dreyer and Edwin van den Brink suspect that a deeper symbolism explains these peculiarities. The two falcons could represent Lower Egypt and the Sinai, as it seems that Double Falcon reigned over both regions.Dreyer believes that the falcons stand on a representation of the "mountain sign" N26 of Gardiner's sign list:
Günter Dreyer was an Egyptologist at the German Archaeological Institute. In southern Egypt, Dreyer discovered records of linen and oil deliveries which have been carbon-dated to between 3300 BCE and 3200 BCE, predating the Dynastic Period.
Gardiner's Sign List is a list of common Egyptian hieroglyphs compiled by Sir Alan Gardiner. It is considered a standard reference in the study of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
and reads the name as Dju (ḏw), so that the name of the king is represented by a pair of falcons on mountains above a plain serekh.In contrast, van den Brink reads the name as Nebwy (nb.wy), "the two lords", and sees a similarity with a much earlier palette on display in the Barbier-Mueller Museum of Geneva.
Narmer was an ancient Egyptian king of the Early Dynastic Period, circa 3100-3050 BC. He probably was the successor to the Protodynastic king Ka, or possibly Scorpion. Some consider him the unifier of Egypt and founder of the First Dynasty, and in turn the first king of a unified Egypt.
Hor-Aha is considered the second pharaoh of the First Dynasty of Egypt by some Egyptologists, others consider him the first one and corresponding to Menes. He lived around the 31st century BC and is thought to have had a long reign.
Djet, also known as Wadj, Zet, and Uadji, was the fourth pharaoh of the First Dynasty. Djet's Horus name means "Horus Cobra" or "Serpent of Horus".
Den, also known as Hor-Den, Dewen and Udimu, is the Horus name of a pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period who ruled during the First Dynasty of Egypt. He is the best archaeologically-attested ruler of this period. Den is said to have brought prosperity to his realm and numerous innovations are attributed to his reign. He was the first to use the title "King of Lower and Upper Egypt", and the first depicted as wearing the double crown. The floor of his tomb at Umm El Qa'ab near Abydos is made of red and black granite, the first time in Egypt this hard stone was used as a building material. During his long reign he established many of the patterns of court ritual and royalty used by later rulers and he was held in high regard by his immediate successors.
Scorpion II, also known as King Scorpion, refers to the second of two kings or chieftains of that name during the Protodynastic Period of Upper Egypt.
Merneith was a consort and a regent of Ancient Egypt during the First Dynasty. She may have been a ruler of Egypt in her own right, based on several official records. If this was the case, she may have been the first female pharaoh and the earliest queen regnant in recorded history. Her rule occurred around 2950 BC for an undetermined period. Merneith’s name means "Beloved by Neith" and her stele contains symbols of that ancient Egyptian deity. She may have been Djer's daughter and was probably Djet's senior royal wife. The former meant that she would have been the great-granddaughter of unified Egypt's first pharaoh, Narmer. She was also the mother of Den, her successor.
Iry-Hor or Ro was a predynastic pharaoh of Upper Egypt during the 32nd century BC. Iry-Hor's existence was debated, with the Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson contesting the reading and signification of his name. However, continuing excavations at Abydos in the 1980s and 1990s and the discovery in 2012 of an inscription of Iry-Hor in the Sinai confirmed his existence. Iry-Hor is the earliest ruler of Egypt known by name and possibly the earliest-living historical person known by name.
Seth-Peribsen is the serekh name of an early Egyptian monarch (pharaoh), who ruled during the Second Dynasty of Egypt. His chronological position within this dynasty is unknown and it is disputed who ruled both before and after him. The duration of his reign is also unknown.
Anedjib, more correctly Adjib and also known as Hor-Anedjib, Hor-Adjib and Enezib, is the Horus name of an early Egyptian king who ruled during the 1st dynasty. The Egyptian historian Manetho named him "Miebîdós" and credited him with a reign of 26 years, whilst the Royal Canon of Turin credited him with an implausible reign of 74 years. Egyptologists and historians now consider both records to be exaggerations and generally credit Adjib with a reign of 8–10 years.
Semerkhet is the Horus name of an early Egyptian king who ruled during the first dynasty. This ruler became known through a tragic legend handed down by the ancient Greek historian, Manetho, who reported that a calamity of some sort occurred during Semerkhet's reign. The archaeological records seem to support the view that Semerkhet had a difficult time as king and some early archaeologists even questioned the legitimacy of Semerkhet's succession to the Egyptian throne.
Sekhemib-Perenma´at, is the horus name of an early Egyptian king who ruled during the 2nd dynasty. Similar to his predecessor, successor or co-ruler Seth-Peribsen, Sekhemib is contemporarily well attested in archaeological records, but he does not appear in any posthumous document. The exact length of his reign is unknown and his burial site has yet to be found.
Ka, also (alternatively) Sekhen, was a Predynastic pharaoh of Upper Egypt belonging to Dynasty 0. He probably reigned during the first half of the 32nd century BCE. The length of his reign is unknown.
The Horus name is the oldest known and used crest of Ancient Egyptian rulers. It belongs to the "Great five names" of an Egyptian pharaoh. However, modern Egyptologists and linguists are starting to prefer the more neutral term: the "serekh name". This is because not every pharaoh had placed the falcon, which symbolizes the deity Horus, atop his serekh.
Neithhotep or Neith-hotep was an ancient Egyptian queen consort living and ruling during the early First Dynasty. She was once thought to be a male ruler: her outstandingly large mastaba and the royal serekh surrounding her name on several seal impressions previously led Egyptologists and historians to the erroneous belief that she may have been an unknown king.
Sneferka is the serekh-name of an early Egyptian king who may have ruled at the end of the 1st dynasty. The exact length of his reign is unknown, but thought to have been very short and his chronological position is unclear.
Ba, also known as Horus Ba, is the serekh-name of an early Egyptian or ancient Egyptian king who may have ruled at the end of the 1st dynasty, the latter part of 2nd dynasty or during the 3rd dynasty. Neither the exact length of his reign nor his chronological position is known.
Crocodile is the provisional name of a predynastic ruler, who might have ruled during the late Naqada III epoch. The few alleged ink inscriptions showing his name are drawn very sloppily, and the reading and thus whole existence of king "Crocodile" are highly disputed. His tomb is unknown.
Elephant is the provisional name of a Predynastic ruler in Egypt. Since the incarved rock inscriptions and ivory tags showing his name are either drawn sloppily, or lacking any royal crest, the reading and thus whole existence of king "Elephant" are highly disputed.
The Pyramid of Naqada, also called the Pyramid of Ombos, is part of a group of seven very similar small step pyramids, which were all erected far from the major centres of Egypt and about which very little is known. It is located about 300 metres north of the ruins of the ancient site of Ombos, near the modern city of Naqada in Upper Egypt. The first excavation was undertaken in 1895 by Flinders Petrie and James Edward Quibell.