In Egyptian history, the Upper and Lower Egypt period (also known as The Two Lands) was the final stage of prehistoric Egypt and directly preceded the unification of the realm. The conception of Egypt as the Two Lands was an example of the dualism in ancient Egyptian culture and frequently appeared in texts and imagery, including in the titles of Egyptian pharaohs
The O zmꜣ-tꜣwj (Egyptological pronunciation sema-tawy) is usually translated as "Uniter of the Two Lands"and was depicted as a human trachea entwined with the papyrus and lily plant. The trachea stood for unification, while the papyrus and lily plant represent Lower and Upper Egypt.
Standard titles of the pharaoh included the prenomen, quite literally "Of the Sedge and Bee" (nswt-bjtj, the symbols of Upper and Lower Egypt)and "lord of the Two Lands" (written nb-tꜣwj ). Queens regnant were addressed as pharaohs and male. Queens consort might use a feminine versions of the second title, "lady of The Two Lands" (nbt-tꜣwj), mistress of the Entire Two Lands (hnwt-tꜣwy-tm), and mistress of the Two Lands (hnwt-tꜣwy).
Ancient Egypt was divided into two regions, namely Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. To the north was Lower Egypt, where the Nile stretched out with its several branches to form the Nile Delta. To the south was Upper Egypt, stretching to Aswan. The terminology "Upper" and "Lower" derives from the flow of the Nile from the highlands of East Africa northwards to the Mediterranean Sea.
The two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt were united c. 3000 BC, but each maintained its own regalia: the hedjet or White Crown for Upper Egypt and the deshret or Red Crown for Lower Egypt. Thus, the pharaohs were known as the rulers of the Two Lands, and wore the pschent , a double crown, each half representing sovereignty of one of the kingdoms. Ancient Egyptian tradition credited Menes, now believed to be the same as Narmer, as the king who united Upper and Lower Egypt. On the Narmer Palette the king is depicted wearing the Red Crown in one scene and the White crown in another, and thereby showing his rule over both Lands.
The union of Upper and Lower Egypt is depicted by knotted papyrus and reed plants. The binding motif represents both harmony through linkage and domination through containment. The duality is an important part of royal iconography. Sometimes the duality is further extended by having the knotted plants extend and bind foreign foes (both from the North and the South) as well.
During the first dynasty dualistic royal titles emerge, including the King of Upper and Lower Egypt ( nswt bjtj ) title which combines the plant representing Upper Egypt and a bee representing Lower Egypt. The other dualistic title is the Two Ladies name or Nebty name. The two ladies as Nekhbet, the vulture goddess associated with Nekhen in Upper Egypt, and Wadjet, the cobra goddess associated with Buto in Lower Egypt.
There are many depictions of the ritual unifications of the Two Lands. It is not known if this was perhaps a rite that would have been enacted at the beginning of a reign, or merely a symbolic representation. Many of the depictions of the unification show two gods binding the plants. Often the gods are Horus and Set, or on occasion Horus and Thoth. There are several examples of Barque stands from the reigns of Amenhotep III (Hermopolis), Taharqa (Jebel Barkal), and Atlanersa (Jebel Barkal) that show two river gods performing the rite. This matches a scene from the Temple at Abu Simbel from the time of Ramesses II.
There are only a handful of scenes that show the King himself performing the ritual. All of these are from barque stands and date to the reigns of Amenhotep III, Seti I and Ramesses III. The latter two may be copies of the first one.
Pharaoh is the common title now used for the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the term "pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1210 BCE, during the Nineteenth dynasty, "king" being the term used most frequently until the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty. In the early dynasties, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles: the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj), and the Two Ladies or Nebty (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus as well as the nomen and prenomen titles were added later.
Thebes, known to the ancient Egyptians as Waset, was an ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile about 800 kilometers (500 mi) south of the Mediterranean. Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome and was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras. It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert, with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city during many periods of ancient Egyptian history. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and where the city was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found.
Mut, also known as Maut and Mout, was a mother goddess worshipped in ancient Egypt. Her name literally means mother in the ancient Egyptian language. Mut had many different aspects and attributes that changed and evolved a lot over the thousands of years of ancient Egyptian culture.
Montu was a falcon-god of war in ancient Egyptian religion, an embodiment of the conquering vitality of the pharaoh. He was particularly worshipped in Upper Egypt and in the district of Thebes.
[Ramesses II] whom victory was foretold as he came from the womb,
Whom valor was given while in the egg,
Bull firm of heart as he treads the arena,
Godly king going forth like Montu on victory day.
Nefertari, also known as Nefertari Meritmut, was an Egyptian queen and the first of the Great Royal Wives of Ramesses the Great. Nefertari means 'beautiful companion' and Meritmut means 'Beloved of [the goddess] Mut'. She is one of the best known Egyptian queens, among such women as Cleopatra, Nefertiti, and Hatshepsut, and one of the most prominent not known or thought to have reigned in her own right. She was highly educated and able to both read and write hieroglyphs, a very rare skill at the time. She used these skills in her diplomatic work, corresponding with other prominent royals of the time. Her lavishly decorated tomb, QV66, is one of the largest and most spectacular in the Valley of the Queens. Ramesses also constructed a temple for her at Abu Simbel next to his colossal monument there.
Abu Simbel is two massive rock-cut temples in the village of Abu Simbel, Aswan Governorate, Upper Egypt, near the border with Sudan. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km (140 mi) southwest of Aswan. The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments", which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae. The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC, during the 19th Dynasty reign of the Pharaoh Ramesses II. They serve as a lasting monument to the king Ramesses II. His wife Nefertari and children can be seen in smaller figures by his feet, considered to be of lesser importance and were not given the same position of scale. This commemorates his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Their huge external rock relief figures have become iconic.
The Narmer Palette, also known as the Great Hierakonpolis Palette or the Palette of Narmer, is a significant Egyptian archeological find, dating from about the 31st century BC, belonging, at least nominally, to the category of cosmetic palettes. It contains some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found. The tablet is thought by some to depict the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the king Narmer. On one side, the king is depicted with the bulbed White Crown of Upper (southern) Egypt, and the other side depicts the king wearing the level Red Crown of Lower (northern) Egypt. Along with the Scorpion Macehead and the Narmer Maceheads, also found together in the main deposit at Nekhen, the Narmer Palette provides one of the earliest known depictions of an Egyptian king. The Palette shows many of the classic conventions of Ancient Egyptian art, which must already have been formalized by the time of the Palette's creation. The Egyptologist Bob Brier has referred to the Narmer Palette as "the first historical document in the world".
Thutmose I was the third pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. He received the throne after the death of the previous king, Amenhotep I. During his reign, he campaigned deep into the Levant and Nubia, pushing the borders of Egypt farther than ever before. He also built many temples in Egypt, and a tomb for himself in the Valley of the Kings; he is the first king confirmed to have done this.
Heqamaatre Setepenamun Ramesses IV was the third pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. He was the second son of Ramesses III and crown prince when his elder brother Amenherkhepshef died aged 15 in 1164 BC, when Ramesses was only 12 years old. His promotion to crown prince:
is suggested by his appearance in a scene of the festival of Min at the Ramesses III temple at Karnak, which may have been completed by Year 22 [of his father's reign].
The Archaic or Early Dynastic Period of Egypt is the era immediately following the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt c. 3100 BC. It is generally taken to include the First and Second Dynasties, lasting from the end of the Naqada III archaeological period until about 2686 BC, or the beginning of the Old Kingdom. With the First Dynasty, the capital moved from Thinis to Memphis with a unified Egypt ruled by an Egyptian god-king. Abydos remained the major holy land in the south. The hallmarks of ancient Egyptian civilization, such as art, architecture and many aspects of religion, took shape during the Early Dynastic Period.
The Meshwesh were an ancient Libyan tribe of Berber origin from beyond Cyrenaica. According to inscriptions in Egyptian hieroglyphs, the Libu and Tehenou/Tehenu inhabited this area.
Gebel el-Silsila or Gebel Silsileh is 65 km north of Aswan in Upper Egypt, where the cliffs on both sides close to the narrowest point along the length of the entire Nile. The location is between Edfu in the north towards Lower Egypt and Kom Ombo in the south towards Upper Egypt. The name Kheny means "The Place of Rowing". It was used as a major quarry site on both sides of the Nile from at least the 18th Dynasty to Greco-Roman times. Silsila is famous for its New Kingdom stelai and cenotaphs.
The Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III, also known as Kom el-Hettân, was built by the main architect Amenhotep, son of Habu, for the Pharaoh Amenhotep III during the 18th Dynasty in the New Kingdom. The mortuary temple is located on the Western bank of the Nile river, across from the eastern bank city of Luxor. During its time, the Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III was the largest funerary complex in Thebes that was built. Only parts of the mortuary temple's layout remain, as well as the Colossi of Memnon, which are two large stone statues placed at the entrance measuring 18 meters high. Because the mortuary temple was built relatively close to the river, the annual flooding caused the site to decay at a more rapid rate. New research indicates that a large majority of the destruction on the mortuary temple can be attributed to the effects of an earthquake. It was long speculated that the earthquake occurred around 27 BC; however, investigations into the mortuary temple and surrounding colossi have debunked this time frame and instead have demonstrated it occurred around 1200 BC. Additional earthquakes after the one in 1200 BC have not been ruled out. The Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Project have helped conserve the site as well as possible.
The Egyptian civilization used a number of different crowns throughout its existence. Some were used to show authority, while others were used for religious ceremonies. Each crown was worn by different pharaohs or deities, and each crown had its own significance and symbolic meaning. The crowns include the Atef, the Deshret, the Hedjet, the Khepresh, the Pschent, and the Hemhem.
Nebettawy(nb.t-t3.wỉ; “Lady of the Two Lands”) was an ancient Egyptian princess and queen, the fifth daughter and one of the eight Great Royal Wives of Pharaoh Ramesses II.
The khepresh (ḫprš) was an ancient Egyptian royal headdress. It is also known as the blue crown or war crown. New Kingdom pharaohs are often depicted wearing it in battle, but it was also frequently worn in ceremonies. It used to be called a war crown by many, but modern historians refrain from defining it thus.
Wadi es-Sebua, or Valley of the Lions, is the site of two New Kingdom Egyptian temples, including one speos temple constructed by the 19th Dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses II, in Lower Nubia.
Isetnofret was a royal woman of Ancient Egypt and, as the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Merenptah, she became Isetnofret II.
This page list topics related to ancient Egypt.
A coronation was an extremely important ritual in early and ancient Egyptian history, concerning the change of power and rulership between two succeeding pharaohs. The accession to the throne was celebrated in several ceremonies, rites and feasts.