Ancient Egyptian Crowns and their Significance
Pharaoh is the common title that was used in addressing the ancient kings of Egypt from the first dynasty in 3150 BCE until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE. YEMI TAIWO wirtes
The Egyptian civilization made use of a number of different crowns throughout its existence. Each crown had its own symbolic meaning and significance. Some were used for religious ceremonies while some showed authority.
It was also presumed that they posses magical properties. However, they were not considered as personal possession and were always passed along to the successor.
The Atef Crown
This is a white crown adorned with curly red ostrich feathers with a gold disk at the top worn associated with the Egyptian deity Osiris. Osiris who was the god of vegetation and agriculture was portrayed by a green skin. He was murdered and resurrected by his devoted wife Isis. After his triumph over death, he became the ruler of the underworld. Pharaohs believed they would become an Osiris after death as he represented the cycle of life, death.
The Deshret Crown
This is the formal name for the Red Crown of Lower Egypt, the desert Red land on either side of the Kemet and the Nile river basin. It had a distinctive high crest at the back with a long rigid line that angle upwards towards the front. The Deshret was associated with the earth deity Geb who invested Horus with the rule over Lower Egypt.
The Pharaohs saw themselves as successors to Horus, hence wore the crown to symbolize their authority over Lower Egypt.
The Hedjet Crown
This is the formal name for the White Crown of the Upper Egypt. It looks like a bishop’s mitre and was probably made from cloth or felt. It was associated with the goddess Nekhbet who was depicted as a woman with the head of a vulture wearing a white crown. It was later combined with the Deshret after the unification of Egypt.
The Pschent Crown
This is a combination of the Red Deshret crown of the Lower Egypt and the White Hedjet crown of the Upper Egypt. It was generally referred to as Sekhemti which translates to “The Two Powerful Ones”. It represented the Pharaoh’s power over all of unified Egypt. Sometimes the crown featured two animal symbols attached to the front of the crown. This was a cobra cobra representing the goddess Wadjet of Lower Egypt and a vulture representing the goddess Nekhbet of Upper Egypt. Together they were known as ‘The Two Ladies’. The crown was associated with the deities Horus and Atum.
The Khepresh Crown
Also known as the Blue Crown, this is an ancient Egyptian royal headdress that was worn to battle and frequently worn in ceremonies. Also, scholars think that the crown was also meant to evoke the divine power of the Pharaoh and it was worn to religiously situate kings as manifestations of gods on earth.
The Royal Uraeus Crown
This crown is also referred to as the Sacred Serpent Crown. The Uraeus on the front of the crown is a symbol of the Goddess Wadjet who was depicted in the form of a rearing cobra. This was worn to show loyalty to the god associated with the crown. This also applied to other crowns.
The Royal Vulture Crown
This crown was believed to help get protection from the goddess Nekhbet. She is frequently represented as a large vulture, flying above the head of the pharaoh. Her wings are spread open in a protective gesture, to guard him away from his enemies. Nekhbet was known as the goddess of childbirth, mothers and children and was normally associated with the protection of Upper Egypt. She is often portrayed wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt.
The Hemhem Crown
This is a very elaborate form of the Atef crown, sometimes known as the Triple Atef Crown. The crown is set on top of a pair of long spiral ram’s horns, and it is commonly seen with a cobra on either side of the crown. It was created with reeds and ostrich feathers, along with feathers from many other animals. It was a ceremonial head gear that was worn to boast the power of the Pharaoh. It was worn during warfare, many festivals and also during the ritual crowning of the king. It originated during the 18th dynasty and was first seen in an image of the pharaoh Akhenaten in a tomb at Amarna. It was also worn here by Ramesses II.