White crown of the south

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White crown of the south in hieroglyphics

H D46

White Crown (of the South)

Narmer with the white crown of the south

The ancient Egyptian white crown of the south has traditionally been assigned to Upper Egypt since the predynastic period . Without a doubt , the white crown of the south symbolized the whole of Upper Egypt in the 1st dynasty under Wadji with geographical expansion.


Earlier guesses

White Crown of the South (Egypt)
Map of Egypt

In Egyptology , the assumption that the white crown stood for Upper Egypt in primeval epochs was based on the depictions of Narmer when he was unified . While in predynastic times the red crown of the north still symbolically stands for the Upper Egyptian region of Naqada , the white crown of the south is documented in the Naqada IIIA culture in the Nubian Qustul .

New insights

Jochem Kahl assumes that the proven close contacts between Qustul and Hierakonpolis make the assumption probable that Hierakonpolis can be regarded as the “home of the white crown”. This assumption is confirmed by the discovery of a knife handle in the grave of Uj , on which the white crown is already depicted.

The evidence shows that in predynastic times the red and white crowns only represented Upper Egypt, while Lower Egypt did not yet appear in terms of crowns. Horus could be assigned to his main place of worship in Upper Egypt, Hierakonpolis, while Seth was also based in Upper Egypt, but in Naqada . In addition, the geographical division of Egypt appears conspicuous, with Upper Egypt with the two crowns initially limited to the Nile Valley and Lower Egypt only related to the fertile core area of ​​the Nile Delta .

The lower Egyptian equation used for the first time under King Wadji (around 2880 to 2870 BC) is documented in the changed appearance of the next name . While the crown goddess Nechbet , who represented Upper Egypt, can be seen on an annual tablet of Wadji , the snake goddess Wadjet , who comes from Buto , has been replaced by the red crown of the north.


  • Hans Bonnet : Crowns. In: Lexicon of Egyptian Religious History. 3rd, unchanged edition. Nikol, Hamburg 2000, ISBN 3-937872-08-6 , p. 394f.
  • Wolfgang Helck , Eberhard Otto : Crowns. In: Small Lexicon of Egyptology. 4th, revised edition. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1999, ISBN 3-447-04027-0 , p. 157f.
  • Jochem Kahl : Upper and Lower Egypt. A dualistic construction and its beginnings. In: Rainer Albertz (Ed.): Spaces and Limits. Topological concepts in the ancient cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean (= sources and research on the ancient world. Vol. 52). Utz, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-8316-0699-3 , pp. 3-28 ( online ).
  • Hubert Roeder: The bringing king. Approach to a redefinition of the ensu (nisut) and the white crown, a summary. In: Rolf Gundlach, Ursula Rössler-Köhler (Ed.): The Kingship of the Ramesside Period. Requirements - Realization - Legacy (= Egypt and Old Testament 36, 3). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2003, ISBN 3-447-04710-0 , pp. 99-106.

Individual evidence

  1. Walter B. Emery , TGH James : Great tombs of the first dynasty. Excavations at Sakkara (= Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Society. Vol. 46, ISSN  0307-5109 ). Volume 2. Egypt Exploration Society, London 1954, p. 102, fig. 105.