Narmer & The Scorpion King

This sparked my interest because of the word “Scorpion”. Yes, I am one of those people whose interest in ancient Egypt was sparked by This rare ancient Egyptian archaeological artifact is a limestone macehead of “Scorpion”, one of very few artifacts found from the king’s reign. It’s large size (25 cm) and drawings allow archaeologists to conclude that this was used for rituals, rather than a real mace head. It depicts the Pharaoh beginning attacks on Lower Egypt, fighting for unification. As we talked about in lecture, this was found by archaeologists J.E. Quibell and F.W. Green during their expedition in 1897-98 to Kierakonpolis, when they also found the Narmer Palette. The tomb of the Scorpion King is considered one of the oldest tombs in the royal cemetery of Abydos. Some believe that the Pharaoh was the same person as the man named Narmer (associated with Narmer Palette). He is the successor of the Pharaoh Scorpion I (considered to be king Ka). There are theories that link his dynasty to the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. On the Scorpion Macehead, there is a depiction of the Pharaoh beginning his attack on Lower Egypt. During the time of Narmer’s reign as Pharaoh was when the unification of Egypt is dated back to. Later, a smaller Scorpion Macehead was found, that depicted King Scorpion wearing a red hat, which signified his presence in Lower Egypt.

These are a few of the things that fascinate me the most in archaeology: the idea of the unknown.. It is exciting thinking about going on an excavation, and there is a possibility that I can find something that has yet to be discovered. Even something small can change the history of ancient Egypt that we have created through material artifacts. Ancient Egyptian archaeology is always changing, new discoveries being made, and because of this history is not set in stone.

1 thought on “Narmer & The Scorpion King

  1. How fascinating! What a coincidence, I read your post because the phrase, “The Scorpion King” caught my eye – very similar to your reason for the post. A random side comment, you mentioned that the mace head includes a depiction of the Pharaoh fighting for unification. Where I’m from, Hawaii, there is a similar artifact/drawing, that depicts the King (King Kamehameha) fighting in battle, making his way with his army up the island chain, in attempt to unify the Hawaiian islands.
    Out of curiosity, when you mention that the mace head was used for ritualistic practices rather than standard mace head practices, what sort of rituals was it used for? Usually, mace heads or palettes were used for cosmetic purposes, if I recall? But a palette or mace head of this size would be an unlikely source for such thing, so I’m curious to know more about it’s overall purpose.
    The tomb of the Scorpion King has always been one to capture my attention. In fact, the necropolis of Abydos in general is an overall fascination. The way archaeologists are able to piece together the unification of Egypt using the Narmer Palette, the Scorpion mace head, and the Narmer mace heads, is also very intriguing.

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