The Scorpion King

In 1897 in Nekhen, Archaeologists James E. Quibell and Frederick W. Green found a cache buried in a temple to Horus. In the main cache was found a partial mace head that was named the Scorpion Macehead. One part of the recovered mace head shows a large figure of a man wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt. It is believed to be attributed to King Scorpion because of a small scorpion engraved near the figure like a name plate. According to the reference website below, “King Scorpion is accompanied by his high officers, who carry standards on which are displayed symbols identified with particular districts into which Egypt was divided. Many of these district symbols are familiar throughout Egypt’s history. The decorative frieze around the remaining top of the mace head has lapwing birds hanging by their necks from vertical standards. In hieroglyphics these rekhyts have been interpreted to represent the common people of Egypt, and their fate seems to indicate that they were conquered by King Scorpion.”

King Scorpion, or Scorpion II, refers to the name of a King in Upper Egypt during the Protodynastic Period. The Scorpion Macehead with the figure next to the nameplate with the scorpion is the clue for this. A four-chambered tomb in Abydos designated as B50 has been speculated as being Scorpion’s burial place, but no conclusive evidence of Scorpions existence has yet been found at Abydos. Although, some scholars debate whether the King actually existed, thinking that perhaps Scorpion was a title rather than a name. Some Egyptologists, such as Bernadette Menu, argue that, because Egyptian kings of the First Dynasty seem to have had multiple names, Scorpion was the same person as Narmer (on the Narmer Palatte), simply with an alternative name, or additional title. The only other evidences to date of the existence of a King Scorpion come from small serekhs found on vases. Serekhs were the enclosing devices within which the early names of Kings were written.