Double Falcon

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Double Falcon
Dju ?, Nebwy ?
Serekh of Double Falcon. Redrawing of an inscription on a vessel found in El-Beda.[1]
Pharaoh of Egypt
Reign 32nd century BCE, Dynasty 0

Double Falcon (also possibly Dju and Nebwy) was a Predynastic pharaoh of Lower Egypt belonging to Dynasty 0. He may have reigned during the 32nd century BCE. The length of his reign is unknown.

Discovery[change | change source]

In 1910 M. J. Clédat, an Egyptologist, discovered the first evidence for king Double Falcon. A farmer at el-Mehemdiah in the north-eastern delta brought him a jar and some incised fragments found while planting a palm-grove in nearby el-Beda. Clédat soon discovered four serekhs of king Double Falcon.[2][3]

In 1912 Hermann Junker found a tomb at Tura, which contained a complete jar with a serekh topped by two falcons.[4]

More serekhs of king Double Falcon have been found in the Sinai,[5] in Tell Ibrahim Awad in the eastern delta,[6] in Adaima and Abydos in Upper Egypt,[7] and in the Palmahim quarry in southern Israel.[4] Because these finds have mainly been in Lower Egypt and north-western Sinai, it shows Double Falcon may have only ruled over these areas. However as some of his serekhs have been found in Upper Egypt and Canaan, it shows that the power of the Dynasty 0 kings was spreading. This had already begun towards the end of the Naqada III period, through trading or warfare.[4]

Name[change | change source]

The serekh of Double Falcon is unique. Firstly, it is the only one topped by two Horus falcons, facing each other. Secondly, the serekh does not have a place for the name. Instead this space is filled by vertical lines which usually represent the niched facade of a palace. The serekh does not have the horizontal line that separates the palace facade from the name of the ruler above. Finally, each falcon stands on its own peak. Experts believe that these features are symbolic. The two falcons could represent Lower Egypt and the Sinai, as it seems that Double Falcon reigned over both regions.[3] Dreyer believes that the falcons stand on a on a sign meaning "mountain" which is N26 of Gardiner's sign list:

N26

He reads the name as Dju (ḏw), so that the name of the king is shown by a pair of falcons on mountains above a plain serekh.[5] But another expert, van den Brink, reads the name as Nebwy (nb.wy), meaning "the two lords", and similar to a much earlier palette on display in the Barbier-Mueller Museum of Geneva.[8][9]

References[change | change source]

  1. Photo of the original
  2. M. J. Cledat, Les vases de el-Beda, ASAE 13 (1914), pp. 115-121
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kaiser-Dreyer, in: Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo. (MDAIK) 38 (1982), Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Orient-Abteilung, p. 9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Raffaele, Francesco. "Dynasty 0". http://xoomer.virgilio.it/francescoraf/hesyra/Dynasty0-Raffaele_AH17.pdf 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Günter Dreyer, Ein Gefäss mit Ritzmarke des Narmer, in: MDAIK 55, (1999), pp. 1–6
  6. E. C. M. van den Brink, Pottery-incised Serekh-Signs of Dynasties 0–1, Part II: Fragments and Additional Complete Vessels, in: Archéo-Nil 11, 2001
  7. Eva-Maria Engel: Ein weiterer Beleg für den Doppelfalken auf einem Serech, Bulletin of the Egyptian Museum, 2 (2005), pp. 65-69.
  8. Image of the palette
  9. Edwin van den Brink: The Pottery-Incised Serekh-Signs of Dynasties 0-1. Part II: Fragments and Additional Complete Vessels, in: Archéo Nil 11, 2002, p. 114.