(sh-yen) was the name of the Double Crown
of Ancient Egypt
. The ancient Egyptians generally referred to it as sekhemti
, the Two Powerful Ones. It combined the Red Crown
of Lower Egypt
and the White Crown
of Upper Egypt
The Double Crown represented the pharaoh's power over all of unified Egypt. A Egyptian cobra ready to strike, the uraeus symbolizing the Lower Egypt goddess Wadjet and a Egyptian vulture, the Upper Egyptian tutelary goddess Nekhbet were fastened to the front of the Double Crown and referred to as the Two Ladies. Later, the vulture head sometimes was replaced by a second cobra.
The invention of the Double Crown generally is attributed to the First Dynasty
, but the first one to wear a Double Crown may have been Djet
:apparently, a rock inscription shows his Horus wearing it.
The list of the Palermo stone which begins with the names of Lower Egyptian pharaohs wearing the Red Crown—nowadays thought to have been mythological demi-gods—marks the unification of the country by giving the Double Crown to all First Dynasty and subsequent pharaohs. The Cairo fragment, on the other hand, shows these prehistoric rulers with the Double Crown.
Just as is the case with the Red and the White Crowns, no Double Crown has survived. It is known only from statuary, depictions, and inscriptions.
Among the deities sometimes depicted wearing the Double Crown are Horus
, and Atum
, both representing the pharaoh or having a special relationship to the pharaoh.
- Françoise Dunand, Christiane Zivie-Coche, Gods and Men in Egypt: 3000 BCE to 395 CE, Cornell University Press 2004
- Francis Llewellyn Griffith, A Collection of Hieroglyphs: A Contribution to the History of Egyptian Writing, the Egypt Exploration Fund 1898
- Toby A. H. Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, Routledge 1999
- John Donnelly Fage, Desmond J. Clark, Roland Anthony Oliver, A. D. Roberts, The Cambridge History of Africa, Cambridge University Press 1975
- Barry John Kemp, Ancient Egypt: Anatomy Of A Civilization, Routledge 2006
- Jan Zandee, Studies in Egyptian Religion: Dedicated to Professor Jan Zandee, Brill 1982
- The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. 2005