The serekh (ser-ik) is a stylised rectangle which contained the Horus name of ancient Egyptian Pharaohs (they had five regal names each). Made up of two compartments, the bottom contains parallel lines which represent the frontal view of a palace. The top compartment represents a plan view of the courtyard of the palace. It was typically surmounted by a falcon, representing the God Horus, patron of the monarchy, although two kings of the Second Dynasty (Peribsen and Khasekhemwy) included the Seth-creature either alongside or as a replacement for Horus – what this symbolises is unclear.

Modern historians typically refer to the ancient kings of Egypt by their nomen, adding ordinals (e.g. "II", "III") to distinguish between different individuals having the same name. The serekh was primarily used in predynastic times and during the first three dynasties of Ancient Egypt before being replaced by the cartouche.

See also


  • Dodson, Aidan. Hilton, Dyan. 2004. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson

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