The attributes of Pharaohs

Pharaohs were easily recognizable among others Mans representing on low relief and Ancient Egypt painting because they wore some attributes specific to the office of Pharaoh. The Gods, originals holders of power, can also be wearing these attributes.

The Pschent

  1. White crown from upper Egypt (under the aegis of the God Seth) : Hedjet
  1. Red crown from lower Egypt (under the aegis of the God Horus) : Dechret
  1. Double crown combining the Red Crown of Lower Egypt and the White Crown of Upper Egypt. It symbolized the king’s rule of both Upper and Lower Egypt : Pschent

The scepter and the whip

The nature of the power of Pharaoh is defined by attributes that he was wearing.
The Ouas-scepter on which he lean when he is standing, symbolize his strength. The scepter becomes in the whole world the symbol of sovereignty. It’s the symbol of Gods too. We can see a fork at its bottom and a greyhound (representing Seth) head at its top. See an example beside. The scepter is the sign of the Thebes’s Nome, the Egyptian capital was indeed called Waset, "The Scepter Nome".
When he is sitting, he cross the hook on his chest : the heqa symbol of writing and the flagellum (the whip) : the nekhekh ; two symbols of Osiris. Possessing the cross end the whip, Pharaoh was considered as the shepherd of his people : he drives his herd with the shepherd’s crook (the cross) and protect them with its whip. We’ll notice these attributes who characterize him too :

The uræus

In Ancient Egypt, the uraeus is a female cobra which is protecting the pharaoh from their enemies. He’s commonly stylized on the Pschent. The uraeus is sometimes represented on the walls of funerary temples.

The false beard

Reserved to pharaohs and gods, it differentiate him from the human being. This “beard”, which looks more like a long small beard, was wearing on the chin and attached back of the ears. Pharaoh worn it during ceremonies. It was one of the symbols of his strength and a mark of his divine affiliation.

The bull’s tail

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Sethi 1er portant l’uræus, le némés et la barbe postiche
Trophy attached at the Pharaoh’s belt in order to give him the power of the sacred animal

The cross and the scourge

The cross (Heka) shows that Pharaoh drives his people like a shepherd. The stourge (Nekhekh) is a weappon symbol of protection..

The nemes and the khepresh

The nemes is a head-dress vertically striped (usually white and red) with skirts on each side of the head. Pharaoh was the only one allowed to wear this head-dress.

The crown of victory

This is a blue or black crown, often constellated by yellow (or white) peas. It appear at the end of the Second Intermediate Period and has been comparing for a long time to a war helmet (the blue would be the color of iron). In fact, it is probably a crown symbolizing triumph. The Pharaohs worn it maybe when they came back from a military field, or this crown had probably only a symbolic value (the one of the rebirth of Pharaoh during his crowning). We think that the Khepresh should be in skin or tissue and decorated with gold peas