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TitleThe Uraeus
TagsAncient Egypt Religion And Belief Ancient Egyptian Religion
File Size1.1 MB
Total Pages39
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The Uraeus originated from the goddess Wadjet, who was seen as a cobra. She
became the patron of the Delta, Lower Egypt, and so was worn by the Pharaohs
as a head ornament, in effect part of the crown, as a claim over the land. There
is evidence for this even in the Old Kingdom (3rd millennium BCE). The
pharaoh was seen as a manifestation of the sun-god Re, and so it was also
believed that the Uraeus protected the Pharaohs by spitting fire on their
enemies. In some mythological works, the 'eyes' of Re are said to be Uraei.

As the Uraeus was seen as a royal symbol, Horus and Set were also depicted
wearing one.

Another name for this is the term "Totaf" found also in the Bible.

Golden Uraeus of Senusret II

In 1920, the Qufti worker Hosni Ibrahim held in his hands the solid Gold,
Golden Uraeus of Sesostris II, (after only a half-hour excavation). It had been
decided to make a (follow-up) complete clearance of the El-Lahun Pyramid's
rooms, at Saqqara. The start in the rock-cut offering chamber, leading from the
sepulchre, on the south, immediately revealed in the turnover of the 6 inches of
debris, the Golden Uraeus, crown ornament.

Prior to the 1922 find of Tutankhamun's tomb, this Golden Uraeus was the only
ornament ever known to be worn by a Pharaoh.

The Golden Uraeus is of solid gold, 6.7 cm, black eyes of granite, a snake head
of deep "ultramarine" lapis lazuli, the flared cobra hood of dark carnelian
inlays, and also inlays of turquoise. For mounting on the Pharaoh's crown, two
loops in the rear-supporting tail of the cobra, provide the attach points. See
Reeves Ref, pg. 157 (1920). See Hagen Ref, pg. 202.

Uraeus, as a hieroglyph

Besides, the Uraeus being used as an ornament for "Statuary", or as an
adornment on the pharaoh, it was also used for jewelry and in amulets.
However another important usage is as the Hieroglyph.

The simplest hieroglyph is the "Cobra" (the Uraeus), however there are
subcategories, referring to: goddess, priestess, the goddess Mehnit, shrine of
goddess (àter), goddess Isis, and lastly goddess: (Cobra (uraeus) at base of God
(ntr).

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