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Panels from the Pyramid Complex of Senwosret I at Lisht, 1920 BCE

Senwosret_I_Pyramid_Panel

The panels are primarily a hieroglyphic device for the portion of the royal titulary that identifies the king with Horus, who is depicted as a falcon wearing the Double Crown and symbolizes the living ruler. The “Horus name” of Senwosret appears on each panel together with his coronation name or his personal name. Beneath the hieroglyphs is a patterned architectural façade that may ultimately derive from domestic buildings of the Predynastic Period and represents one of the most enduring motifs of Egyptian art. Together these elements comprise the royal serekh, whose occurrence in early written records coincides with the inception of kingship in the Nile valley (c. 3150 BCE). A smaller serekh in hieroglyphic scale appears on the relief of Mentuhotpe II and the falcon recurs in miniature on the pectoral of Sithathoryunet, this time in the guise of Ra-Harakhty.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Egyptian Art, 2001.

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