Early time law on mace-head, palettes, plaquettes
We continue to look at Egypt and now some types of vessels. Then we can have a look at three mace-heads from around 3000 BC. The symbolism shows that the calendar and time managing was the issue for the people since they used it as the leader for the lands.
Naqada, rock-carvings, Sumerian EKUR, Hegra, steering-oar, paddle, ritual season, palm leaf, renpet, bullhead, Shemesu Her, season boats, Peacemaker, resurrection, Double-Falcon, Bull palette, Flinders Petrie, Tehenu, Scorpio, serekh, mace-head, chairman's gavel, Hor, yearman, Time-Law, World Order, Narmer, Hathor, Two Lands, Osiris, Isis dagger,
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Time-boat in Egypt
The present timeline of the valley is often tied to the finds at Naqada, middle of the Nile and in periods Naqada I 4000 - 3600 BC; Naqada II 3600 - 3300 and Naqada III 3300 - 3000 BC and they call it pre-dynastic. The Egyptologists are normally only interested in dynasties, power struggles and big buildings since they think it shows the highest intelligence. Lately there seem to be some interest in ordinary people's sex life and trials in applying our sex moral on those days.
See map early trade around ArabiaEGYMESO
In this tradition we see that the interest in rock-carvings and symbolical art has been near zero until our days Maybe part of the explanation is the French Syndrome, i.e. that academic archaeology live in Louvre or British Museum and see "high culture" every day. When they come out in the desert or bush they do not respect and appreciate the first hard steps of civilisation. They can not go behind simplicity and see the sophisticated thinking in creating myths and means for society.
Another thing in Egypt is that the valleys near Egypt were once fertile savannah as we see from the rock-carvings showing that kind of animals there is much to discover there. At Nabta near Sudan they have found a stone circle they claim to be 7000 years old. Stone circles and such things are always sign of civilisation where people came together and organised life and society.
Consequently they see for instance rock-carvings as primitive cripple. If we want to see the very first ideas and the sophisticated reasoning that created society we have to search for especially the small details that give the clue see below. Often the early illustrations are so simple that even a child can understand provided he/ she is used to the environment.
That is naturally opposite to academic used to problemizing and wanting to see cosmic and spiritual thinking about prosaic everyday matters. I have to write this since I see the early World Order in rock-paintings and vase paintings in Egypt. Then the mace-heads, palettes and year plaquettes are just expanded explanations to the early illustrations.
We must also widen our perspective and see firstly how culture and trade flowered around the Arabian Desert was that also more fertile than now? What was going on in Mesopotamia at the same time as we see the Sumerian influence in Egypt? The heydays of Uruk were when Inanna, new moon goddess took the lead in town.
In West Europe and Scandinavia we see the contemporary moon myth manifested inbig buildings with boulders. That means they are more than 1000 years older than the pyramids. No temple and no shrine are needed for celebrating the new moon every time. But earth bound manifestos are like a guaranty that the ritual will go on for long we have a lot of those monuments lefts but we hardly understand the original use. I want to learn more about Egypt to see if we got some ideas to Europe at that time. Then we need a rough timeline of ideas and explanations why they created them. I see the use of time boat but who did invent it first?
For the sake of timeline we start with some early time-boats from the Nile Valley. When I started my investigations years ago they told only about rock-carvings in the wadis to the Red Seas from Middle Egypt. Now they know about carvings at least from Abydos to Nubia, but it is hard to find covering documentation. Still let us look at some examples.
Knowing whether this is a catamaran or a symbolic ship is difficult.
In the stems are symbols of fertility and it is perhaps the aloe symbolising life and growing. On the boat the figure has goat horn and is an early symbol of animal fertility ... however it could be something else. The goat was the first "cow" and to our days it was the poor man's cow. On some boats we se a female idol with hand lifted above her head. I call her Isis who is unique for the valley. The pose says, "I am ready" and we can only speculate who was arranging this call for love and co-operation. The carvings are from Assuan Egypt. We have to decide from case to case are they real boats or time images. It means we should see if they tell about something or if they plan something using archetypes for what they want to do in next time sequence.
This is a reconstruction by Bjoern Landstroem and up to his knowledge as well as the following carvings.
The longhorn goat came to Scandinavia during Bronze Age but this type of boat was in use 4000 to 2000 BC in Egypt. The material settles the shape as papyrus and reed gives the half moon shape up to the building technique. Of the crescent-shaped boat there is evidence from 3rd millennium onward and the shapes from the early plaquettes is hard to draw conclusions from. On Euphrates and Tigris got small rowing boats also that shape and have it still today. And even high-sea boats have saved the original shape. ... See alsoSailors in spacetime
Sometimes knowing whether it is a goat head, antelope head or a lotus in the stem is difficult.
The figure in the middle isSumerian EKUR, which we may understand as "the big house". The other figure looks as Shu, the moisture and we are not able to say if this is a real boat or a ritual carving.
It could be that it was a Sumerian making the carvings since we find indication of Sumerian presence in the Nile Valley in these early times of civilisation
What now? This is an Egyptian boat on a Norwegian rock atAustheimr Traundelag. Just a little jump to show why these things is of interest for Scandinavians
This is a younger one fromHegra Traundelag and it is for sure Egyptian.
Note the steering-oar, which could be used as a paddle on the Nile. Other ships seem to have a stern fin. The sun was the gift number one to the Egyptians and the Nile the second and they gave three things: sun, water and fertilizer. To this came that man could flow downwards with the stream and they used the steer-oar as paddle when they wanted to go ashore or go out.
In the other direction blow an almost constant North Wind/ Boreas. When they had developed the sail, they could just sit and let the wind do the job. They probably invented the sail in the fifth or fourth millennium as we see on vase paintings. So, if we see strokes under the ships it would hardly be oars and we have to seek for some other explanation. That is the general picture.
As they did not need oars or use oars, we must imagine another explanation for the strokes under the vessel. They are probably two periods of twenty-two respective eighteen weeks of nine days. We see that in precise paintings. However there is for instance the Gebelein textile showing boats with paddles with round blades. They could be used for crossing and for sailing in smooth water near the shores.
The vessels in the middle may be real, but the upper and lower seem to picture theritual season.
They are vase paintings from before ca 3500 BC. The three symbols are the elephant, the portal and palm leaf = renpet sign of sed, i.e. end of year. It could be hard to separate from the aloe symbol with one stem and sometimes a flower. It symbolises "long life" and they often plant them outside the door. It could also mark "resurrection" as wish at funeral and sowing.
On the lower vessel the portal is open and a sail with two horned bullheads is symbol-like. We know later that bullhorns meant a quarter of a year and they were derived from the Oxen/ Taurus as leading stars at vernal equinox. The standard "lying Z" means probably "crossing". The portal is one of the most important symbols in old culture and it is perhaps in use today where I grow up. In our days it is a portal of honour. They make them to weddings, birthdays of tens of a year, silver/gold weddings and so on. Originally it marks the step from an age to another or from a world to another as when going to the underworld at sowing or at funeral.
Vase painting from Naqada 4th millennium. They call the sceneShemeseu Her/ Follow Hor
Here we see some of the icons that became script symbols. The hut became Original Hill as rescue but also as harvesting field when the inundation was over. On the standard there is the "embracing" symbol when the Goddess is ready with arms over head and we could call her Isis. We have no painting/ artefact that give us the whole picture so we have to gather from as many places as possible
The gateway is to Underworld and between seasons between half years. The palm-leaf counts year and became the glyph renpet. The Goat symbolises that the inundation season begins. The goats in are parts of the year suite and the followers are the cultivators. They use the time-boat in the same way as in Scandinavia and maybe the oar counted days For another clear painting see also Follow Her
The time for the vase-paintings is contemporary with the dominating Uruk and new moon goddessInanna in Sumer and the agriculture myth. We can only guess it was the same in Europe in places where they build some kind of moon temple/ passage grave as for instance Gavrinis and New Grange. In Scandinavia we see also the sowing scene in rock-carvings during these heydays of growing civilisation.
Another vase painting from Naqada 4th millennium. Petrie sees a harpoon, a crocodile and the crescent over the boats and that could be the name of the seasons. Later myth/ symbolism tells that a crocodile eat the moons and it is replaced at New Year with a young one
Here we see that they "already" in pre-dynastic times invented the three seasons. In left upper corner the standard mean "mountain or dry land" supposedly the hot season. Next the embracing and inundation. The ancient cultures saw winter as pregnancy and the waters as start of fertility. Third season is the crescent when the scribe Toth = New Moon. The evening sun Aton took over after the season. We see the "scribe" on the Narmer palette from ca 3000 BC.
Flinder Petries draws 32 different standards from the vase paintings at Naqada. Some of them we can clearly connect to better-known glyphs in the Egyptian script later as for instance Ra/ sun, Neith, Min, elephant, Falcon on crescent, Ox for equinox or four ox horns for quarters, harpoon, hills, aloe "resurrection", mace? and embracing.
Wall painting in tomb Nekhen/ Hierakonpolis ca 3500 BC.Section 2
The black boat seems to be real and look like the later known Cycladic ship. But the others have a portal and could be season boats. There are many different animals and the people seem to be cattlemen and hunters with no agriculture in sight. It is symptomatic that many interpreters will see a battle here you see what you want to see. The gateway on the ships and the renpet-symbol at left speaks for ritual boats.
Under the front of the boat at left there is "a time wheel" with five antelopes or something like that. The fifth is the upper white and they are all individual. Maybe it is the year wheel and that they at a time experimented with a system of five seasons. Egypt is often confusing since we see several systems for instance about time. That is natural since it is a long Two-lands and in time the cities and temples developed individual myths and calendars. They seem to have trisected counting with 9 days periods in moon calendar as an example ... atBuderupholm Jutland Denmark is one megalith arrangement which uses 9 and 27 as numbers and that associate to the moon/ month.
The interesting scene with the black man holding two lions copies the Gebel-el-Arak knife. I call the motif Peacemaker. On that is a Sumerian holding the lions and on the other side it seems to be battle between Sumerians and black people maybe. The motif is Mesopotamian but seen later in many cultures including Scandinavia. The knife was purchased from a dealer in Cairo, who claims it was discovered in the vicinity of Gebel el Arak. Still it tells the story about Sumerians in Egypt in early days.
From the very beginning Egypt as well as Mesopotamia used the boat as symbol for journey and time or should we say space-time. So often it could be difficult to separate myth and reality in illustrations. That is natural since in astronomy it is about moving objects.
The Bull at left boat and the standard wit ha bird tells us that this must be a time boat. Carvings on incense burner Qustul Nubia ca 3200 BC
On next boat there is the rosette that stands for the Moon so we can guess about trisection of the year at the gateway to next year. The "sitting" is perhaps the growing seed and corresponds to later known Libra. On the third boat we se a back-bound man that symbolises harvest and the Sail speaks for a long journey until next season.
The portal/ gateway could also be understood as inlet to resurrection. Maybe the practical building style is inspiration from Susa where we find the same kind of walls as this fromSaqqara. The boat is often used to show more about the journey as for instance with special signs in stern and stem that tells "to and fro" with signs. On season boats there are often the palm leaf/ aloe that was simplified to the renpet symbol with several meaning such as "end of season" and "harvest". Aloe could also mean resurrection and beginning of next fertile season. In India the word for star/ heavenly object seems to have been "min = fish" and like in Scandinavia they saw the heavens as an ocean. At that time there was no separate term for planet.
From the earliest time we see that they used the boat for symbolising spacetime or a certain period. That could also be told with some idol on the boat and we have to know what process or time that stood for.
Early Animal Round at disc
The Time-boat is in the end of a wavy line that could be the Water-snake in sky. The connection we get from the Scorpio in the middle that was used at spring equinox and we meet it in many presentations. The big animal is maybe an early Taweret that stood for pregnancy but also for "running time". InSeti's tomb we see the symbolism that Taweret carry the crocodile on his back. The crocodile eat the moons and is replaced with a young one at Ramadan / or New Year in July. In the night sky that is in the corner with Sagittarius. the idea came to Scandinavia in Bronze Age as the Skepplanda Crocodile see picture at top IndexTE
To think that the great river cultures invented the zodiac seems natural. At the night sjy we see Water-snake as a river from Cancer to Scorpio and the symbolism show the moments in agriculture. All cultures used animals and other things to picture or give word to abstract things. Time is very abstract concept but when you think of a river on earth or in the sky it is easy to really see the spacetime
The palette is a sign of growing upper class. Some of them obviously use make-up that is different from earlier body painting use as camouflage and often as tribal identification with a sign of individuality. Face make-up is like a mask that separates the individual from other people. It was also used in early theatre/ drama to characterise the role figures. When many people use similar masks and similar tools and amulets it is like a movement or sign of the ruling upper class. It is the first step to the dynasties and the third step to the individual kings.
Double-Falcon the first sign of common ritual leadership. Maybe the two birds on branches symbolises vernal and the dog autumn as we see in later symbolism
Palettes, combs and amulets with the Double-Falcon are found from Egyptian Nubia to the Levant around 3200 BC. That means upper class in growing settlements along the Nile communicated and maybe acted like a peaceful federation. The common ground was the time-law making the Falcon symbol of abstract Time and just meaning Time-leader and it should not be connected with the sun except at certain dates in the year, i.e. midsummer and midwinter I think the symbol survived as the Double-Eagle still going strong. I have never understood it but maybe something clears below.
There are many combs in the finds and I do not know if the items with two heads on a little bow are razors or just amulets this reminds of the Nordic Bronze Age with finds of toilet articles in the graves. The upper class made its best to show a beautiful face
Besides the Falcon palettes they have found a lot of palettes usually with animals telling about the environment those days and why the Egyptians always loved animals and saw them as part of the family. When they needed to abstract symbols for qualities they just looked at the animals. in the language of my childhood there was a lot of metaphors from the surroundings. I had to check my neighbour since they told he has a fox behind his ear The Bull became early symbol of strength and power of leadership
Associating to cattle-breeders is easy when we see theBull palette from 3250 - 3150 BC
At left we see the Bull defends the "Lion at the trough" in the "city or behind walls". The symbol could also mean "nome"/ county see below. The walls are in the Sumerian style seen still in some ruins in Saqqara. They learnt this building style this from Sumer/Elam. Some Horus carries a decoration in the girdle the symbolic gateway
As far as we can see there was no outspoken rivalry between agriculture and breeders as in Sumer where they needed a marriage/ treaty and myths that wove together people in that aspect. In Egypt the animals were more like a living storage for winter and the period of Hathor while Toth and Isis ruled the seasons.
The Taurus/ Oxen was symbol of vernal equinox and became symbol for that and for the Sun / quarter for more than two thousands of year. There are four bullheads on the Narmer Palette and the Bull is defending the trough at the bottom. Sumerian idols wore quadruple horns/ headgear symbolising four seasons. The Roman emperors wore sometimes bullhorns in their sun crown and even in Scandinavia they set bullhorns on the Sunhorse in the heydays of Erils around 500 AD.
On this fragment we see the Hor/ leader as Bull threatens/ treats the enemy. It is a pity that we do not see the entire picture. However the rope seems to be Time and other symbols of space-time grasp the leader rope. There are two canines for South and North, an ibis for Toth the moon and there is Min of Koptos, the Engender. We get a sign of united Two Lands as well as cattlemen. Is this palette from Koptos?
Sumerian type amulets from Naqada F. Petrie
At Saqqara there is some finestatue of a Sumerian with long beard. At Naqada Flinders Petrie found these amulets and among the finds were also some female idols. For instance the type with bird-head is common also in First Myth Mesopotamia and that counts fore the "Nurse" that hold her hands under the breasts. The lady with arms over head "I am ready" or "embracing" seems to be Egyptian. These show ritual pose and it indicates some ritual.
Some secrets lie in the details. The Egyptians were good at characterising ethnicity by simple means. Most of the captured seem to be Semites from the Levant and we know they were searching for metal and turquoise in Sinai. The same was case when they expanded to Nubia. Here we see the curly hair that speaks for Nubian origin. But look at the upper man. Is it false beard or twined beard? Anyway it looks like the false beard later pharaohs used!
For us the mass of symbols and icons is confusing. We do not know how the Egyptians felt but they were born with it and lived successful life in the local symbolism. They were lucky living near the fertile Nile and with the mountains and the desert as natural defence. The time ritual was their lead and a good plan for life even in our days routines and a plan in private life make it easy and secure to live.
Tehenu palettewith nomes/counties? before Narmer!
There is some confusion in the use of Scorpio as symbol. Initially it is only the asterism but it is found in many connections and seemingly also as name on some nome. But it could hardly be the name on a king/ Horus. Egyptologists gave the name to Narmer they sometime also call Menes, but that seems to be another of the first leaders. Then they found another they now call Scorpio II decided from the asterism and not from a serekh that would be normal.
Here the Scorpio is upon the castle in lower row in the middle. I would say it is the name of the nome Abydos? In rock-carvings and other use it is the vernal equinox. As we see below on the Narmer mace-head we see his serekh = emblem and he would hardly have two names/ emblems. At the same time the Scorpio symbol is together with the rosette symbol for the moon. This is from the same time as the Bull palette and the so-called Scorpio II mace-head and at least one generation before Narmer
We can notice that on castle is also the Time- symbol with an Egyptian pick that tells these nomes pick under the time lead. That could be compare to rows of standard bearers for the nomes. If I remember it right in later times the Double-Falcon was symbol of Coptos, Crocodile for Dendera and White Wall for Memphis? In the end the number of nomes grew to 22 + 20.
The egyptologists have made a list over possible leaders that also could have been leaqding the nomes like a feudal federation before Two Lands were created. G.Dreyers complete list hav Oryx, Skal,, Fish, Elephant, Bull, Stork, Canid (?), Cow-head-standard, Scorpion I, Falcon I, Min-standard + plant, ?, Falcon II (?), Lion, Doubel-Falcon, Irj-Hor, Ka, Scorpion II, Narmer. More local from Naqada III are Nb (or R ?), Hedjw(-Hor), Pe + Elephant, Nj-Hor, Hat-Hor, Crocodile, Falcon + Mer and from Qustul Pe-Hor.
These both belong to astronomy. However the upper two Scorpio are standing on the symbol for nome
Around 3150 - 3100 BC the older cultures had an overhaul of the zodiac. We see it in parallels in Indus and Sumer. Even the Maya and our Northern culture started with a new calendar at some places. We know that they made our ritually ground grooves at vernal equinoxes during the ascendant moon in the star Antares in Scorpio. (That menas other parts of Scorpio like the Tab could have been used more than 1000 years earlier.) Then its opposite is Capella and below Capella is Oxen/ Taurus or maybe Egyptians called it the Bull. We do not know which stars were in the configuration but the constellation was used from before 3000 BC to the Bronze Age around 1160 BC. We se it in paintings in graves from the New Kingdom
The serekh or emblem
Graffiti from Egyptian Nubia ca 3250 BC
These rock-carvings are essential for understanding the Egyptian symbolism and ideas. At left we see that the portal to the new fertility year was used already at this time instead of the two gates in vase paintings. The time bird Hor sits on the portal like on later serekh/ emblem. The two birds in the middle are the most important since they tell us that the birds symbolise moon year and sun year respectively or generally Time. In this area they have found a club shaft from the period, but is it a club in his hand? In front of Him is the glyph sche "big water/ river" we see later under Osiris and and watering Neith and it could also mean "original water"
When we compare with the Narmer palette maybe the man at left is Horus. The battle scene at right became standing symbol for the Horus/ Pharaoh as war leader or defender of Two Land, was there war or not. At right we see the same type boat, as on Narmer palette and it may be the harvest stored for winter. Later on the season began with an empty boat and ended in the basket
At this stele we see the emblem = serekh in the standard form we know later but we see it copies above emblem from Nubia 300 years earlier than Horus Djet
If I remember it right the Falcon was emblem of Nekhen/ Hierakonpolis too and it can hardly be the sun and other things at the same time. In symbolism important symbols are unique. I would see it as abstraction and animation of just Time. Compare withSenenmuts calendar where the falcon headed spears the Bull as time of vernal equinox. So the common denominator the falcon above says only "Time of Djet" (as yearman.)
Djet is the forth of the reconstructed list of first dynasty. After Narmer they list Menes, Djer, Djet, Den, Anendjib, Semerkhet and Qaá before 2900 BC. We have to define Hor/ Horus that is the Greek word for Time. It is always confusing when we need to know Greek before we get the real meaning we need for understanding. I use rather the word yearman/ alderman since it tells he was the chairman for the year and his sign was in the beginning the gavel as we see below
In my childhood the Egyptologists told about the slave state: Hard to turn 180 degrees. The tradition was that the Horus/ Pharaoh should keep his heb-sed every 30 years. However perhaps few lived so long so it was altered to 20 years. One of the moments was that he should run around the castle to show his physical ability to lead the lands.
We can deduce that the people had something to say about the leader. Many more small facts tell that the leadership was like a high-priest as we also see in the cultures near Egypt and in Mesopotamia. The people were vowed into the magic of rituals giving the World Order and Time-Law. The excavating in the "slave pits", i.e. workers villages near pyramids tells a lot about normal people proud of their job and been taken care of.
The mace-head chairman's gavel
Mace-head of Scorpion II they say now and he was before Narmer. At left how it was used by Horus Den. The symbol with three mountains means time when go to the mountains or live at dry land and the dog animal was symbol for that. Later it was Anubis and in the night sky it is asterism Sagittarius nowadays.
It would be natural that a "yearman" or ritual leader in Greek called Horus / Hor = Time used some ritual symbol showing ideas of his profession. Calling him Time gives better understanding. If we use "yearman" it pictures his role as leading high-priest every year. The luxurious mace-head with engraved figures seems to have been that status thing with symbols of the Time Law and World Order.
On some of the year plaquettes Horus hold in the hair of an enemy and seems to intend slay him. I doubt it should be taken literally. In these plaquettes Horus must show he could defend the land and slay the enemies. However it could also mean harvesting. Horus was head of his country or the Two Lands that also means "first to pick and first to harvest" ... Similar power symbolism we see much later when the Roman emperor is at his horse that stands on an enemy. Another power symbol was the Bull below.
When we know how the mace was decorated we can see it as that Horus struck the fallen with the World Order of the organised society. Maybe these few mace-heads forego the later season plaquettes and we can compare them with the seals of Mesopotamia and Indus see moreIconography
Part of the damaged so-calledScorpio II mace-head from around 3150 BC ?
It seems that I got wrong information from the beginning. The source told this should be a fragment of a palette. But it is a part of one of three egg-shaped mace-heads discovered at Hieraconpolis by Quibell and Green in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Naturally there has been much discussion around this and they think they all belonged to Horus Narmer together with this famous palette. For our purposes the name is no big issue. But the title and the date around 3100 BC is important since we can compare the calendar symbolism with Sumer and Indus at the same time see alsoLingua Franca and Iconography
Early interpreters gave the name King Scorpio to the owner. However normally they are shown in an emblem. The title Hor/ Horus is given to leaders with an emblem crowned with a Falcon interpreted as Time in English. The emblem/serekh is missing probably by damage. On the serekh with the name there sit normally a falcon and they call the serekh = Horus name. The falcon or falcon-headed was used as symbol for beginning of season. Another fault is that the Scorpio on the mace symbolises vernal equinox. Thirdly on another mace-head there is Narmer's Horus name/ emblem with catfish see alsoSenenmuts calendar
Later they made year plaquettes and maybe these mace-heads were used for the same purpose. It seems that soon the tradition grew so all such things are much alike or "same procedure as last year". Here the Scorpio is the asterism at vernal equinox and the star symbol is for the moon. At that time all celestial objects were stars and the same symbol is used in Sumer for Inanna. Then it should be read "when Moon and Scorpio is in conjunction at vernal equinox it is time for sowing"
Before we go further that we are interpreting a fragment and it is fortunate that there is enough symbolism to give us the meaning. However we should understand the uncertainty and that just one symbol cannot give much more than a word or two we can put into the context of their World Order. That means the plan and rules in time and space as lead for their rituals that forego the real work.
In the image the "Big Man" with the pick dominates and he is making "the first pick of the year" since the plough was seemingly not invented at the time. We know that priest kings in different cultures from the Sumerians to late Japanese emperors made this yearly ritual act in vernal. To make the scene certain there is also a man with a basket spreading the corn.
Above the sowing man we get a glimpse of five standard-bearer and we can guess they represent the nomes and the hanging birds could mean tribute to the Horus larder. At right to the rosette we get a glimpse of other standard-bearers that could be for the seasons
Under the scene people are seemingly working in a mine. We know that the second half of the year was the mining period under the lead of the evening sun and Hathor the cow and goddess. It was too hot to work with mining in summer. The winter half of the year the cow and goat were important contributors of food.
Compared with the later plaquettes there is not much difference in this cut
We see that use of crowns is not quite formalised yet. The crown with the cone = grain become symbol for one of the Two Lands as well as symbol for harvest. The other with the IN spiral was the other land and symbolised also sowing. Left to the sed-pavilion we have season symbolism. At left lower quarter the scribe Toth is in lead from February, but he was also the moon that in Sumer was Inanna or Nergal. But in Egypt Thot was the moon /new moon and record /timekeeper in the growing season.
The suite above that is perhaps Hathor with the miners. In upper right quarter stand the Heron on the Original Hill and there is a symbol for water and that all means the inundation period when people escaped to the hills. Lower right corner symbolises maybe the pregnancy period since it is enclosed.
Back to the pavilion above which the vulture bird symbolises the all-seeing-capacity of Horus. In Hor on the throne has the flail as symbol of threshing or getting something out of the work. Under his throne there are two sunshade carriers symbolising the servants and the administration. Soon we see no leader without two followers.
In upper left row we have standards for the four seasons and maybe it is the Hathor cow with calf in the enclosure. In the pyramid texts we find how great imagination tried to describe what was happening in soil when new life grow. Osiris fly to Orion and that symbolises that sown seed rise at least toward Orion.
In the middle the suite is lead by Osiris in enclosure. They made the Osiris corpse before sowing and tried the fertility of the corn. Osiris symbolised the sown corn or pregnancy of the soil. Since there are new moon symbols the three figures enclosed by three plus three lunates symbolise perhaps the season. In symbolism they painted later Osiris green and there is also a green enclosed archetype used for the pregnancy period during inundation. In the end of the suite there is the icon "bound harvest" and the same icon was used for "captured enemy".
In lower row we see a Bull and a Goat followed by Shu carrying the heaven and moisture during inundation. Shu was the symbol of beginning of that period and carries sometimes the heavenly cow that carries the "Milk of Life".
When people saw this propaganda for the Two Lands they understood that there was order with the Horus as guaranty for carrying out the ritual. Most people understood that if they followed the lead they would have prosperity and order in their life. There was no need for the stick since in the fertile land they had the carrot in front of their eyes all the times. They trusted much in their leader and that we can understand from the fact that they were ready to build grandiose buildings to manifest their World Order. Later research has shown that pyramids and other building were build with the inspiration of all people.
The year plaquette
Year plaquette of Horus Djer of the first dynasty with four seasons
The passage graves/ thombs / pyramids were surely meant as portals to the underworld made as a temple. They also marked New Year with a portal was the Janus-type Sumerian god Utu looked back and forward. So it still is today when we resume the last year and make promises at New Year.
The antic culture also used the portal such as the Romans on the Mars field and of course all those triumph arches. All these are manifestations between different living-spaces in time and to make a portal marking the border between our world and Otherworld alternatively a past world.
Egypt expanded from the first to the fourth cataract and it became twice as long as Sweden. From the Mediterranean to the first cataract is about 1000 kilometres and following the Nile it is about as much to the fourth cataract including Nubia and its black people. Further expansion started southwards after "the junction of the two countries" around 3000 BC by Narmer. However this essay shows that there seem to have been common culture in the entire Nile Valley at least 300 years earlier.. The Delta centre and the southern centre around Nekhen - Thebe united and created symbolism that, weaves together symbols, ideology and mythology to a unit hard to understand. "The jointed two countries" were tied by yearly rituals and the complex world of symbols.
We may note that several early Horus were Negroid as a cause of the fact that Egypt was a merging of north and south. The expansion continued southwards until the Greeks. Yet as we shall see people and culture immigrated also from Sumer, The Levant and the Hyksos as far as we know.
We have to remember that Egypt was multicultural and many temples lived in their own religion, calendar or ritual age. During the New Kingdom the centre was in the span from Luxor to Thebe or vice verse. It is the best-known age we know much about and that has given the image of the Egyptian culture.
Detail from the Aha-plaquette observe the bullhead for Taurus god of the boat and above is maybe Hor in his boat time-boat.
From New Kingdom we know that Hor in Edfu visited Hathor-cow in Dendera and were united at a journey omthe Nile at 19th July as start of New Year. We see the same at the right plaquette in upper row. They have found a lot of these plaquettes from the first dynasties. Mostly they are parted in four season but there are also some in three sections. The lowest is always lead by Leo and that is midsummer see URL to Francesco Rafele below
The big wing djeneh is like Hor/ Time attribut to many of the deities denoting time. In Egypt the "carrier" is the Falcon but in other places they used maybe the eagle as Sun Eagle. Both in Egypt Sumer and hatti we see the "winged sun". On the comb we see Hor denoting the name and title och Djet but also sitting in a ritual booat above the sun wings. However is it a falcon or a swallow. The Swallow is used to denote the greating of the morning sun. This is just an example that we should be carefully in interpreting the figures and not say "Ra" every time we see a bird.
At Hor Den's year plaquette we see the full use of glyphs and iconic images
At right we can notice the early ANKH symbol that seems to have a ladder to Underworld and we see it on early pots too. Nowadays they translate it to "life" and that is in transferred sense. The 'ladder' we find later in the djed symbol and it symbolises also rising crops stairways to heaven. Besides is what I call the Isis dagger seen in this shape in the Alps as attribute to Isis because at the early stage she symbolised "going-in" and sowing
Entwined snakes we also meet in eraly symbolism and the rosettes symbolises the moon. Wonderful work in ivory and they have found a lot of exceptional art from 4th millennium
APPENDIX see alsoKinahu
In the oldest temple in Sumerian Eridu they have found many fish ones. That was surely the worshipping of the "Fishman" with several names brought culture to the Sumerians. Catfish bones have been found in the Wadi Abul Sufian and the so-called first Horus Narmer have the catfish in his seal.
In the Delta they have also found border/ claim stones of type Sumerian kudurru with engraved early Animal Round for the season. That means there have been Sumerian cultivators there. There are other engraved aretefacts with typical Sumerian motifs.
Trade links with northern Syria via the Delta as a channel for peaceful influences are well summarised in Samuel Mark's "From Egypt To Mesopotamia: A Study of Predynastic Trade Links". Let us remember that the earliest ship for high seas is from around 5000 BC found in Kuwait/ Sumer
Then qualified guess is that they traded cedar already before 3000 BC. There is an inscription in the Nile Delta telling about "Kafti" that brought cedar. From Egyptian sources we can pick some cuts that shows more or less continuous trade in 3rd millennium BC.:
During Horus Den's fifty year reign around 3000 BC he conducted military campaigns in the Sinai desert in order to gain control of the mineral deposits there. He was buried at Saqqara, even though he built his mortuary complex in Abydos. The cult of Apis was introduced during his reign
Horus Djoser 2668-2649 BC led several campaigns against Asiatic peoples in Canaan and extended his influence over the Sinai desert with its copper mines where some graffiti and his serekh were found at Wadi Maghara.
Snofru, 2575-2551 BC was an active military leader. His campaigns against the Nubians and the Libyans are recorded on the Palermo Stone. He conquered the Sinai desert, important for its copper and turquoise mines, initiated a series of construction projects throughout Egypt and began trade with the other Mediterranean nations. To supply Egypt with timber, he sent a fleet of forty ships to Phoenicia. While there, he erected monuments to commemorate the event.
Sahure 2487-2475 BC established the Egyptian navy and sent a fleet to Punt and traded with Canaan. His pyramid has colonnaded courts and reliefs of his naval fleet, but his military career consisted mostly of campaigns against the Libyans in the western desert.
Niuserre ruled Ancient Egypt from 2416 till 2392 BCThe reliefs in the burial chamber of his pyramid describe his military campaigns in the Western Desert and in the Sinai.
Unas (Wenis) ruled Egypt from 2356 till 2323 BC. Successful trading expeditions were conducted to neighbouring nations. Another drawing found on a vase shows battle scenes. There was a major famine during this time.
Teti, the first pharaoh of the 6th dynasty reigned from 2346 to 2313 BCE. He sent his army several times into southern Canaan under Weni, a long lived official who served also under Pepi I and Merenre
Pepi I 2289-2255 BC he married two of his vizier's sisters, and Weni, a close advisor, led Nubian troops against the Bedouins in Sinai and southern Canaan. Pepi campaigned in Nubia and established garrisons and trading posts. Trade relations with Byblos were flourishing and Punt in the Horn of Africa was frequently reached.
From the Akkad reign 2330 to 2100 BC there is a tablet mentioning the Ca -na.na-um/ Kinahhu and like the Greek and it mean "reed cloth" dyed with carmine or purple.
Surely Sargon of Akkad established an enclave in Ugarit when he expanded Akkadian Empire (later Babylonian) to the Mediterranean. Akkadian became the Lingua Franca = diplomat language and for instance in Amarna library we find a tablet in Akkadian from Phoenician City Tyre. After them followed maybe the Babylonians and Hammurabi 1792 - 1750 is the best known.
Francesco Raffaele's site i recommend. There are many photos and he shows the current knowledge about pre-dynastic and early dynastic timeshttp://xoomer.virgilio.it/francescoraf/
Flinders Petrie's report from Naqada with planches showing his finds
The ABZU-project containing bunches of texts about early culture.