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Gallery 20: Case 1

Hierakonpolis: the Main Temple Deposit

These objects are part of a group of more than one thousand items deposited in the temple of Horus at Hierakonpolis. The offering was made by Narmer, one of the earliest kings of Egypt, around 3050 BC.

In addition to the temple, large numbers of early burials of both humans and animals, including an elephant, have been found at the site.

Many of the objects in the Deposit relate to or symbolise kingship. The mace-heads, originally used as weapons, were a symbol of royal authority. The scorpion images and figurines may refer to a 'Scorpion king', either one earlier than Narmer or Narmer himself. However, the sharp sting of the scorpion may simply express any king's dual role of attacking his enemies and defending his own people. The inclusion of the dwarf figurine reflects the belief that dwarfs had magical properties and powers.

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