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A History Of The World Essay

768 words - 4 pages

Whenever the topic of Ancient Egypt is breached, a few generic topics are instantly recalled: maybe it’s the pyramids, King Tut’s tomb, maybe even the Exodus? Before Egypt became the Egypt that most everyone knows of now, it was a wildly disjointed, disunited preamble to the great empire it became known for. King Narmer was the factor that ultimately changed that. Unifier of Egypt and founder of the First Dynasty, Narmer set into motion a series of events that ultimately shaped Egypt into the modern republic it is now. In this episode of ‘A History of the World in 101 Objects,’ we will delve into the history behind this legendary Stele, explore the ancient and current significance of such a production, and attempt to lift the veil on topics such as consolidating Menes with Narmer.
Looking at this Palette, it isn’t hard to see how the old Egyptian subjects were so entranced by their leaders and how that compares to our modern viewpoints. Where we view politicians and leaders as a wiry group, always keeping an eye on them lest today be the day they raise their daggers against us, the ancient Egyptians saw their leaders as infallible, godlike beings to be trusted, obeyed, and adored. Standing just over 2 feet tall and 1.4 feet wide, this Palette was carved out of a majestic shade of grey-green siltstone, almost shield-like in appearance. Both sides are exquisitely carved out, each one uniquely decorated but both sides containing a central serekh used to identify and in this case even confirm the subject as royalty. This serekh contains the symbols n’r and mr, which as you may have noticed, phonetically spell Narmer. These symbols are surrounded by two bovine heads, which could either represent the Goddess Hathor or Bat. The front side features Narmer himself standing before a kneeling prisoner about to meet his untimely end. As with most Egyptian art, the Pharaoh towers above everyone else in the Stele, with his torso facing out of it but his head and feet face forward. Tall and regal and wielding a mace, he wears the White Crown associated with Upper Egypt. Curiously, two symbols hover above the prisoner, possibly specifying his name or even where he hails from. Roosting on...

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