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Titulary what's this?
Horus Name Scorpion, although it is never shown in a serekh as the other kings of the era were shown.
Nomen possibly Selq
Dates what's this?
Associated People
Father possibly Ka
Grandfather possibly Iry-Hor
Great-grandfather possibly "Crocodile"
Son possibly Menes (Horus Aha)
Burial Place

The action movie The Scorpion King, starring The Rock, is fantasy, of course; but there is indeed quite a bit of valid evidence for an Egyptian king who is commonly called "Scorpion", based on the depiction of a scorpion sign with his portrait on a mace head. The person shown is a king, based on the presentation of the figure with the White Crown of Upper Egypt and the size of the figure towering over advisors and attendants. Of course, the mace head is just a fragment, and there is some dispute over whether the sign of the Scorpion is meant as a name, or if the king is some other early dynastic king and the scorpion sign is some kind of title or has some other meaning. [image: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford]

There is a large, many-roomed tomb in Abydos (B50) that has been identified as belonging to the "Scorpion King", although no conclusive evidence has been found.

A recent article in the NY Times has posited that the Scorpion King waged war against Naqada (the earliest Egyptian culture) around 3250 BCE. This is based on a series of inscriptions called the Scorpion Tableau.

The hardest thing about reconciling the existence of a possibly mythic "Scorpion King" is that his name does not appear in a serekh - a stylized pre-cartouche topped by a falcon - as do the names of the other kings of Dynasty 0 and Dynasty I. Normally, these early kings were known only by their "Horus Name", a formalized king-name that was displayed in the serekh. But these very early kings often were known only by a single descriptor - "Crocodile", "Scorpion", "Falcon", "Bull". Even the well-known Narmer was known as "Catfish".

It has been suggested that Scorpion may have been a close contemporary of Narmer, based on the similarities of the mace heads and palette attributed to them. Scorpion was reckoned to come from Hierakonpolis, a competing city to This, which spawned the first dynasty kings. At the time, they may have been the base cities for competing chiefs.

A few serekhs have been found on pottery and vases that are interpreted by some as being Scorpion. However, these have also been read as belonging to other kings (Aha and even Crocodile) and it is possible that these labels do not even represent the king(s) at all!

Mace heads were found in the 1980s in the Main Deposit within the old temple of Hierakonpolis. The mace head shows the king with the white crown. It has been read to show a sign of a scorpion in front of the ruler, although this is a creative reading of the mace head. A crocodile's tail hanging down may instead link this mace head with a previous ruler.

It is possible that this king and the tomb supposedly belonging to Scorpion I are for the same person, instead of an earlier person with the same name.



"scorpion II"


pre-dynastic kingdom
dynasty 0/00

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