Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Origin of the Cult of Horus in Predynastic Egypt - Page 10

The Origin of the Cult of Horus
in Predynastic Egypt - Page 10

The little-known "Newby Palette" of the "Double Falcon King", dated to approximately 3300-3200 B.C. and found today in the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva, Switzerland,[24] (Figure 4), virtually begins the era of predynastic kings in Egypt.[25]

The Newby Palette is nearly a Pharaonic comparable to Yggdrasil ("rotating column"), the world tree (Weltenbaum) of the ancient Germanic peoples. It is an artefact containing all motives of our present discussion. We interpret it to be the representation of the stars at heaven’s center.

According to Germanic mythology,[26] an eagle (or hawk) Wderfölnir, [instead of a falcon] sits in the crown of the world tree. A snake (or dragon) Nidhögg gnaws at the root of the tree. Another "gnawing toothed animal" (Ratastöskr) [squirrel?], is mentioned:[27]

"The tree Yggdrasil... was the central - both pictorial as well as abstract - construction of the Germanic religion.... Yggdrasil as the central axis connected the worlds of the universe.... Ratastöskr continuously raced up and down the trunk, trying – successfully -to keep in check the permanent battle between the hawk Wderfölnir in the crown of the world tree and the envious dragon (serpent) Nidhögg gnawing at one the three roots of the world tree...."

The Pharaonic Newby Palette[28] shows a similar world view. The two falcons, that I interpret to be the stars Kochab and Pherkad in Ursa Minor, known as "guardians of the pole" in ancient tradition, sit together with the serpent [dragon] and another "gnawing toothed" animal (hyena jackal, wolf or dog) at heaven’s center. Although the place of discovery (provenance) of the Newby Palette in Egypt is not known, its genuineness is verified by a very similar piece in a museum in Munich, Germany, where the falcon on one side is broken off:[29]
[24] Laure Meyer, Métamorphoses de l'Art antique, Archéologia 267 (Dijon, France, April, 1991), pp. 18-25 (fig. p. 20) . Photograph by John D. Degreef. See: and
[25] See
[26] Ygg’drasil', E. Cobham Brewer, Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898, "In the tree, which drops honey, sit an eagle [hawk, falcon], a squirrel, and four stags. At the root lies the serpent Nithhöggr gnawing it.... See also Weltesche: "Vier Hirsche laufen ständig den Stamm entlang und beißen dem Stamm die jungen Knospen ab. Ein Drache mit Namen "Nidhögger" macht das gleiche mit den Wurzel...."
[27] Alfred Stolz,
Schamanen. Ekstase und Jenseitssymbolik, Cologne, 1988 (Dumont Taschenbücher 210). See
[28] "It is also believed that Double Falcon may have ruled in Upper Egypt (Adaima), the Memphite Region (Turah/ Ezbet Luthy), and the Delta and North Sinai (Tell Ibrahim Awad, El-Beda, N. Sinai). It is unclear whether or not he may have established himself a rule of Abydos and the Southern Levant region (Palmahim Quarry). These assumptions are results of the areas in which his serekh was found." See
[29] Alfred Grimm and Sylvia Schoske,
Am Beginn der Zeit, Ägypten in der Vor- und Frühzeit; Ausstellungskatalog, Heft 9, Schriften aus der Ägyptischen Sammlung (SAS); Munich, Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst, 24.12. 2000 - 22.4.2001, p. 59.

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