An alabaster bowl has recently produced a new written trace of a possible Egyptian sovereign, whose name was represented by a scorpion.
Egypt, probably Hierakonpolis, dynasty 0, ca. 3150 BC, hemispherical bowl with hieroglyphic characters carved on the side, alabaster diam. 11.2 cm.
King Scorpion: now there's a name that only means something to real Ancient Egypt buffs. With this figure half-way between legend and reality, the only evidence of his reign comes from pottery discovered in 1988 in a tomb at the Abidos site (five hundred kilometres south of Cairo), featuring images of a scorpion and a plant. Once removed from the sand, these pieces revealed a pharaoh older than any hitherto identified, belonging to a dynasty before the First, i.e. around 3250 BC. Another highly significant discovery brought to light by these characters was that the Egyptians possessed a hieroglyphics system mixing phonetic and symbolic characters a quarter of a century earlier than the period commonly accepted. Specialist Günter Dreyer of the German Archaeology Institute of Cairo ardently defends the existence of this mysterious pharaoh – the oldest known to date, living before the reunification of ancient Egypt, to which he contributed. But for lack of further proof, this is questioned by others, who feel that these writings are simple toponyms (where the animal refers to a place or a god). The alabaster bowl presented here, which garnered €29,000, provides no answers, only a new character.