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Author Topic: Set and other earlier names  (Read 2333 times)

Offline ThothIsWise

  • Country: 00
Set and other earlier names
« on: December 11, 2017, 10:12:25 am »
Hello all *henu*

So I came across a reference the other day that stated the first known attestation of Set came about in the 2nd dynasty (this is in connection to the Nisut (AUS) Peribsen and Nisut (AUS) Khasekhemwy with their unusual serekhs).

I was pretty puzzled by that -- I had always had the impression that Set was a Name that was known to have existed in pre-dynastic times, along with Heru (Since most academic sources publish with the Greek names, I've never been clear if the "Horus" they refer to is Heru-Wer, Heru-sa-Aset, or another Heru, or if Heru was "just" Heru in pre-dynastic times).

Does anyone know if Set appears in the historical record in pre-dynastic times?
~Djehuty Is Wise~

Also intrigued by Set, Wepwawet, Nit, Nekhbet, Wadjet, and Amunet.

Offline Senuwierneheh

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Set and other earlier names
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 06:30:34 pm »
Em Hotep!

Yes, there are some examples of Set's appearance in the Pre-Dynastic era.  I have some examples at this link here:

http://www.joanlansberry.com/setfind/3200bce.html

HeruWer usually is called Horus the Elder. It is Horus the Elder that is the brother of Set.  I'm not sure if Heru sa Aset appears in Predynastic times.  Perhaps someone else here has done research on all the Herus?

Senebty,
Neheh...
Senuwierneheh (My Two, forever)
Sat Hethert-Sekhmet her Set, meryt Ptah-Sokar-Wesir, Djehuty, her Heru-Wer
Self-care Hethert, Set and Ptah Advocate
𓁥 𓁣 𓁰

Offline Sedjfaiemitui

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Set and other earlier names
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2017, 11:04:16 am »
Em hotep nefer, ThothIsWise!

Building off of what Joan contributed:

The Scorpion Macehead (where one of our first indisputable and readily recognizable Set-animals shows up) is typically dated to the Early Dynastic, not the Predynastic, but in any case there are tenable representations of Set-animals to be found dating to the Naqada II Period and somewhat prior.

As for the Heru-Gods question:

The Heru of Nekhen (Hierakonpolis, which is Greek for "Falcon City") is perhaps the oldest Heru-cult we know of. Heru-Nekheni is typically figured into the "Wer matrix" and not the "Sa matrix." That is the short answer. The long answer, while more accurate to the vagaries of Egyptian religion(s) across the ages, is rather murky.

Now, for the long answer:

There are A LOT of Heru-Gods, some "original Herus" (like the Heru of Nekhen) and some "doctored," for lack of better terms, at later points in Their Divine identities (Sobek-Shedety, Herishef, Hûrûn, various manifestations of Amun-Re dating to the very end of the New Kingdom / early Late Period, etc.). It's very hard at times to delineate between the two major Heru "matrices," particularly as we try to work our way backwards from the New Kingdom through Ptolemaic Heru-cults (with the major exception of Sematawy and His cult popularized during the New Kingdom Period, Who is definitively a "Sa"). Indeed, a number of Heru-Gods pull double duty, making any such attempts at delineation impossible for those individual Netjeru. The Egyptianized Levantine deity Hûrûn, for example, is in various contexts identified with / functions as both Heru-em-Akhet (Harmachis, or Horus-within-the-Horizon), Who is a "Wer," and Heru-pa-Khered (Harpokrates, or Horus the Child), Who is a "Sa" (most typically, though not always, the offspring of Aset + Wesir; it should be noted that pairs like Banebdjedet + Hatmehyt and Herishef + Hathor Nebet Nehet Resyt are also named as parents of the "Younger Horus" at different cult centers, beginning during different Periods). The case is much the same for Sopdu, and for Bes (Who is at times identified with Sopdu, and by the Late New Kingdom or so started becoming conflated with His charge, Heru-pa-Khered).

I find it's better to reconcile "Wer" and "Sa" as categories that various deities get shuffled into. Toponymic names (like "Nekheni") tend to identify a Heru-God much more certainly -- and in turn allow us to document a given Heru's history intelligibly -- than the titles "Wer" or "Sa" do.

I hope this helps!

Senebty,
Sedjfai
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 11:08:13 am by Sedjfaiemitui »
"Endowed by Two Fathers"
𓁣 𓁠
Sat Set her Amun-Re-Banebdjedet
Meryt Herishef, Wesir-Narefy, Heru-Wer, her Yinepu

Offline Sedjfaiemitui

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Set and other earlier names
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2017, 11:52:52 am »
Addendum: I failed to mention Heru-Behdety! D:

Heru-Behdety is perhaps the most popular of the Heru-Gods, and is strongly cast as a "Wer." He is fairly old, with some scant and questionable evidence of His worship (the odd image of the Winged Solar Barque) emerging from the 3rd millennium BCE, with certain, exclusive iconography of Him (namely, the Winged Sun Disc) presenting itself during the 5th Dynasty. While all Heru-Gods are related after a fashion, insofar as I know and understand, the Behdetite and the Nekhenite were not intrinsically the same deity originally. As far as the provable evidence goes, the Nekhenite appears to be older than the Behdetite.

Now, don't quote me on this, as I could easily be mistaken since unlike Hemet (AUS) I am not party to everyone's RPD result discussions, but I am fairly sure that Heru-Behdety is the "Heru-Wer" that people most frequently get Divined with. From what I have seen, experienced, and celebrated with this Temple in my five years with it, Heru-Behdety certainly figures much more strongly than other "original" Heru-Gods Who are usually "Wer" do in the myths we treasure most and the festivals we regard as high points on our Temple's calendar (i.e., the Beautiful Reunion).

Heru-Behdety is also a sometimes-Sa, which as I recall, apart from all the confusing associations plastered all over the walls of Edfu Temple, comes to light in the later (Ptolemaic) myth of the Winged Sun Disc. But, these are later additions to Behdetite theology, and tend not to figure into the personal religious understandings of those of us who take our cues from pre-Graeco-Roman Egyptian theologies.

I hope this was useful to you!

Senebty,
Sedjfai

"Endowed by Two Fathers"
𓁣 𓁠
Sat Set her Amun-Re-Banebdjedet
Meryt Herishef, Wesir-Narefy, Heru-Wer, her Yinepu

Offline ThothIsWise

  • Country: 00
Re: Set and other earlier names
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 08:25:01 am »
*Henu*

Wow, that's a lot of Herus! Thank you both so much for all the info!

@ Sedjfaiemitui: I thought the Scorpion Macehead was pre-dynastic? I had been under the impression that King Scorpion was pre-dynastic, among with Ity-Hor and Ka? Or is Scorpion now accepted to be the same as Narmer? I know there has been some debate about it because Narmer also has a mace head that is similar. Predynastic/Protodynastic is my favorite time period of ancient Kemet (which is rare, from what I can tell).  I went and stared at pictures of it online (and sketches/line drawings), and I can't seem to find the Set-animal depicted. Could you perhaps tell me what symbols/objects/people it is near, so that I can triangulate the location?

~Djehuty Is Wise~

Also intrigued by Set, Wepwawet, Nit, Nekhbet, Wadjet, and Amunet.

Offline Pairysenu

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Set and other earlier names
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 04:27:40 pm »
I would like to drop this thesis on Set here.

https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/files/54524292/FULL_TEXT.PDF

It discusses where we can first find evidence of him. Talks about predynastic period starting on page 21.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 04:29:11 pm by Zanders »
𓅮
"The One Who Acts For Two"
Sa Sekhmet-Hethert her Set her (Hekatawy Alexandros)|
Mery Heru-wer, Sobek, her Min

Offline Senuwierneheh

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Set and other earlier names
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 07:02:52 pm »
I went and stared at pictures of it online (and sketches/line drawings), and I can't seem to find the Set-animal depicted. Could you perhaps tell me what symbols/objects/people it is near, so that I can triangulate the location?

http://www.joanlansberry.com/setfind/mace1.png

The Set animal is at the upper left in this image, just below the letters "POLIS".   (There's another Set animal over to the right, :) )

You might be able to see them better in this photo:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lankester2/5395597819/

This macehead is from the Protodynastic period, so later than Predynastic.  It's the next pharaoh who brings in the Early Dynastic period.  (Scorpion MIGHT have been Narmer, the first king of the Early Dynastic period, based on the stylistic similarities between Scorpion's macehead and Narmer's macehead.  So far it's a big "maybe", unless there's some new research out there, which others (like Sedjfai, thank you!), might know about.) 

I hope this helps, :)

Senebty,
Neheh...
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 07:33:43 pm by Senuwierneheh »
Senuwierneheh (My Two, forever)
Sat Hethert-Sekhmet her Set, meryt Ptah-Sokar-Wesir, Djehuty, her Heru-Wer
Self-care Hethert, Set and Ptah Advocate
𓁥 𓁣 𓁰

Offline Sedjfaiemitui

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Set and other earlier names
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2017, 04:11:49 am »
*Henu*

Wow, that's a lot of Herus! Thank you both so much for all the info!

@ Sedjfaiemitui: I thought the Scorpion Macehead was pre-dynastic? I had been under the impression that King Scorpion was pre-dynastic, among with Ity-Hor and Ka? Or is Scorpion now accepted to be the same as Narmer? I know there has been some debate about it because Narmer also has a mace head that is similar. Predynastic/Protodynastic is my favorite time period of ancient Kemet (which is rare, from what I can tell).  I went and stared at pictures of it online (and sketches/line drawings), and I can't seem to find the Set-animal depicted. Could you perhaps tell me what symbols/objects/people it is near, so that I can triangulate the location?



Em hotep nefer, ThothIsWise! :)

"King Scorpion" is one of those very . . . "iffy" Kings from the Pre- and Early Dynastic Periods. There has been a lot of argumentation about the provenance of things like the Narmer Palette (what/who it's intended to represent and how; John Romer goes into some detail discussing the problems with that whole affair), the Palermo Stone (we don't know for sure if it's THE genuine 5th Dynasty Old Kingdom document, or a New Kingdom "reproduction" of a known or invented Old Kingdom document, of a forged nature similar to the Donation of Constantine), and the Scorpion Macehead. The apparent stylistic differences between much of what we see hailing from Naqada II and prior and the Scorpion Macehead have prompted some scholars to err on the side of caution and place it toward the Early Dynastic end of the Pharaonic timeline.

The problem with placing figures like Narmer and "King Scorpion" (and even with figuring out whether they were separate individuals!) is how incomplete our pictures are of most things in Egypt before the 5th Dynasty. As you mentioned, we don't know for certain whether or not Narmer and "King Scorpion" were the self-same person -- if they existed as historical and not as mythic figures at all!

But, if indeed Narmer was a real King (and, as it follows, if Narmer and "King Scorpion" were the same figure, whether real or mythical), conventional history puts him in Dynasty 1 along with the "Menes" mentioned by Herodotus and Manetho -- yet ANOTHER controversial figure, in that we don't know whether he actually existed either (Greek historians and priests have since proved rather unreliable when it comes to Ancient Egyptian history, as it happens). Flinders Petrie figured it was likely an honorific title, not a personal or royal titular name, and he very well could have been right.

All we can really say for sure is that there was, at one point in a very distant and murky past, a First King of a (loosely) "Unified" Egypt. We just can't honestly say who that King was, or may have been.

Senebty,
Sedjfai


*Maaaajor double-edit because my overtired brain wicked-misread what Neheh wrote. Whooooops!*
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 04:37:19 am by Sedjfaiemitui »
"Endowed by Two Fathers"
𓁣 𓁠
Sat Set her Amun-Re-Banebdjedet
Meryt Herishef, Wesir-Narefy, Heru-Wer, her Yinepu

Offline Lita45

  • Remetj
  • Country: eg
Re: Set and other earlier names
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2017, 05:44:40 am »
Em hotep  ThothIsWise,
Thanks for sharing this information and all who answered. Thanks Sedjfaiemitui great information.

Senebty,
Lita

 


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