The bee: King symbol of old Egypt

This is the King symbol of the Egyptian Pharaohs.

You read it as 'nswt - bity'

This part is 'nswt'. In an invented pronunciation "nisut". It is the plant Sedge. Alone standing the plant is already a king symbol

This part is 'bity'; "bietie" is also invented. So: the bee

The little half moons are read as the character "T". Together 'nswt-bity' means: King of Opper and Lower Egypt. Opper Egypt is the south (the Sedge); Lower Egypt is the delta of the Nile (the Bee). It was not two separate states, nor two administrative unities like provinces

Why then two Symbols to indicate one function? Because in the thinking of this nation something really excists when it is double: one is nothing !! The King is also indicated as "The Lord of Both Banks" (of the Nile). Another double expression 

Usually the symbol 'nswt - bity' is accompanicd by a cartouche. In this cartouche is written the name of the Pharaoh. 

For example in the English stamp you can read: "Tutankhamon, ruler of Heliopolis of the south" (present day Thebe).

On the stamps Egypt 1925, you see the nswt-bity Symbol and the writing of a kings name in the cartouche. But here is something strange. The man with the bird head is the god Thoth. He is writing the name of King Fouad (1922 - 1936), the father of King Farouk (who was removed by Nasser). So: a modern king used the old kings symbol.


In another case of borrowing the East German FDC shows the 'nswt-bity' symbol and under the symbol the cartouche. And you see a king (left), who is giving gifts to a god (with the head gear). But the dresses are not Egyptian. And the muscular legs are not Egyptian either.

The king is Nastasen (300 B.C.). He was a king of an empire, called Meroe. The empire was situated south of Egypt in the Sudan. The capital town Meroe was situated along the Nile south of the inflow of the river Atbara. This empire excisted from 700 B.C. till 300 A.D.

king_s16.jpg (195604 Byte)

The Meroids used a writing adopted from the Egyptian hieroglyfes, but the writing was simpler. Scientists can read the writing, but they can not translate. Because the grammer and the meaning of the words are unknown.

In the book "The Sacred Bee in ancient times and folklore" by Hilda M. Ransome, Beebooks Bridgwater 1937, you find the enclosed bees of Old Egypt and more about beekeeping, ect. .

About the king symbol and about the Meroits Prof. J.J. Janssen, London, U.K. gave me useful information.

by Jan de Crom  
taken from "The Postal Bee" 3/1998 
Contact Group Bee Philately

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