III. B. The Jebel Barkal Pinnacle as Uraeus Goddess: God’s Uraeus (“Eye of Re”); King’s Uraeus (“Eye of Horus”); the “Two Eyes/Uraei of God;” and Manifestation of All Goddesses
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The Egyptians believed that a form of Amun of Thebes dwelt inside Jebel Barkal.  The god himself was known he “who is in the Pure Mountain,”  but he was in essence the god of Karnak.  In art the Egyptians represented the mountain as a kind of shrine, cut away in cross-section to reveal the god as a human- or ram-headed man standing or sitting, sometimes accompanied by his consort Mut.1 What we notice most about these images is that the pinnacle on the south corner of Jebel Barkal is not shown as it really is – as a massive upright crag with rough conical profile - but as a great crowned uraeus, either hanging from or rearing from the cliff front (fig. 25).  In other scenes, we find the mountain represented entirely as a serpent, its body forming the hill profile and arching protectively over the god, who stands or sits under it.  The god is protected by the serpent’s head, which is raised up, uraeus-like, before him (fig. 26a, b).  The first type of motif is known from examples dating from the New Kingdom to the Meroitic Period; the second is rarer and survives only in two Meroitic versions – but there are strong reasons to believe that such iconography had been in wide use from at least the time of Thutmose III (See III, I).


Fig. 25:  Jebel Barkal as imagined by the Egyptians.  Here Ramses II is shown making offerings to the god “Amun of Karnak” who is seated inside the mountain; the pinnacle is represented as a giant royal uraeus, crowned with the White Crown and springing out of the base the god’s throne.  From the south wall of the main hall of the Great Temple, Abu Simbel. (Photo: Louis Mazzatenta, National Geographic 198, no. 5 [Nov. 1990], 123).


 


Fig. 26a:  Graffito picturing Amun inside Jebel Barkal, from Jebel Suweigat (about 10 km upstream of Jebel Barkal on the right bank; drawn on a rock face from which there is a clear view of the same profile of Jebel Barkal).  (Abdul Rahman and Rilly 2008.)


Fig. 26b: Jebel Barkal represented in the impression of one of the gold signet rings from the treasure of Queen Amanishakheto, Pyramid 6, North Cemetery, Meroë, first century CE  (Lepsius 1842-45, Bl. 42, 103)



The surviving ancient images of Jebel Barkal reveal, without doubt, that the pinnacle, when interpreted as a uraeus, possessed different identities when observed from opposite sides.  When viewed from the southwest (=downstream/“north”), the rock reminded viewers of a uraeus crowned with a sun disk (figs. 27a, b, c).  This was the form of the god’s uraeus, which was known as the “Eye of Re” (fig. 28). (Note that the Egyptian words “eye” [iret] and ‘uraeus’ [i’ret] were puns on each other and in religious contexts shared the same meanings.2)   On the other hand, when seen from the northeast (=upstream/ “south”), the pinnacle reminded viewers of a uraeus crowned with the tall, knobbed “White Crown” (figs. 25; 26a; 29).  This indicated that the snake was a form of the king’s uraeus, which was known as the “Eye of Horus.”3 (Note again that the Egyptian words “Eye [of Horus]” [udjat] and “uraeus [of Horus]” [Wadjet] also punned on each other and shared the same meanings [fig. 30].4). Since the White Crown on the serpent’s head symbolized royal authority over Upper Egypt, the Egyptians’ discovery of the suggestively-shaped promontory at Jebel Barkal must instantly have led them to redefine their world.  They would have seen the pinnacle as confirmation by god that Pharaoh’s Upper Egyptian kingship extended as far south as Jebel Barkal and included all of Kush (fig. 31).


Fig. 27a:The pinnacle seen from the southwest (=downstream [“north”]). (Photo: T. Kendall)


 


Fig. 27b,c: The east wall (with detail) in chamber 303 of B 300, showing Taharqo and queen making offerings to Amun and Mut inside Jebel Barkal.  The pinnacle is represented as a uraeus wearing a sun-disk crown, a shape that it appears to possess when seen from the same angle (fig. 27a). (Drawing: Robisek 1989, fig. 1; photo: T. Kendall).


 

 


Fig. 28: Detail of an amulet from the burial of Queen Kama, Dynasty 23, from Leontopolis, showing the uraeus of Amun as a cobra crowned with a sun disk (“Eye of Re”).  In this case the uraeus also exhibits the horns of Hathor, revealing that it is she (at left) who is embodied in the serpent – and that goddesses could change from human to serpent form at will.  Egyptian Museum, Cairo. (Edinburgh 1988, no 33)


Fig. 29: Bronze uraeus crowned with a White Crown, from a royal statue.  Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. (Photo: T. Kendall)




Fig. 30: One of a pair of large udjat amulets in faience, found in the tomb of a minor queen of Piankhy at el-Kurru (Ku. 52; Dunham 1950, pl. 53). These objects, symbolizing the two “Eyes/Uraei” of god, reveal in their iconography the overlapping meanings of the Egyptian words “eye” and “uraeus.” Between the pupil and eyebrow, two winged uraei (i’ret, wadjet) confront a single eye (iret, udjat), while the winged scarab and seated Thoth below remind us that the two “Eyes/Uraei of god” were also manifestations of the Sun and Moon. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA 21.3108). (Photo: T. Kendall)



Fig. 31: Relief illustrating the “Red Crown” of Lower Egypt and the “White Crown” of Upper Egypt, modeled by a king rendered in 25th Dynasty style, from the tomb of Montuemhet at Thebes.  (Myśliwiec 1988, pl. 51a-b).


 

From these images we can be sure that the Egyptians imagined the pinnacle as a “statue” combining within it simultaneously the god’s uraeus and the king’s uraeus.  In religious literature, the same tendency to imagine the two merged within a single uraeus can also be noted, suggesting that the concept of their unity was a common one.5 The two uraei were also paired in the public mind as the “Two Eyes of God,” which were understood to personify the Sun and the Moon (fig. 30) (Assmann 1995, 180-181, 184-185; Wilkinson 2003, 200).  True to form in the pinnacle, the god’s “right eye” (”Eye/Uraeus of Re”=pinnacle southwest [‘north”]) would have been identified with the Sun (i.e. Amun/Re); his “left eye” (”Eye/Uraeus of Horus”=pinnacle northeast [“south”]) would have been identified with the Moon (i.e. Khonsu/Horus/king) (Piankoff 1954, 141, n. 2; Parker, Leclant, and Goyon 1979, 74-75; Walker 1991, 174 ff).  (Note that the divine Amenhotep III at Soleb is a form of the Moon god and personifies the Eye of Horus:  Kozloff and Bryan 1992, 109-110)

The Egyptians considered the uraeus to be the serpent form of any and all of the most powerful goddesses.  The uraeiform pinnacle, therefore, would have indicated to them that all goddesses were present within Jebel Barkal. (Note the line of uraei on the top of the mountain in fig. 25.) In art, we see that the goddesses could transform themselves from human to cobra or any form in between (figs. 28, 32).  They were considered to be either the divine mothers and protectors of the king or the divine daughters, consorts, and protectors of Amun.  Common to all of them was the epithet “Eye of Re,” which was not only the name of the god’s uraeus but also the name of a great goddess in myth, who was thought personified by each. The story of the “Eye of Re,” preserved in many variants, is a primary episode in the creation myth,6 and because the “Eye” was manifest in the pinnacle, the story acquired major importance at Jebel Barkal.


Fig. 32: Amun with a goddess in transformation from human form to uraeus.  From the edifice of Amenhotep II at Karnak.  (Photo:  Peter Brand).


 


In the tale, the “Eye of Re” was a daughter of the Creator god, who, sometime after the sep-tepy (“first moment”=Beginning of Time), quarreled with her father and in a fit of rage left him and went to dwell in distant Nubia.  There, symbolic of her angry, “unpacified” state, she transformed into a raging lioness with fiery breath.  The great god soon regretted his daughter’s absence, for he needed her not only to see but also so that she could protect him from his enemies.  He thus dispatched to Nubia his first-born son Shu (also called Onuris – “He who brings back the Distant One [i.e. the “Eye”]), accompanied by Thoth, the god of magic, to find her, to calm her down, and to bring her back.  When they located her, they charmed her by magic so that, as they led her downstream to Egypt, she transformed from her leonine state into various gentler, more “pacified” beings, eventually inhabiting the personae of all the different goddesses.   Ultimately she took uraeus form, settled on her father’s brow as Ma’at (“Order”) and became his “protection”/ ”uraeus”/ ”eye” (all meanings of the Egyptian words wadjet/udjat). (Nearly identical tales were told of a goddess “Eye of Horus,” who also had a Nubian sojourn:  Kozloff and Bryan 1992, 109). 

The myth of the "Eye" had its origins in the observed seasonal movements of the sun. In summer, it moves south and is accomapnied by killing heat (and in Upper Nubia by violent dust and rainstorms), indicative of the goddess' angry "unpacified" nature.  In the fall and winter, the sun moves north, accompanied by cooller weather, indicative of her "pacifed state." 

Because a great many statues and reliefs from Jebel Barkal depict the Kushite kings  wearing the peculiar four-feathered crown of Shu-Onuris, it is clear that the story of the “Eye” was very specific to Jebel Barkal, which was recognized as the dwelling place of the god’s “uraeus” (figs. 33a, b, c, d).  The four-feathered crown would have identified the kings who wore it as reincarnations of Shu, the god who saved his father, the Creator, by reuniting him with his “Eye”/”uraeus.”


Fig. 33a: Bronze aegis displaying the heads of Shu/Onuris (left) and Tefnut/”Eye of Re” (right).  Egyptian Museum, Cairo.


Fig. 33b: Quartzite sculpture of Shu/Onuris with Tefnut/”Eye of Re”, from Jebel Barkal.  Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. (Photo: T. Kendall)

 



 


Fig. 33c:  Dome-shaped inlay plaque, showing Shu/Onuris and Tefnut/”Eye of Re” residing inside Jebel Barkal; found at Jebel Barkal.  Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA 24.1818). (Photo: T. Kendall)

 


 

Fig. 33d: Colossal statues of the Kushite rulers Anlamani (left) and Aspelta (right) (ca. 620-593 BCE) from Jebel Barkal, showing the kings wearing the crown of Shu/Onuris and presenting themselves as personifications of the god.  Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

 


 

In her “unpacified” state, the “Eye of Re” was commonly represented in art as a woman with the head of a lioness, crowned with a sun disk (figs. 33a).  This was also the usual form of the goddesses Tefnut and Sekhmet, who were most commonly identified with the angry “Eye” and who specifically personified the chaotic, dangerous natures of Hathor and Mut respectively.  (In the creation myth, Tefnut was the twin-sister of Shu, who ultimately became his consort).  Not surprisingly, Hathor and Mut were the very goddesses housed at Jebel Barkal in temples B 200 and 300, which were built just to the left (=downstream/”north”) of the pinnacle, from which angle the rock looked most like the “Eye of Re”  in her uraeus form, crowned with a sun disk (fig. 27a).  In rear walls of both of these temples, Hathor and Mut appear lion-headed on the right (=upstream/“south”) sides, while on the left (“north”) sides they appear in their fully human guises, reflecting their Nubia-to-Egypt transformations.  Since the Kushite kings presented themselves as living, breathing manifestations of Shu-Onuris, we may ask what living, breathing manifestations of the “Eye” they brought back to Egypt?  Of course, during Dynasty 25, these “goddesses” would have been their own sisters, the select royal princesses, who were brought from Napata to Thebes to be married to Amun, each receiving the title “God’s Wife.” Actualizing the ancient myth of the “Eye,” these ladies became Amun’s “living uraei” (figs. 34a, b).


Fig. 34a-b: Two details of the electrum handle of the bronze mirror found in the tomb of King Shabaqo at el-Kurru (Ku. 15; Dunham, 1950, pl. 62).  The handle was decorated with the figures of four goddesses, symbolizing the transformations of the “Eye of Re” from south to north.  Standing in the south (Nubia) is a lion-headed goddess, representing Sekhmet or Tefnut as the ‘unpacified Eye.” As the “Eye” travels north to Egypt, she transforms into the goddesses of the west and east: Hathor and Mut respectively.  When the “Eye” arrives in Egypt she becomes Amun’s living uraeus and wife – and appears in the form of Shabaqo’s own sister, the princess Amenirdis, who was married to the god in Thebes.  Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA 21.318).  (Photos: T. Kendall)


 


Archaeological excavation at Jebel Barkal has revealed that the goddesses of the “Eye of Re” were a conspicuous part of the décor inside the palace of Aspelta (B 1200), before it was burned during in the Egyptian attack of Psamtik II on Napata in 593 BCE (confirmed by radiocarbon date).  In the ravaged audience hall, fragments of strange block statues were found, carved on each face with an image of the “Eye” as a female-headed uraeus within a large sun disk.  The ceiling of the room was painted with hundreds of large udjat eye symbols, and each of the four columns in the room was carved with rows of repeating human-headed goddesses, each representing a distinct “pacified” form of the “Eye,” reciting a spell to protect the king.  This decoration implies that the room had special importance during the New Year Festival, the time when the king would most likely have been in attendance at Jebel Barkal (Török 1997, 159, 319).  This festival was celebrated at the start of the Nile inundation in early August (Kendall 2008, 122).  The five days prior to New Year’s Day (at that time, about August 7) were considered very dangerous, when Sekhmet (the “unpacified Eye”) had to be carefully charmed with magic so that her destructive powers would be averted from the king and redirected toward his enemies.7 When the goddess was “pacified,” she became the king’s protector and inhabited his own uraeus.  It is these “pacified” forms of the goddess who are depicted on the columns (See B 1200; Kendall 1997, 324-334; Yoyotte 1980; Germond 1981; Kendall and Wolf 2007).

When the pinnacle was interpreted as the king’s uraeus (“Eye of Horus”), it would have been thought to embody three goddesses:  Nekhbet of Nekheb (el-Kab), patron goddess of Upper Egypt, Wadjet of Buto, patron goddess of Lower Egypt, and Weret-Hekau, patron goddess of the royal crowns.  Figs. 25c and 26a clearly reveal that the pinnacle, when viewed from the northeast (=upstream/“south”), was perceived as a royal uraeus crowned with the White Crown.  Since the White Crown symbolized the king’s authority over Upper Egypt, the natural colossus, from this vantage, would have been identified as Nekhbet. If Nekhbet was recognized as a resident of Jebel Barkal, her domain would suddenly have been reinterpreted as extending all the way from Nekheb to Jebel Barkal, a distance of 1145 river km.  This seems to be confirmed by Huy, Viceroy of Kush under Tutnakhamun, who notes in his tomb biography that the territory he governed extended from “Nekhen to Nesut-Tawy (‘Thrones of the Two Lands’=Jebel Barkal)” (Davies and Gardiner 1926, 11).  Nekhen (Hierakonpolis), opposite Nekheb (el-Kab), was remembered by the Egyptians as the center of their earliest Upper Egyptian kingship.  Perhaps to emphasize that Kush now shared this honor, Amenhotep III erected a statue of Horus of Nekhen, god of original kingship (wearing the crown of Shu), in his temple at Soleb (fig. 35).  Later a Kushite king (Piankhy?) removed this statue to Jebel Barkal and set it up inside B 500 (Dunham 1970, 25, 27, fig. 20; pl. XXV; Simpson 1971).  The goddess Nekhbet’s conspicuous manifestation in uraeus form on the cliff at Jebel Barkal would have proven to the pharaohs that their White Crown authority – also the authority of their Viceroy - included all of Upper Egypt and Kush.  It was this same belief that would drive the rise of Dynasty 25, when the Kushite kings claimed that their authority over Kush included Upper Egypt.8


Fig. 35: Statue of Horus of Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) from Jebel Barkal.  Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA 23.1470).


 


Not shown in any surviving image of Jebel Barkal is the pinnacle depicted as Wadjet, but there is good reason to believe that she, too, was perceived in the rock.  A text carved on a doorjamb in B 1200 indicates that both Nekhbet and Wadjet had their own temples at Jebel Barkal:  the Per-Wer (“Great House”) and Per-Neser (“House of Flame”) (Arnold 1982, 932-936).   Since this doorway led to a rear exit in the palace that aimed directly at the pinnacle, and since directly in front of the pinnacle lay the ruins of two temples B 1100 and B 1150 (immediately to the right of B 200 and B 300), it seems virtually certain that these two temples were those of the goddesses of the royal uraeus/“Eye of Horus”, just as B 200 and 300 were those of the goddesses of the god’s uraeus/“Eye of Re.” 

Wadjet, as goddess of Lower Egypt, would have been imagined to be wearing the “Red Crown,” just as Nekhbet is pictured wearing the White Crown.  Although the pinnacle, in surviving views from the southwest (=downstream/“north”), is shown only wearing a sun disk crown, one can, without too much imagination, also see in the rock a uraeus wearing the Red Crown (figs. 36a, b). This probably accounts for the image of Amun of Jebel Barkal presenting to Piankhy both the Kushite cap crown and the Red Crown in his early stela from Jebel Barkal (fig. 5) (Reisner 1931, pls. V, VI).  In the text of this stela, Amun says to the king:  “I made you receive the Great Crown [Weret],” a word usually designating the White Crown, but which is here determined not with a picture of the crown but with a sign showing two uraei, suggesting that both the White and Red Crowns were intended.  Mut then says to the king: “Receive unto yourself the kha’u crown [= “Riser; Glorious One’”], a singular noun in plural form but without a determinative showing the crown’s shape.  Most interesting are Khonsu’s words:  “Receive unto yourself the uraeus (i’ret),” in which the word is singular but determined by a pair of uraei – a spelling that implies recognition that the pinnacle, as royal uraeus, combined the two [Reisner 1931, 90]).


Fig. 36a: Wadjet, wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt.  Detail from an amulet of Tutankhamun.  Egyptian Museum, Cairo.


Fig. 36b: The pinnacle seen from the “north” (=downstream/southwest), perhaps displaying the form of a uraeus wearing the Red Crown.  (Photo: T. Kendall)



Nekhbet and Wadjet are only very rarely differentiated on Egyptian royal crowns, although they do each appear on Tutnakhamun’s coffins:  Nekhbet as a vulture head and Wadjet as a cobra (fig. 37).  Usually, however, the two goddesses merged as one cobra (fig. 38) and appeared on the Egyptian crown as a single uraeus (fig. 39).  Under the Kushites, the two goddesses were normally differentiated on the crown - but as twin cobras.  In many royal statues and reliefs these uraei are also shown wearing their appropriate crowns, the White and Red – a style imitating the Jebel Barkal pinnacle (fig. 40) (See below, III, C).


Fig. 37: Coffin of Tutankhamun, on which the royal uraeus goddesses Nekhbet (vulture) and Wadjet (cobra) have been differentiated on the royal nemes crown.  Egyptian Museum, Cairo.


Fig. 38: Unusual Egyptian faience amulet (Dyn. 26) showing either the merger of Nekhbet and Wadjet into the single royal uraeus, or the transformation of Nekhbet from vulture form to uraeus.  Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  (Photo: T. Kendall)



Fig. 39: The single uraeus, featured on the crown of Psusennes, Dynasty 21.  Tanis Treasure.  Egyptian Museum, Cairo.


Fig. 40: Head from a statue of Senkamanisken, King of Kush (ca. 640-620 BCE), showing his crown with twin crowned uraei.  From Kerma/Doukki Gel.  Kerma Museum, Sudan (Bonnet and Valbelle 2006, 107).


A third royal uraeus goddess, Weret-Hekau (“Great of Magic”), was the patron goddess and divine personification of the royal crowns.  When Nekhbet and Wadjet were spoken of as a pair, they were called the “two Weret-Hekau’s” (Mysliewiec 2000, 53); when they were fused as one uraeus on Pharaoh's crown, they were identified as Weret-Hekau herself.9 It was this goddess who, during the coronation, welcomed the king into the Per-wer and “established herself on his forehead” (Gardiner 1953, 15).  In a relief at Kawa, she appears as a woman, welcoming Taharqo into the Per-Wer, inside which Horus and Thoth can be seen putting the double crown on his head (fig. 41).


Fig. 41: Relief from Temple T at Kawa, showing the goddess Weret-Hekau welcoming Taharqo into the Per-wer (“Great House”), in which the king’s escorts, Horus and Thoth, can be seen placing the Double Crown upon his head.  (Macadam 1955, pl. XXII).


 


In many reliefs at Thebes, Weret-Hekau appears as a woman, lion-headed, crowned with a sun disk, indistinguishable from the unpacified “Eye/Uraeus of Re” (fig. 42).  If the Kawa relief (fig. 41) shows her as fully human, she appears more commonly as a female-cobra hybrid (figs. 32a, 43a-c), and in rare late images, the two royal uraei are transformed into twin Weret-Hekau’s (fig. 44).   Typically, Weret-Hekau wears a crown of two tall plumes with a sun disk, supported by cow horns.  This crown is also the special headdress of senior queens and “God’s Wives” (see fig. 27b, 34b) (Török 1987, 22-25).  When this crown is worn by Weret-Hekau, it seems to be implying that the goddess was, in fact, being impersonated by a mortal woman, transformed by “great magic” into the king’s living uraeus in the same way that the “Eye of Re” was transformed into the god’s living uraeus in the person of the “God’s Wife of Amun.”  Proof of this is found not only in the stele of Nastasen, in which, in a moment of truth, the king identifies his own mother (rather than the goddess) as she who “gives the crown” (see below:  III, C), but also by the text on the doorjamb in B 1200, which reveals that when the king  “goes out to the Per-Wer of the White and Red Crowns” for his coronation, he is accompanied by a lady, of whom the text states:  “…your (fem. s.) wholeness is the wholeness of the Eye of Re and vice versa; your wholeness is the wholeness of the Eye of Horus and vice versa."10 In other words, to fulfill her role in the coronation ritual, this lady transformed by magic into the various uraeus goddesses, just as they transformed into her - and this transformation took place the moment she left the palace and before she entered the temples of the respective goddesses in front of the pinnacle. Within each temple she apparently impersonated its goddess, and thus assumed the identity of each female numen embodied in the pinnacle.


Fig. 42: Relief from Hatshepsut’s Red Chapel at Karnak, showing her coronation by Amun, while a lion-headed Weret-Hekau looks on.  (Photo:  T. Kendall)


 

 


Fig. 43a-c: Statuette of Weret-Hekau as a uraeus with female head, symbolizing the one uraeus in whom the two royal uraei (pictured on the sides of the object) can unite.  University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia (Capel and Markoe 1996, 142-144).


 


Fig. 44: Meroitic queen Amanitore wearing a crown in which Nekhbet and Wadjet, the two royal uraei, appear as twin Weret-Hekau’s. From the pylon of the Apedemak Temple at Naqa, first century CE. (Lepsius 1842-45, pt. 5, pl. 56).


 

The idea that the king's uraeus dwelt at Jebel Barkal can be traced back to Thutmose III, although the tradition probably originated earlier with Thutmose I, his grandfather, the first Egyptian king to visit Jebel Barkal (Kendall 2007).  In his Jebel Barkal Stele, Thutmose III describes the “miracle” of the uraeus by which Amun revealed himself:

“Listen, O people of the southern land, who are in the Pure Mountain called ‘Thrones of the Two Lands’ among men (though) it was unknown; thus you may know the miracle of Amun-Re, in the presence of the Two Lands, the like of which had never been …..the guards were just in the process of coming in order to meet in the night to carry out the regular watch.  There were no skywatchers.  A star came approaching to the south of them.  The like had never occurred before.  It shot straight at them and no one among them could stand.  It slew as if they had never existed, they being prostrate in their blood and falling down prone.  Now the uraeus was behind them with fire in their faces; no single man among them could retaliate; no one looked round.  They had no more teams of horses, those having bolted in terror to the mountain.  Such is the miracle that Amun did for me, his beloved son, in order to cause the inhabitants of the foreign lands to see the power of my Majesty” (Cumming 1982, n. 31, p. 4, 1238; cf. Reisner and Reisner 1933a, 27-28, 35-36).

Since the Egyptians believed that a uraeus – the “Eye” - could destroy any and all enemies with its fiery breath or searing gaze, they must have circulated the story that the pinnacle came to life one evening as the king’s fire-spitting uraeus (merged with a falling meteor). The tale would have been contrived to confirm that the irresistible might of Pharaoh was lodged in the pinnacle at Jebel Barkal and was granted to him by the god who dwelt within.  The pinnacle, incidentally, faced due south, across the river, and would surely have been thought, like its counterpart on the king's crown, to be the guardian of the border of the empire as it abutted the hostile Nubian tribes who lay beyond.  (On Jebel Barkal as the place of slaying enemies by the king and the Sun God, see Parts III, H, I).

Once the Egyptians accepted that the king’s uraeus dwelt at Jebel Barkal, they would also have recognized the mountain as a source of kingship – probably the source of Upper Egyptian kingship – granted by the unique form of Amun who dwelt within.  That this was already the case in the time of Thutmose III is again indicated by his Jebel Barkal Stela.  In the lunette there were once back-to-back mirrored figures of Amun of Karnak (on the left) and Amun of Jebel Barkal (on the right) - probably looking just as they did on the Harsiotef stela, a thousand years later in date (fig. 24b).  In Thutmose’s stele, both of Amun’s figures were erased by the Atenists, but the text identifying the god of Jebel Barkal on the right (=south) remains partly legible, thus enabling the identification of both.  The preserved texts reveal that Amun of Karnak (=left/north) bestowed upon the king “all foreign lands” while Amun of Jebel Barkal bestowed upon him “the kingship of the Two Lands” (Reisner and Reisner 1933a, 25, pl. 3).  That this was no casual assertion at this time is revealed by B 600, the earliest surviving structure at Jebel Barkal, which was built by Thutmose IV. Although its present state is a Meroitic restoration, it appears from the start to have been a building used as a coronation or Heb-Sed pavilion (tjentjat), where the king sat enthroned on a dais at the top of a stepped platform.  We are thus forced to conclude that even in the fifteenth century BCE, the Egyptians regarded Jebel Barkal – and the god within - as a major source of their own royal power, a belief which was passed on to and fully embraced by the later Kushites. 


1 At present, ancient representations of Jebel Barkal or its pinnacle that can be identified with absolute or near certainly are as follows (in approximately chronological order):  1) a faience inlay plaque from B 600, showing an enthroned human-headed Amun followed by Mut, apparently inside the slope-fronted mountain (Dunham 1970, pl. 56c); this object, perhaps dating from the reign of Thutmose IV, seems to parallel 2) a relief from the south wall of the main hall of the Great Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, shown here as figs. 4 and 25 (Kendall 1997c, 169; 2008, 128, fig. 8);  3) Stele VI of Taharqo, from Kawa, showing the ram-headed Amun “[who is in] Pure [Mountain],” standing behind the Jebel Barkal cliff (Macadam 1949, 33, pl. 12); 4) a relief on the northeast (=downstream, “south”) wall of chamber 303 in B 300 of Taharqo, showing the ram-headed Amun, “Lord of the Throne of the Two Lands, who is in Pure Mountain,” sitting enthroned, followed by Mut, inside a shrine-like Jebel Barkal (painted red, the color of sandstone); the mountain is fronted by a large uraeus crowned with sun disk; detail shown here as figs. 27b, c (Robisek 1989, 53);  5)  a granite statue of Amun as a uraeus, from Luxor, with texts on alternate sides indicating that the god is, respectively, “Amun-Kamutef” and “Amun Lord of the Throne/Thrones of the Two Lands” – a name simultaneously designating Karnak and Jebel Barkal (Kendall 2008, 130, fig. 11) (fig. 56) ; 6)  a small bronze figurine of a ram-headed uraeus from Jebel Barkal, found in B 700 (Dunham 1970, 71; Wildung 1997, 270) (fig. 55);  7) a much-damaged relief from the chapel of Aspelta, Sanam, showing the king honoring Amun, inside the mountain, which is  fronted by a uraeus crowned with a disk (Griffith 1922, pl. 47);  8) Jebel Barkal as a dome-shaped mountain hieroglyph with uraeus, used as a determinative in the writing of the name of Napata:  in texts of “Aktisanes” and Nastasen; shown here as fig. 33c (Priese 1977; Kendall 2008, 132, fig. 15); 9) a relief in the tomb chapel of Beg. N. 7:  four gods seated on top of Jebel Barkal (shown here as figs. 60a, b) (Kendall 2008, 130, fig. 12);  10) a relief from tomb chapel Beg. N. 11:  Jebel Barkal as a deity with dome-head and uraeus (shown here as figs. 49a, b) (Kendall 2008, 131, figs. a-b);  11) a graffito from Jebel Barkal, showing Amun seated inside the mountain with pinnacle represented as a ram-headed uraeus with arm upraised as Kamutef, shown here as fig. 54 (Kendall 2008, 129, fig. 9); 12) a graffito from Jebel Suweigat, showing Amun standing under a serpent, crowned with the White Crown, representing Jebel Barkal; shown here as fig. 26a (Abdel Rahman and Rilly 2008; Kendall 2009, 132, fig. 15);  13) a relief in the Apedemak Temple at Musawwarat es-Sufra: ram-headed Amun enthroned under a uraeus serpent crowned with a sun disk, followed by Mut (Hintze 1971, Taf. 59); 14) a relief in the Apedemak Temple at Naqa: ram-headed Amun enthroned under a uraeus serpent crowned with a sun disk, followed by Mut (Gamer-Wallert 1983, Taf. 59, Bl. 11a); 15) Signet ring from the Ferlini Treasure picturing a ram-headed Amun under a serpent crowned with sun disk (shown here as fig. 26b) (Priese 1993, 34, fig. 31a: Kendall 2008, 132, fig. 14); 16) a dome-shaped shrine from Jebel Barkal, shown here as figs. 50a, b (Dunham 1970, pls. 35-36).

2 Note, for example, PT 2206:  “This king…is the uraeus (i’ret) which came forth from the Eye of Re (iret Re).” (Faulkner 1969, 307). See discussion in Walker 1991, 109 ff).
3 Note, for example: PT 33:  “Take the two eyes of Horus… take them to your forehead that they may illumine your face”; PT 56: “May the Eye of Horus which is in the mansion of the Red Crown awake in peace”; PT 635:  Horus has given to you his Eye that you may take possession of the White Crown by means of it at the head of the gods; PT 900-901:  “O King, the dread of you is the intact Eye of Horus, (namely) the White Crown, the serpent-goddess who is in Nekheb…O King, I provide you with the Eye of Horus, (namely) the Red Crown, rich in power and many-natured, that it may protect you, O King, just as it protects Horus…the two serpent goddesses who are on your brow, that they may raise you up, O King, that they may guide you to your mother Nut”; PT 1459:  “I am he who grasps the White Crown, Master of the Curl of the Green Crown (wadj=crown of Wadjet=Red Crown); I am the uraeus which went forth from Seth…I am he who takes care of (?) the Red One which came out of…I am the Eye of Horus…”; CT I 178: “The White Crown Eye of Horus goes out from your head; Horus has given you his Eye.”
4PT 96:  “…the green (wadj) eye (udjayt) of Horus”.  See also Walker 1991, 139 ff.
5 Because the king was seen as an incarnation and youthful manifestation of Amun, his uraeus was often said to be the same as the god’s, and vice versa.  Nekhbet and Wadjet are said to be the two eyes of Amun, and these are called the "Weret-hekau of the south and Weret-hekau of the north" (Walker 1991, 142) . The “Eye of Horus” is said to be on the brow of the Sun God (Ibid, 143); it was also said to protect Atum (Faulkner 1994, pp. 238-239; CT IV: 98-109). In the Book of the Dead (BD) 8a, S, the Eye of Horus is the property of the Sun god and appears on his brow; in BD 78 S 10: The Eye of Horus destroys the Sun-god's enemies.  The two “Eyes” are therefore considered manifestations of each other and interchangeable – like the god and king themselves.

6 Junker 1911; 1917; Spiegelberg 1917; de Cenival 1988; Loprieno 1995; Darnell 1995, 1998; Inconnu-Bocquillon 2001; Hoffmann and Quack 2007.

7 Yoyotte 1980; Germond 1981; Žabkar 1988, 121-123.
8 Piankhy claims Kush and and all of Egypt, but his real power extends only to the the northern border of the Thebaid/Upper Egypt, approximately at el-Hiba (See Török in FHN 1994 (I), 113-116; 1997, 144-166).
9 The association of Weret-Hekau, Nekhbet and the Eye of Horus is made clear in the following:  PT 2285: "O Osiris the King, take the Eye of Horus … for its Magic is Great on me.  O Osiris the King, take the Eye of Horus, Great of Magic - a Great of Magic vulture"; PT 2279:  “O Osiris the King, these Eyes of Horus […] for you as your two doubles.  O Osiris the King, they shall be upon you […] upon you as the two crowns Great-of-Magic […] its magic is great upon me  - a Great-of-Magic serpent” (Faulkner 1969, 318).  Weret-Hekau is also called Ma’at, the “Eye of Re” (Walker 1991, 119). Mut is called the Weret-Hekau of Thebes (Ibid, p. 188).  And Weret-Hekau is identified as both “Eyes” (Ibid, p. 142).  In BD 164, Sekhmet-Bastet “Eye of Re” is said to be Weret-Hekau.  Note also a group of three identical amulets from el-Kurru (Dunham 1950, pl. 53 A, lower left):  Each depicts a Hathoric (i.e Bat) face with braids of twin uraei, surmounted by an udjat eye.  On the reverse, however, one is inscribed with the double crown (=Weret-Hekau), one is inscribed with an udjat and Horus (=”Eye of Horus”), and the third is inscribed with an udjat crowned with the disk and twin plumes of Amun (=”Eye of Re.”).
10 For photographs of the inscribed doorway in B 1200, see Dunham 1970, pl. 62.  The text on the right jamb reads …w.tw [verb of going].tw r pr wr hdj nt hns.tw pr.nsr w.tw ("....one does [x]; one goes to the Per-Wer of the White and Red Crowns; one traverses the Per-Neser.").  The second line continues:  .... s m htp sp-sn(?) …tn wdja.t wdjat wdjat R' tjs-phr wdja.t wdja wdjat Hr tjs-phr (Translation above).