December 28, 2012

0438 EGYPT - Ramesses II in a war chariot

As it seems, in the image is Ramesses II, the greatest and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire, in a chariot, during one of the many battles he fought, mainly against the Nubians and Hittites, in the no less than 66 years of reign. The pharaoh wears on his head a Khepresh crown, also known as the blue crown or war crown, made from cloth or leather stained blue and covered with small yellow sun discs. Like many other royal crowns, it has, fastened to its front, an uraeus, i.e. the stylized, upright form of a cobra, used as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity, and divine authority.

Around the eye he has khol, a substance made with a dark dye, applied not only for aesthetic, but to prevent infections and reduce sun glare in the desert climate. Around the neck he wears a collar made of precious gems and gold, and also gold armbands and bracelets. Around the waist has wrapped, in counter-clockwise, a piece of linen, probably from flax (a plant native to the region), to make an apron, or kilt, called the Shendyt. This royal apron is entirely covered with fine accordion pleating.

The chariot was introduced in Egypt by the Hyksos, when they took control of Lower Egypt in the mid-17th century BC, and when they were expelled during the following century, Egypt preserved and developed this innovation. Initially, it was lightweight and used as mobile platforms for archery, with a crew of two people - one driver / shield-bearer and a warrior, but in time it became a bigger weapon, combining high speed, strength, durability and mobility. It seams that the Egyptians greatly improved this vehicle, adding a metallic coating to the axes, increasing the number of spokes in wheels from four to six, and using the protection for the horses.

In ancient Egypt, members of the chariotry units formed their own aristocratic class, known as the maryannu (young heroes). The heroic symbolism can be seen on contemporary paintings, in which the pharaoh is shown riding with the elites, shooting arrows at the enemies. This image became a typical royal iconography of power in the New Kingdom. Also the royal chariot itself was treated as a heroic personality with the gods who oversee each of the parties named.

The stamp shows pharaoh Tutankhamun.

Clothing of Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs - Eternal Egypt
Shendyt - Wikipedia
Khepresh - Wikipedia
Chariotry in ancient Egypt - Wikipedia
Ancient Egyptian Chariots - Egy-King

sender: Elsayed Ahmed Elsayed Kasem (direct swap)
sent from Alexandria (Egypt), on 26.03.2012

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