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Pschent

Pschent

The single most important piece of headwear in all of Egyptian history was the pschent, the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. Historians believe that Upper Egypt (surrounding the upper Nile River in the south of present-day Egypt and in Sudan) and Lower Egypt (most of present-day Egypt) were united in about 3100 b.c.e. by King Menes. The rulers of Upper and Lower Egypt each wore a different type of crown. The White Crown of Upper Egypt, known as the hedjet, was a white helmet that was shaped much like half a football with a stretched out, rounded end. It also had a coiled uraeus, or sacred hooded cobra, just above the forehead. The Red Crown of Lower Egypt, known as the deshret, was a round, flat-topped hat that extended down the back of the neck and had a tall section that projected upward from the back side. From the base of the projection a thin reed curled up and forward, ending in a spiral. When King Menes united the two Egypts, he combined the hat into the pschent, or Double Crown. The pschent had as its base the Red Crown, which completely covered the wearer's hair. The White Crown emerged out of the top of the Red Crown.

From the time of King Menes on, nearly every pharaoh from the Old Kingdom (c. 2700c. 2000 b.c.e.), Middle Kingdom (c. 2000c. 1500 b.c.e.), and New Kingdom (c. 1500c. 750 b.c.e.) is depicted wearing the pschent in hieroglyphs, pictures of Egyptian life that are preserved in tombs. The pschent symbolized the power of the pharaohs who ruled over one of the greatest empires of the ancient world.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Cosgrave, Bronwyn. The Complete History of Costume and Fashion: From Ancient Egypt to the Present Day. New York: Checkmark Books, 2000.

"Royal Crowns." Egyptology Online. http://www.egyptologyonline.com/pharaoh's_crowns.htm (accessed on July 24, 2003).

Watson, Philip J. Costume of Ancient Egypt. New York: Chelsea House, 1987.

[See also Volume 1, Ancient Egypt: Unraveling the Mystery of Hieroglyphs box on p. 18 ]

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"Pschent." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pschent." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pschent

"Pschent." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved October 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pschent

pschent

pschent the double crown of ancient Egypt, combining the white crown of Upper Egypt with the red crown of Lower Egypt, used after the union of the two kingdoms under Menes (c.3000 bc). The word came into use through the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1798, and derives through Greek from Egyptian sekhet.

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"pschent." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pschent." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pschent

"pschent." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved October 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pschent