By Jacqueline Engel
King Semerkhet ruled at the end of the 1st Dynasty as King Den’s successor.
His name means ‘companion of the divine community and is written inside a rectangular frame called a serekh.
This ornamental vignette combines a palace façade with an aerial view of the royal courtyard.
On top of the frame sits the Horus-falcon, the god associated with kingship.
The royal tombs of the 1st and 2nd Dynasties were marked with stone slabs, or stelae, bearing the name of the deceased.
Funerary stelae herald the beginning of a long tradition of marking elite burials and commemorating the deceased.
1 Dynasty (King Semerket), about 28077-2800 BC. Abydos (Umm El Qaab) Schist JE 318
Text and location Egyptian Museum Caïro