Ancient Technology

Djedankhra Device

Djed Symbolism

Papyrus of Ani

Echoes of Ancient Words

World Ages

Web Forum

Key to

3 = Egyptian 'aleph'


Djedankhra Device

Shrine of Taharqa
Shrine of Taharqa

In this image, taken from the Shrine of Taharqa in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK; the King - Taharqa - on the right is approaching the god Nefertem, who is shown holding a staff.

This staff comprises a w3s sceptre, a djed pillar, and an ankh.

The djed seems to be attached to the top of the w3s, and the ankh extends from the top of the djed towards the King.


Traditionally, the w3s is associated with the concept of command, the djed with stability and the ankh with life. Conventionally, this scene depicts the god symbolically extending life to the King. However, close up, Taharqa appears unhappy, and the Nefertem's gesture appears to be more of a threat than a benediction.

Bendiction or threat?

The words running downwards between Nefertem's staff and the King, in the closeup image, read in glyph order from top to bottom, are:

ntr - god/nature
dw3 - worship/adore
sp - times
fdw - four a phrase, "dw3 ntr sp fdw" translated as "Worship/adore god/nature four times".

If, indeed, this is an aggressive gesture then the device comprising the w3s, djed and ankh must be dangerous in some way.

The question is, what?

Previous | Next

SGB 1999