Head of the Falcon God Horus
This exquisite gold head of the falcon god Horus, lord of the sun and patron deity of kingship, was found below the floor of the main chamber of his temple at Hierakonpolis, north of Edfu. The head, which is made out of beaten gold, was fixed to a copper statue of the falcon Horus.
It is topped by a twin-plumed headdress and decorated with a royal uraeus, or rearing cobra. The eyes are inlaid with rounded, polished, obsidian pieces, very similar to that of the real bird. It was certainly a cult statue, which was set up on a base in its shrine, with a royal statuette placed under its protection.
Horus, one of the major Egyptian deities, whose name ‘herw’ should mean ‘the far one’. As a deity, it was quite known in Predynastic Period, during the conquest and unification of Egypt. The focus of these actions was the city of Hieraconpolis (Nekhen), ‘the city of the falcon’ where he was the main deity, which elevated him to dynastic and national deity.
Old Kingdom, 6th Dynasty, ca. 2345-2181 BC. From Kom al-Ahmar Necropolis. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 32158