The Narmer Catalog

Inscription Detail

0117 (Unusual Narmer(?) serekh from Tura)

Source No: 0117

Date: Narmer(?)

Dated by: royal name

Type: inscription on vessel ( wine jar )

Material: pottery

Region: Memphite region

Site: Tura

Locality: tomb 19.g.1

Depository:

Registration No.

References

Junker, 1912

pp. 45ff, 65

p. 47, fig. 57.3

Fischer, 1963

pp. 44-47

p. 46, fig. 3c

Helck, 1982

p. 349

Kaiser, 1982

pp. 262-264, pp. 266-267, fig. 15.8

p. 263, fig. 14.8

Helck, 1987

pp. 90, 94

von der Way, 1989

p. 99

Kahl, 1994

p. 179

van den Brink, 1996

pp. 141-144, 153, no. 8

p. 142, Table 1 (IIb.8)

Wilkinson, 1999

p. 54

Ciałowicz, 2000

p. 63

Hendrickx, 2001

pp. 90-95

Jiménez-Serrano, 2003

p. 118 (2E-TU1)

Raffaele, 2003

p. 116

Pätznick, 2009

Appendix A, no. 18.4

Jucha, 2012a

pp. 633-634, Table 1, no. 5

Alejandro Jiménez-Serrano, personal communication, 2017

Günter Dreyer, personal communication, 2017

Renée Friedman, personal communication, 2017

Stan Hendrickx, personal communication, 2017

Regulski, Database of Early Dynastic Inscriptions

Comments

The basis of the controversy over this inscription is how to interpret the horizontal line in the name panel of the serekh. At first it was read as a stylized catfish (Nar), hence an abbreviation for Narmer. This interpretation was adopted by Fischer 1963, Helck 1987, Kahl 1994, Pätznick 2009, Regulski, and von der Way 1993.
Kaiser (1982: 264-265) rejects the Narmer reading based on the type of pottery and the stratigraphy of the grave site as being earlier than Narmer. He interprets the horizontal line as a simplified n(j) sign, and read the inscription as the name of king Nj-Hr. The Hr (Horus) is implied since it doesn’t appear on the inscription. This interpretation has been adopted by van den Brink, 1996. Wilkinson, 1999 and Raffaele, 2003 say that it could be either Narmer or Ny-Hor (another transliteration of Nj-Hr). Jucha 2012 identifies it as either Ny-Hor or king “Nar”, a ruler earlier than Narmer.
Jiménez-Serrano 2003 argues that the absence of a falcon rules out the name Nj-Hr, and suggests just Nj instead. The problem with this interpretation is that N(j) means “(one) who belongs to”. It doesn’t work grammatically without an object.
A recent proposal by Heagy and Dreyer (personal communication 2017) suggest that since the
serekh shows a palace façade, but not a falcon, it should be read as “(one) who belongs to the palace”, a generic reference to the king or kingship. Friedman, Hendrickx, and Jiménez-Serrano (personal communications, 2017) have endorsed this interpretation.

0117 (Unusual Narmer(?) serekh from Tura)

Fischer, 1963, p. 46, fig. 3c

0117 (Unusual Narmer(?) serekh from Tura)

Junker, 1912, p. 47, fig. 57.3


The Narmer Catalog

Inscription Detail

Source No:0117
Date:Narmer(?)
Dated by:royal name
Type:inscription on vessel ( wine jar )
Material:pottery
Region:Memphite region
Site:Tura
Locality:tomb 19.g.1
Depository:
Registration No.
References Discussion Figure/Plate
Junker, 1912 pp. 45ff, 65 p. 47, fig. 57.3
Fischer, 1963 pp. 44-47 p. 46, fig. 3c
Helck, 1982 p. 349
Kaiser, 1982 pp. 262-264, pp. 266-267, fig. 15.8 p. 263, fig. 14.8
Helck, 1987 pp. 90, 94
von der Way, 1989 p. 99
Kahl, 1994 p. 179
van den Brink, 1996 pp. 141-144, 153, no. 8 p. 142, Table 1 (IIb.8)
Wilkinson, 1999 p. 54
Ciałowicz, 2000 p. 63
Hendrickx, 2001 pp. 90-95
Jiménez-Serrano, 2003 p. 118 (2E-TU1)
Raffaele, 2003 p. 116
Pätznick, 2009 Appendix A, no. 18.4
Jucha, 2012a pp. 633-634, Table 1, no. 5
Alejandro Jiménez-Serrano, personal communication, 2017
Günter Dreyer, personal communication, 2017
Renée Friedman, personal communication, 2017
Stan Hendrickx, personal communication, 2017
Regulski, Database of Early Dynastic Inscriptions

Comments: The basis of the controversy over this inscription is how to interpret the horizontal line in the name panel of the serekh. At first it was read as a stylized catfish (Nar), hence an abbreviation for Narmer. This interpretation was adopted by Fischer 1963, Helck 1987, Kahl 1994, Pätznick 2009, Regulski, and von der Way 1993. Kaiser (1982: 264-265) rejects the Narmer reading based on the type of pottery and the stratigraphy of the grave site as being earlier than Narmer. He interprets the horizontal line as a simplified n(j) sign, and read the inscription as the name of king Nj-Hr. The Hr (Horus) is implied since it doesn’t appear on the inscription. This interpretation has been adopted by van den Brink, 1996. Wilkinson, 1999 and Raffaele, 2003 say that it could be either Narmer or Ny-Hor (another transliteration of Nj-Hr). Jucha 2012 identifies it as either Ny-Hor or king “Nar”, a ruler earlier than Narmer. Jiménez-Serrano 2003 argues that the absence of a falcon rules out the name Nj-Hr, and suggests just Nj instead. The problem with this interpretation is that N(j) means “(one) who belongs to”. It doesn’t work grammatically without an object. A recent proposal by Heagy and Dreyer (personal communication 2017) suggest that since the serekh shows a palace façade, but not a falcon, it should be read as “(one) who belongs to the palace”, a generic reference to the king or kingship. Friedman, Hendrickx, and Jiménez-Serrano (personal communications, 2017) have endorsed this interpretation.


Images

0117 (Unusual Narmer(?) serekh from Tura)

Fischer, 1963, p. 46, fig. 3c

0117 (Unusual Narmer(?) serekh from Tura)

Junker, 1912, p. 47, fig. 57.3

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