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What is considered one of the oldest historical documents on the surface of the planet, a tableau describing the story of a victorious and might ruler, was discovered off a desert cliff in Egypt changing forever the way we look back at ancient Egypt.
Discovered in 1995 by J.C Darnell and D Darnell at Gebel Tjauti (south-east of Abydos) the “Scorpion Tableau” depicts a victory procession lead by King Scorpion (whose name is written as a hawk above a scorpion) suggesting that Scorpion defeated the ruler of Naqada and unified Upper Egypt as a prelude to the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt by Narmer.
What we have written down on this ancient tableau are unprecedented details about the mystery king, whose achievements were considered stuff of mythology and legend, but are now proven to have been critical in the founding of the ancient Egyptian Civilization.
The tableau, measuring 18 by 20 inches, was discovered while Dr. John Coleman Darnell and his wife, Dr. Deborah Darnellthey were surveying ancient trade routes in the desert west of the Nile, at the site of Gebel Tjauti, which is curiously close to where in 1999 the Darnells reported finding inscriptions that could be the earliest known examples of alphabetic writing, from about 1800 B.C.
Looking back at really ancient history
To get a feeling of just how old Egypt is believed to be (officially), the land of the ’Pharaohs’ already ‘ancient’ even in the time of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
For the year zero and the birth of Jesus, the Egyptian civilization was already the stuff of myths and legends.
While we do know a lot about Egypt and its rulers, there is very limited information about the origins of this ancient civilizations.
How did it all begin? Who ‘created’ ancient Egypt?
To answer this, we need to travel to a time before written history and study an ancient ruler who not long ago was considered the stuff of legend.
Halfway between history and legend is the figure of a pharaoh that lived on Earth before the unification of Ancient Egypt, and whose symbol was a scorpion under the protection of a falcon (Hours, and symbol of royalty as protected by the god).
This monarch, the oldest known to date, has been popularly called the Scorpion King.
The history of the Scorpion King is older than that, considered until recently as the first of the pharaohs, Narmer.
Narmer was until not long ago considered the first ruler of ancient Egypt. All pharaohs prior to him were considered by experts as an absolute myth.
Interestingly, once again archaeological discoveries have proven that a thin line divides myth from reality.
The Scorpion King
Although there is a film about the Scorpion King, we must clarify that it little based on historical data, since until now there is very little what experts know about this mysterious ruler.
So, what do we know? It is believed that his name could represent either his resistance or his success in military strategy, but it is almost certain that this association is related to his abilities on the battlefield.
It is estimated that this ancient ruler must have lived between 3,200 and 3,300 BC, when upper and lower Egypt were unified.
What makes the discovery even more fascinating is the fact that until recently it was thought that the first kings, who were represented as half men and half animals, were mere mythological figures, but the discovery of Horus-Scorpio has confirmed that they were people of flesh and blood.
Scorpion’s tomb is known archaeologists for its possible evidence of ancient wine consumption.
Furthermore, archaeologists believe how the conquests of the Scorpion King started the Egyptian hieroglyphic system by starting a need to keep records in writing