Ancient Egypt
Elements of its Cultural History

  by Sjef Willockx



Abstract of: The Texts with the Name of King Ka (2014)

This paper deals with those texts that (possibly) contain the name of king Ka, dynasty 0. The following objectives are pursued:

  • to compile a list of sources which is independent from any classification system, and that can hence be augmented whenever necessary;

  • to identify relevant characteristics of the various types of text;

  • to study the significance and development of these characteristics;

  • to devise a meaningful taxonomy, based on these characteristics;

  • and to present a full catalogue of all items, based on that taxonomy.

Kaiser’s suggestion that the serekhs, incised on ceramic vessels,  which show vertical lines above the name may represent the façade of a castle or palace with battlements, is accepted. It is shown that the serekhs in ink represent a further development of this type, in which a horizontal top line is added to the design to serve as a roost for the falcon. The former type is labeled an open battlement serekh, the latter a closed battlement serekh. In addition to this, three specimen are identified in which the royal name is enclosed in a simple rectangle (a phenomenon also known from Narmer), which is labeled a block serekh. It is furthermore suggested that the writing of this king’s name, with only one unobtrusive sign, may have prompted the development of the serekh in the first place (at least as far as southern Egypt is concerned), as a means of highlighting it in texts.

A total of 56 texts are examined. Of these, 13 are found to be problematic: either not a serekh at all (one of which is believed to be a representation of the hieroglyph M43, “vine on props”), or not a serekh of Ka, or ancient imitations of Ka-serekhs.

The geographical distribution of the non-problematic serekhs does not support claims for dominion of Ka over the Delta.








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