V is for Vulture
Top row: Death mask of Tutankhamun; Vulture collar symbolizing the goddess, Nekhbet
Bottom row: Pendant from the tomb of Tutankhamun; Relief of Queen Nefertari.
The Ancient Egyptians view vultures as symbols of motherhood and protection. Various goddesses are depicted as holding the vulture as scared from Isis, Queen of the Gods, Mut the Mother-Goddess; Nut the Sky Goddess and Nekhbet the Vulture Goddess. Queens traditionally wore headdresses depicting a vulture (especially the Egyptian Vulture/N.percnoterus), although some queens like Nefertiti and Hatshepsut preferred not to, due to the crown’s representation of the traditional female role. Nefertiti even came up with a new design for her crown. However, Nefertari, the primary wife of Rameses II embraced the crown wholeheartedly.
There are several sub-species of Vultures known to the Ancient Egyptians such as the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnoterus), also known as Pharaoh’s chicken, due to its size; the Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus); Lappet-faced vulture (Torgos tracheliotus); and the Sociable vulture (Vultur auricularis). Most of these vultures are considered vulnerable or endangered species.
Most recently, these vultures have been featured in the popular meme, Keep Calm and Carrion (sorry, can’t help it).
Discussion on the significance of the Vulture Crown and its wearers: Mary Abrams’s paper @ Brigham Young U
A comprehensive site on the excavation and conservation of King Tut’s tomb: The Griffith Institute.
The Senet Queen
Just a very quick and quite silly drawing of queen Nefertari beating her husband king Ramesses II in a game of senet.
I got inspired this painting from the queen’s tomb, where she is depicted playing a game of senet - I like to imagine that she must have been really good at playing senet, since there’s a painting of her playing the game in her tomb :D