Egyptian Symbols: Deshret

The Deshret is famous Red Crown of ancient Egypt associated with Lower Egypt – the domain of the tutelary goddess Wadjet. It was also representative of the red fertile land of Kemet including the surrounding lands, ruled by Set, on both sides of the Nile river delta where chaos reigned supreme without law and full of dangers. The crown is characterized by a curly wire in its end representative of the proboscis of the honeybee. The name Deshret is also representative of the insect. When combined with the Hedjet or the White crown of Upper Egypt, the resulting crown is known as the Pschent that symbolized the unification of the country. It may also be seen worn by Neith.

It is represented in hieroglyphs by the small vertical letter n that has been used in both Predynastic period and the Old Kingdom (with the familiar water ripple difference).

In cosmology, the Deshret was believed to be given by Geb to Horus to rule over Lower Egypt. The pharaohs being the successors of Horus used this crown until the unification of Egypt.

Despite its importance, no Deshret exists as of today probably because it was made of organic material like reeds, cloth or rubber. Some suggests that it was made of copper, thus its color, but these remain to be speculative. It was believed to be passed on from pharaoh to pharaoh. Proof of the existence of the Deshret is seen in the very famous Narmer Palette.