Egyptian Symbols: Nebu

The Nebu is the representation of gold in ancient Egyptian symbolism. According to legends, gold is considered as an indestructible metal of heavenly origin. It is often depicted as a collar made of gold whose ends hang on the sides with seven spines dangling from the middle. Alternatively, beads may be seen hanging on its lower edge.

Its divine origin is believed to be from the flesh of the gods and other deities that were believed to be golden. It is associated mostly with the sun god, Ra, making him acquire the epithet “the mountain of gold”. Its polished surface is often linked to the brilliance of the sun. In the Old Kingdom, the ruling pharaohs were symbolically known as the “Golden Horus”.

During the New Kingdom, the Royal Tomb and burial chamber of the pharaoh was called the “House of Gold”. In ends of the sarcophagus, the goddesses Isis and Nephthys are often seen kneeling on the hieroglyph that meant gold. Hathor is also associated with this symbol with her epithet: “the Golden One”. It is also an important metal in afterlife because it represented immortality.

The ancient Egyptian city of Nebet was also associated with the Nebu before it was changed to Ombos.