Type of ancient Egyptian heraldic crest

A serekh was an important type of heraldic crest used in Ancient Egypt.

A simple serekh of King Djet


A serekh was a symbol which combined a view of a palace facade and a plan (top view) of the royal courtyard. The word "serekh" comes from the Egyptian word for "facade". There are many different serekhs on different types of objects. Many different decorations and details of the facade are shown in many different examples. It seems that there were no strict rules for the design of the serekh.[1][2][3]


A carved serekh of Djer

A serekh was normally used as a royal crest, showing the name of the pharaoh. They have been found as far back as the predynastic Naqada II (Gerzean) period (ca. 3400 BC.). The hieroglyphs forming the king's name were placed inside a rectangular area above the serekh. This represented the royal courtyard. Additionally, the falcon of the god Horus, or in a few cases the chimera of Seth, is on top the serekh.[1][2][3]

From the Old Kingdom period onward, the word serekh appears in old papyri.[1][2][3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen. Münchner Ägyptologische Studien. Bd. 49. Philipp von Zabern, Mainz 1999, ISBN 3-8053-2591-6, p. 7-9.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Rolf Gundlach: Horus in the Palace: The centre of State and Culture in pharaonic Egypt. In: Rolf Gundlach, John H. Taylor: Egyptian royal Residences: 4. Symposium zur Ägyptischen Königsideologie (4th edition, London 2004). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 978-3-447-05888-9, p. 45–68.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Toby A. H. Wilkinson: Early Dynastic Egypt: Strategy, Society and Security. Routledge, London 1999, ISBN 0-415-18633-1, p. 56-57, 201-202.