by Chris Parker, copyright 2009
The Was scepter was a ubiquitous Egyptian symbol signifying power and authority and hundreds of examples of it have been found in Ancient Egyptian art; usually in connection with Egyptian “gods” and Pharaohs as well as with other authority figures.
In the past month or so, I have received several emails to the effect that the mystery creature which sits atop of the Was scepter (in most cases) is clearly a pterosaur. I believe I’ve received separate correspondences from Garth Guessman of Genesis Park and Cliff Paiva of BSM Associates.
Photo, Right: Faience votice was-scepter, excavated at Faras in Nubia, Late period, MMA 41.2.9. Click photo for larger version.
In my own research, I‘ve seen writer after writer and one Egyptian Authority after another speculate freely and inconclusively about the mystery creature that sits atop this well-known and researched Egyptian symbol. Could it be a rabbit they wonder? Could it be a type of bird? Is it an amalgam of several animals?
Surely, it is like other Egyptian symbols and based upon a real creature? If so, what was that creature, they wonder? Novel theories have been put forward to explain the origin of the mystery creature and yet, the identity of the creature is really quite evident—if one knows where to look.
It is quite clearly a representation of a pterosaur and specifically, based on the current scientific nomenclature about these creatures; it appears to be representation of a pteranodon. The one thing that it appears to be– can’t be considered by serious “academics” because Darwanism has twisted the history of the planet.
Photo:Left; Comparison of Nubian Was Scepter with modern depictions of pteranodon. The Egyptian version looks friendly compared with modern versions and his prong is “ornamented” perhaps with skin or keratin. Click for Higher Reso photo.
Had the Egyptians seen these creatures alive, and the evidence indicates that they did, they would have been quite impressed as some of them reached a height of six feet and had wingspans up to 33 feet or so.
It is true however, that to date fossils of pteranodon have not been found in Egypt or on the continent of Africa, although pterosaurs have been found—but the evidence speaks for itself.
Pteranodons are known for the backwards projecting spike or prong that forms a portion of their skulls. There are of course, several types of Pteranodons and the Egyptian examples may or may not be from a known group.
Photo:Right;Kom Ombo and Ombi – is an agricultural town in Egypt famous for the Temple of Kom Ombo. It was originally an Egyptian city called Nubt, meaning City of Gold (not to be confused with the city north of Naqada that was also called Nubt/Ombos). It became a Greek settlement during the Greco-Roman Period. The town’s location on the Nile 50 km north of Aswan (Syene) gave it some control over trade routes from Nubia to the Nile Valley, but its main rise to prominence came with the erection of the temple in the 2nd century BC…Wikipedia
Artists that have never seen pteranodon have speculated in their drawings as to how the backwards projecting prong presented itself on the live creature. There tends to be an incredible amount of group think in their portrayals, even as to the angle and perspectives shown which rarely change.
In most cases, the “prong” is shown without any “ornamentation”; however, the Egyptian artists have generally portrayed the prong with ornamentation. It is certainly fair to say that the Egyptian version is plausible given the pteranodon skull fossils that have been found.
Comparison of Kom Ombo “mystery creature” with modern pteranodon interpretations. Drawing on the left selected because artist imagined a pteranodon similar to the Egyptian version. Click for high reso photo
In this collection, we’ll look at some of the speculation concerning the Was scepter as well as compare a number of them with current artistic renderings of the Pteranodon. Pteranodon was thought by science to have been extinct for 75 million years. The ancient Egyptian culture is not nearly that old of course suggesting that science is wrong…..s8int.com
Photo:Right; Was sceptre in the Egyptian antiquities section in the British Museum. Click for Higher Resolution photo/
(was) Appearance: The was scepter is a straight staff with a forked base and topped with an angled transverse section. The top of the staff was often shaped as the head of some fantastic creature, perhaps the bennu bird.
Originally, the was scepter may have been a fetish associated with the spirit of a sacred animal, or perhaps it was simply a herdsman’s staff”….Ancient Egypt and Mythology
“Was (“power”) scepters represent the typhonic or Set-animal (the mascot of the Egyptian god Set). Was scepters were depicted as being carried by gods, pharaohs, and priests, as a symbol of power, and in later use, as a symbol of control over the force of chaos that Set represented.
Was scepters often occur in paintings, drawings, and carvings of gods, and remnants of real Was scepters have been found constructed of faience or wood, where the head and forked tail of the Set-animal are visible.
Photo: Left; Comaparison of British Museum Was scepter creature with modern versions of pteranodon from fossils. Click for Higher Resolution photo
The Was (w s) is also the Egyptian hieroglyphic character that stands for a word meaning power.
In their 2004 book The Quick and the Dead, Andrew H. Gordon and Calvin W. Schwabe speculated that the Ankh, Djed and Was symbols were derived from various parts of a bull that were significant in ancient cattle culture, thus:
• the Ankh – symbol of life – thoracic vertebrae of a bull (seen in cross section)
• the Djed – symbol of stability – base or sacrum of a bull’s spine
• the Was sceptre’ – symbol of power and dominion – a staff made from a dried bull’s penis that was the symbol for the goddess Wosret or Wasret.
Photo:Right: “Detail of the “Mysterious” Was Sceptre. A symbol of Ancient Egyptian Divine Royalty, there is hardly a depiction of a god or goddess without it. We know very little about this instrument. No one even knows what the head is depicting, a rabbit, a fox or some other canine, even an ass or the ancient bennu (Phoenix) bird. it’s one of the most important symbols in all Egyptology right along with the ankh wedjet and djed. This detail was taken from Hathor temple, Dendera”……. Hazelra
Re: Origins of the Mysterious “Was”-Scepter
“Well, of course it was also a lingual phonetic component, and it has the phonetic value ws. But nearly every other hieroglyphic sign has a “meaning” in the sense that it is derived from a picture of a real world object : man, woman, parts of the body, mammals, birds, buildings, ships, ..
Photo; Left. Comparison of Dendera “creature” with more modern depictions of pteranodon. In one case we’ve added the Egyptian “prong detail” to a current depiction to take note of the results. Click photo for higher resolution.
Even the abstract symbols for life, stability and protection. The Ankh sign (S 34) for life resembles the
body of a person with outstretched hands, The Djed sign (R 11) for stability is a picture of a row of pillars.
The protection sign (V 17) resembles a seal that protects a content.
The “Was” sign depicts a scepter, and it was the symbol for dominion and power. If it was a symbol for power because the kings used it, why did the kings used exactly this scepter ? The question is : why has the “Was” scepter exactly this form and not another ?
What is the original function of it ? What is the origin of this sign ? There must be an origin somewhere in the physical world, because it is a very old sign, a sign that is frequently used in
and before the old kingdom.
Photo: Right; Another view of the Was Scepter compared with modern depictions of the pteranodon from the same point of view. Click for Higher Resolution photo
The development of the writing systems tells us (see e.g. Geoffrey Sampson’s Book Writing Systems, 1985), that every ancient writing system – the egyptian hieroglyphs, the sumerian cuneiform and the chinesesymbols – is derived from pictographic symbols.
For example, the Chinese symbol for “landscape” (shan shu) is a combination of the symbols for mountain and water, the sign for “man” is a combination of the symbols of power (a strong arm) and a
rice field. (working in the rice field was the work of man in china)”…Jochen Fromm
Photo:Left; Was-Scepter, Wadj-Scepter, Faience Late Period – Macedonian Period, circa 664-305 B.C.E) Provenance not known Broolyn Museum 37 1650E, 37 886E, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund Photo © Joan Lansberry, May 2008. Click for Higher Resolution photo
Pteranodon (pronounced /t??ræn?d?n/; from Greek ????- “wing” and ??-???? “toothless”), from the Late Cretaceous of North America (Kansas, Alabama, Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota), was one of the largest pterosaur genera, with a wingspan of up to 9 metres (30 ft).
Pteranodon is known from more fossil specimens than any other pterosaur, with about 1,200 specimens known to science, many of them well preserved with complete skulls and articulated skeletons, and was an important part of the animal community present in the Western Interior Seaway
Pteranodon was a reptile, but not a dinosaur. By definition, all dinosaurs were diapsid reptiles with an upright stance, and consist of the group containing saurischians and ornithischians. While the advanced pterodactyloid pterosaurs (like Pteranodon) had a semi-upright stance, this evolved independently of the upright stance in dinosaurs, and pterosaurs lacked the distinctive adaptations in the hip associated with the dinosaurian posture.
However, dinosaurs and pterosaurs may have been closely related, and most paleontologists place them together in the group Ornithodira, or “bird necks”.
Prong or crest
Photo:Right; Cairo Museum. Gilded wood statue of Ptah, with bronze was scepter, inlaid with gold. The base titles him, Ptah, Lord of Ma’at, and also names Tutankhamun. Note the was symbol (pteranodon). Click for Higher resolution
The most distinctive characteristic of Pteranodon is its primary cranial crest. These crests were consisted of skull bones (frontals) projecting upward and backward from the skull. The size and shape of these crests varied due to a number of factors, including age, sex, and species.
Male Pteranodon sternbergi, the older species, had a more vertical crest with a broad forward projection, while their descendants, Pteranodon longiceps, evolved a narrower, more backwards-projecting crest. Females of both species were smaller, and bore small, rounded crests..
…though the function of the crest has been a subject of debate. However, most explanations have focused on the blade-like, backward pointed crest of male P. longiceps, and ignored the wide range of variation across age and gender. The fact that the crests vary so much rules out most practical functions other than for use in mating displays.
In 1943, von Kripp suggested that the crest may have served as a rudder, an idea embraced by several later researchers. One researcher, R.S. Stein, even suggested that the crest may have supported a membrane of skin connecting the backward-pointing crest to the neck and back, increasing its surface area and effectiveness as a rudder.
The rudder hypothesis again does not take into account females or P. sternbergi, which had an upward-pointing, not backward-pointing crest. Bennett also found that even in its capacity as a rudder, the crest would not provide nearly as much directional force as simply maneuvering the wings.
The suggestion that the crest was an air break, and that the animals would turn their heads to the side in order to slow down, suffers from a similar problem. Additionally, the rudder and air break hypotheses do not explain why such large variation exists in crest size even among adults.
Many times here we have presented ancient artifacts or ancient objet’s d’art that we were convinced proved that ancient man had encountered dinosaurs or other creatures that science claims have been extinct for millions of years. What’s unique here is that we have multiple examples of the alleged “extinct” creature. The unique shape of the pteranodon’s head has been idealized in many instances with respect to the Was scepter but there are enough examples with clear details which prove the case.
Is this all too much for your Darwinian trained mind? That’s understandable. After all, who are you going to believe; science or your own lying eyes? :0)
Why not start over with creatures that have only supposedly been extinct for 10,000 to 2,000,000 years and if you can deal with them, then maybe try the pteranodon again.
See Also:Tracking Living (Or Recently Dead) African Pterosaurs