Horus Bird (Pharaoh)

Horus Bird in hieroglyphs
Reign: unknown
Predecessor: unknown
Successor: unknown


Horus name of "Horus-Bird" inscribed on fragment P.D.IV n.108 found in Djoser's pyramid complex at Saqqara.

Horus Bird, also known as Horus-Ba, is the serekh-name of a pharaoh who may have had a very short reign between the 1st dynasty and 2nd dynasty.

Name sources

There are very few reliable name sources for Horus-Bird. The first known attestion of this king may be a serekh with an undetailed bird found by F. Petrie in the tomb of Qa'a at Abydos. Another more legible inscription showing a serekh with a bird was later found on a vessel fragment PD IV n.108 in Djoser's pyramid complex at Saqqara. An inscription on shist vase P.D. IV n97 from Djoser's pyramid complex could also refer to Horus-Bird.[1]

Since the hieroglyphic sign is written in such an erratic way, the possibly correct reading remains uncertain. Whilst egyptologists such as Wolfgang Helck and Peter Kaplony see a depiction of a goose, they read the name as Sa (which would make it a “Son of Horus”) or as Geb(eb) (which would make it a “Heir of Horus”).[1] Egyptologist Nabil Swelim instead sees an depicting of a sattle-billed stork and reads Ba (making it a “Soul of Horus”).[2]


Very little is known about king Horus-Bird. The few archaeological evidences point to the existence of one or more ephemeral rulers following Qa'a's death and before Hotepsekhemwy of which Horus-Bird may have been one.

Egyptologists such as Černý and Peter Kaplony think that Horus-Bird could be identical to the likewise sparsely attested king Horus-Ba. Indeed, this ruler wrote his name with the leg sign or the leg and ram signs, which read "Ba". Černý and Kaplony think that the bird in the serekh of Horus-Bird is the goose sign with the same transcription, "Ba".[3] In this case Horus-Ba and Horus "Bird" could be the same historical figure. Černý and Kaplony's theory is not commonly accepted, the presence of Horus-Bird serekh in the tomb of Qa'a pointing rather to an interregnum with Horus-Bird between the first and second dynasties.

Horus-Bird's burial site is unknown.

External links


  1. 1 2 Wolfgang Helck: Geschichte des Alten Ägypten. Brill, Leiden 1981, ISBN 9789004064973, page 34-35.
  2. Nabil Swelim: Some Problems on the History of the Third Dynasty. In: Archaeological and Historical Studies, vol. 7. The Archaeological Society of Alexandria, Alexandria 1983
  3. Peter Kaplony: Horus Ba?. In: Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Institut Kairo. Volume 20. von Zabern, Mainz 1965, page 3 & 4.
Preceded by
Pharaoh of Egypt Succeeded by
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