Skip to main content
Select Source:

Pschent

Pschent

The single most important piece of headwear in all of Egyptian history was the pschent, the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. Historians believe that Upper Egypt (surrounding the upper Nile River in the south of present-day Egypt and in Sudan) and Lower Egypt (most of present-day Egypt) were united in about 3100 b.c.e. by King Menes. The rulers of Upper and Lower Egypt each wore a different type of crown. The White Crown of Upper Egypt, known as the hedjet, was a white helmet that was shaped much like half a football with a stretched out, rounded end. It also had a coiled uraeus, or sacred hooded cobra, just above the forehead. The Red Crown of Lower Egypt, known as the deshret, was a round, flat-topped hat that extended down the back of the neck and had a tall section that projected upward from the back side. From the base of the projection a thin reed curled up and forward, ending in a spiral. When King Menes united the two Egypts, he combined the hat into the pschent, or Double Crown. The pschent had as its base the Red Crown, which completely covered the wearer's hair. The White Crown emerged out of the top of the Red Crown.

From the time of King Menes on, nearly every pharaoh from the Old Kingdom (c. 2700c. 2000 b.c.e.), Middle Kingdom (c. 2000c. 1500 b.c.e.), and New Kingdom (c. 1500c. 750 b.c.e.) is depicted wearing the pschent in hieroglyphs, pictures of Egyptian life that are preserved in tombs. The pschent symbolized the power of the pharaohs who ruled over one of the greatest empires of the ancient world.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Cosgrave, Bronwyn. The Complete History of Costume and Fashion: From Ancient Egypt to the Present Day. New York: Checkmark Books, 2000.

"Royal Crowns." Egyptology Online. http://www.egyptologyonline.com/pharaoh's_crowns.htm (accessed on July 24, 2003).

Watson, Philip J. Costume of Ancient Egypt. New York: Chelsea House, 1987.

[See also Volume 1, Ancient Egypt: Unraveling the Mystery of Hieroglyphs box on p. 18 ]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pschent." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pschent." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pschent

"Pschent." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved April 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pschent

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

pschent

pschent the double crown of ancient Egypt, combining the white crown of Upper Egypt with the red crown of Lower Egypt, used after the union of the two kingdoms under Menes (c.3000 bc). The word came into use through the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1798, and derives through Greek from Egyptian sekhet.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pschent." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pschent." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pschent

"pschent." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved April 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pschent

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.