kalabsha temple

King Silko’s Silver Crown, 5th Century AD

This silver crown comes from the necropolis of Ballana situated south of Abu Simbel, the site is today submerged by the waters of Lake Nasser. The tomb in which the crown was found, without doubt, is that of a local potentate judging by the abundance and quality of the material uncovered in the 1930s by W.B. Emery. It falls within the category of culture called X-Group (or Ballana Culture) which developed after the breakup of the Empire of Meroë into small kingdoms or principalities. This period is between the end of the 4th century and the beginning of the 6th century AD.

The individual whose corpse was adorned with this crown was probably one of the kings of these small principalities who succeeded the domination of the kings of Meroë. It could be identified as Silko, dating back to the 5th century, who was proclaimed in a Greek inscription within the temple of Kalabsha, “King of Nobatae and all of Ethiopians”. The crown still includes a set of representations from a repertoire directly inspired from ancient Egyptian iconography; however, its symbol and its form are no longer Egyptian.

The crown is composed of two parts, a diadem and a crest. The diadem is decorated with a frieze of Horus falcons between two rows of small squares and circles….

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