The pschent was the double crown worn by rulers in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians generally referred to it as sekhemty, the Two Powerful Ones. It was a combination of two crowns – the White Hedjet Crown of Upper Egypt and the Red Deshret Crown of Lower Egypt.
Shape of Pschent
The Pschent crown represented the power of the pharaoh over all of unified Egypt – Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. The Red Deshret Crown of Lower Egypt was the animal emblem of an Egyptian cobra, known as the uraeus, ready to strike, symbolizing the Lower Egyptian goddess Wadjet.
The White Hedjet Crown of Upper Egypt had an animal emblem of an Egyptian vulture representing the Upper Egyptian tutelary goddess Nekhbet. These were fastened to the front of the Pschent and referred to as the Two Ladies.
History of Pschent
The invention of the Pschent is generally attributed to the First Dynasty pharaoh Menes. However, the first one to wear a Double Crown was the First Dynasty pharaoh Djet: a rock inscription shows his Horus wearing it.
The king list on the Palermo Stone, which begins with the names of Lower Egyptian pharaohs (nowadays thought to have been mythological demigods), shown wearing the Red Crown, marks the unification of the country by giving the Pschent to all First Dynasty and later pharaohs. The Cairo fragment, on the other hand, shows these prehistoric rulers wearing the Pschent.
As is the case with the Deshret and the Hedjet Crowns, no Pschent has survived. It is known only from statuary, depictions, inscriptions, and ancient tales.
Among the deities sometimes depicted wearing the Double Crown are Horus and Atum or Ra both representing the pharaoh or having a special relationship to the pharaoh.