ashmolean

Department of Antiquities

The 'Scorpion King' Mace head
(Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; number: AN1896-1908.E3632)

When was it made and why is it so large?

Egyptian Mace head, AN1896-1908.E3632

When was it made?

About 3100 BC, in the period immediately preceding the unification of Upper and Lower (southern and northern) Egypt under one king - traditionally identified as a powerful ruler from the south.

Why is it so large?

This macehead is about five times the size of a functional one. It's decorated with scenes carved in low relief, and was made for dedication in the temple of the falcon god at Hierakonpolis, possibly to celebrate a victory.