Nomes of Lower Egypt

Ta Mehu; Lower Egypt

This map of ancient Egypt covers Lower Egypt. Lower Egypt was the northern-most section of ancient Egypt stretching from just south of modern-day Cairo to the Nile Delta at Alexandria.

The labelling of “upper” and “lower” seems counter-intuitive. Lower Egypt is in the north because it is further from the source of the river Nile (which flows into the Mediterranean). Lower Egypt’s landscape is dominated by the Nile delta, a fertile marshy area scored by tributaries and canals. The climate is milder and there is more rainfall in this area than in Upper Egypt.

Lower Egypt was always the more industrialised, partly because it benefited from trade links with the middle east, the Mediterranean and northern Africa.

Lower Egypt was known as Ta-Mehu and was (like Upper Egypt) divided into areas called Nomes There were up to 20 nomes, although they varied more in number as the environment changed over time.

The patron goddess of Lower Egypt is Wadjet. As a result the cobra could also represent Lower Egypt. This goddess was referenced with Nekhbet (of Upper Egypt) in the Pharaoh’s ‘Nebty’ name (also known as the ‘two ladies’). However, Lower Egypt was also associated with Bast, Ptah, Nephthys, Neith, and Horus in mythology and art.

The heraldic plant was the papyrus, but Lower Egypt was also represented by a bee, as in the Pharaoh’s Prenomen which begins with the epithet “He of the sedge and bee” (meaning he of Upper and Lower Egypt). The pharaoh (and a few of the gods) wore the Red Crown (“deshret”) to display their power over Lower Egypt. The crown was combined with the White Crown of Upper Egypt to form the Double Crown (“pschent”).

Nome List

1: Ineb Hedj(White Wall)

Gods
Ptah, Sekhmet, Nefertem, Sokar, Hathor, Renpet and the Apis

Cities
Inebhedj/Mennefer (Memphis, Mit Rahina), temples of Ptah and Hathor

White Chapel
Represented by Horus before Inebhedj

2: Khensu (foreleg)

Gods
Horus, Kherty, Khentykhem

Cities
Khem (Letopolis, Ausim), temple of Horus-KhentyKhem

White Chapel
Represented by Khentykhem

3: Ament (West)

Gods
Hathor

Cities
Imu (Kom el-Hisn), temple of HathorSekhmet

White Chapel
Represented by Hepy of Hut-Ihyt

4: Sap Res (The southern shield)

Gods
Neith, Sobek

Cities
unexcavated

White Chapel
Represented by Neith and Sobek (“of Sais”)

5: Sap Meh (The northern shield)

Gods
Neith, Sobek, Wadjet

Cities
Sau (Sais, Sa al-Hagar), temple of Neith
Per-wadjet (Buto), cult centre of Wadjet

White Chapel
Represented by (Neith and Sobek) Sau (‘of Sais’)

6: Kaset (Mountain Bull)

Gods
Ra, Wadjet

Cities
Khasu (Xois, Sakha), temple of Ra
Pe and Dep/ Per Wadjet (Buto, Tell el-Farain; see above), temple of Wadjet

White Chapel
unclear

7: Ament (West harpoon)

Gods
Hu

Cities
unexcavated

White Chapel
Represented by a harpoon and a cord

8: Abt (East harpoon)

Gods
Atum

Cities
Peratum (Pithom, Tell al-Maskhuta), temple of Atum

White Chapel
Represented by a harpoon and a cord

9: Andjeti

Gods
Osiris, Andjety

Cities
Djedu (Busiris, Abu Sir Bana), temple of Horus-Khentkhety (Khentykhety)

White Chapel
Represented by Osiris of Djedu

10: Ka-qem or Kem-wer (the Black Bull)

Gods
Horus

Cities
Hutherib (Athribis, Tell Atrib), temple of Osiris, and Isis

White Chapel
unclear

11: Ka-henseb (Heseb Bull)

Gods
Tefnut, Shu, Maahes (Mihos)

Cities
Taremu (Leontopolis, Tell al-Moqdam), temple of Maahes (Mihos)

White Chapel
Represented by Bau

12: Theb-ka (calf and cow)

Gods
Anhur (Onuris)

Cities
Tjebennetjer (Sebennytus, Samanud), temple of Anhur Shu and Mehyt
Perhebyt (Behbeit), temple of Isis of Hebyt

White Chapel
Represented by Matyt or Bat

13: Heqat (sceptre)

Gods
Atum, Nephthys, Iusaas, the Mnevis Bull, Hesat, Anubis

Cities
Iunu (Heliopolis, Matariya), temple of RaAtum, Hathor
Kheraha (possibly the Greek ‘Babylon of Egypt’ in Old Cairo), temple of Atum

White Chapel
Represented by Isis, Bast of Su

14: Khenty-ab (foremost of the east)

Gods
Set

Cities
Tjaru (Sile), temple of Horus of Mesen

White Chapel
Represented by Horus Hebenu

15: Tehut (Ibis)

Gods
Thoth, the Ogdoad

Cities
Ba’h or Weprehwy (Hermopolis Parva, Baqliya), temple of Thoth

White Chapel
missing entry

16: Kha (fish)

Gods
Banebdjed, Hatmehyt , The Djed Pillar

Cities
Djedet (Mendes), temple of Banebdjed

White Chapel
Represented by ‘he of Djedet’

17: Semabehdet (the throne)

Gods
Horus

Cities
Semabehdet (Behdet, Balamun), temple of Amun

White Chapel
missing entry

18: Am-Khent (Prince of the south)

Gods
Bast

Cities
Bast (Bubastis, near Zagazig), temple of Bast

White Chapel
Represented by Bast

19: Am-Pehu (Prince of the north)

Gods
Wadjyt

Cities
Imet (Nebesha), temple of Wadjet
Djanet (Tanis), temple of Amun, Mut and Khonsu

White Chapel
missing entry

20: Sopdu (plumed falcon)

Gods
Sopdu

Cities
Per-Sopdu (Saft al-Henna), temple of Sopdu

White Chapel
missing entry

Map of Upper Egypt

Copyright J Hill 2010