Sun-shining-with-rays (hieroglyph)

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in hieroglyphs
(Example hieroglyph relief).
The ancient Egyptian Sun-shining-with-rays hieroglyph, Gardiner sign listed no. N8, is a portrayal of the 'sun, with rays shining down from it'; it commonly is portrayed with 3-rays; older versions may have 4-rays, and an equivalent version is closer in form to the hieroglyph for the faience necklace (hieroglyph), Gardiner no. S16, with elongated 3-rays,

In the Egyptian language, the sun-with-rays hieroglyph is used as an ideogram, determinative, and phoneme.[1]

Rosetta Stone usage[edit]

Rosetta Stone text detail, (from lines 9,10,11,12,13).
One example usage from the 198 BC Rosetta Stone is from line R10 of the engraved stone and is shown in the photo text. A double crown-(pschent crown) is to be made for the statue of the pharaoh, and a description of how it is to be mounted is given. The end of the specifications are:
" uraeus likewise on a basket [and] a papyrus cluster under her on her angle(=corner) left, the meaning whereof is, The Lord of the Two Crowns illumineth the Two Lands-(Egypt)..Inasmuch as..."[2]
The reference is to Egyptian language, 'hedj' for silver, s-h(dj)-(s-ḥḏ) for "illumineth", using the sun-with-rays as a determinative in a composition block.
S29 T3 I10
(The photo text shows the hieroglyph appears more like the 'faience necklace hieroglyph').

3rd millennium BC, ivory wands[edit]

Magical Egyptian ivory wands from the 3rd millennium BC, and specifically by 2100 BC show magical protective animals, gods, and Egyptian hieroglyphs. One common god is Bes. A complex iconographic designed ivory wand has lions, walking and reclining, a crocodile head, a large scarab, a ram-head, wearing a crown, Apep, and Heket upon her basket. Also shown a uraeus, gazelle-headed staffs with knife, a serpopard, and a total of 10 knives, one held by the standing Hippopotamus God, one hand on the Sa-protection hieroglyph. The entire iconography is complex.

The sun-shining-with-rays hieroglyph is shown once, in front of the crown, upon the Ram-head. It is faience-like, is like the sun hieroglyph, no. N5, with its central dot,
, and has 4 vertical, and undulating rays of light.[3]

Gallery-archaic form[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Betrò, 1995. Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt, Sun with Rays, p. 152.
  2. ^ Budge, 1989, (1929). The Rosetta Stone, p. 161-162.
  3. ^ Fleming; Lothian; (and Fletcher), 1997. The Way to Eternity: Egyptian Myth, p. 124-126.