Land of Papyrus



Lower Egypt was known as the Land of Papyrus. Groves of papyrus flourished along the banks of the river Nile. Its skyward stalks grew tall from the abundant water provided by the world’s only northward flowing river. As a classic flower of the land, Papyrus was used as the heraldic symbol for Lower Egypt during the periods before the country was united under one king. The tradition of the papyrus was held even before then.

In their temples, the Egyptians engraved papyri into the columns. Their stalks, like columns, were said to support the sky. They were seen, at the same time, as groves and individual stalks. This concept spoke to a duality for the heraldic plant. From a distance the column would appear to be a single papyrus, but as one got closer, the idea of a grove became apparent. Groves of papyri appeared in the columnar reliefs. This duality, paired with the power of flowers, would inevitably serve as one of their most basic principles of unity. This parallelism, of separate but the same, was central to their religion. Once the nation was united, the papyrus was regularly shown with the iconic plant of Upper Egypt as a complete and united representation of the entire kingdom.



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