Cartouches of Seti I and Seti II

Two faience tiles inlaid with Seti II's throne names
New Kingdom, late Dynasty 19, reign of Seti II, c.1237-1200 B.C.E.
Purchase, Dulaney Logan Gift, 1967
1: Height 13.4 cm (5 1/4 in), MMA 67.161.1
2: Height 13.9 cm (5 1/2 in), MMA 67.161.2

Steatite scarab inscribed with the names of Seti II, late Dynasty 19, c.1237-1200 B.C.
Metropolitan Museum, under 2 inches?
Or is it Seti I's as the info card indicates? But the cartouche has 'Merenptah', not 'Meriptah'.)

From Budge's Dictionary

Seti II cartouche, also from Budge

Yes, one of the hieroglyphs was scratched out from one tile in antiquity. I'm quite certain it is the determinative for the god Set. Meanwhile, what is the hieroglyph to the right of the two 'meri' hieroglyphs?


Wilkinson explains about the brazier:
"Because fire appears to have a life of its own, it may represent life itself - as when the Egyptian king kindled a new flame in his sed (*O23) or jubilee festival. Living fire was embodied in the sun and in its emblem the 'fire-spitting' uraeus(*I12)..." (page 161)

Hmmm, if that hieroglyph to the right of the 2 'meri' hieroglyphs is the 'khet' hieroglyph, it may be an adjective for Set, as Set has associations with the flame-like "uraeus which proceeded from Seth, The uraeus which moves back and forth..." (from utterance 570 of the Pyramid Texts).

Several pharoahs had Set as part of their name, Seti I (also spelled Sety I, Sethos I), Seti II (also spelled Sety II, Sethos II), and Setnakt (also spelled Setnakht, Setnakhte). Seti means "of Set", which indicates that he was consecrated to the god Set, otherwise rendered "Man-of-Set" Setnakt means "Set is strong". Therefore, one of their cartouches is usually a good opportunity for a small Set find. Usually!

When it's not, it isn't always because someone disfavoring Set got busy with his destructive tools. It's because Seti I's name was occasionally rendered very differently. Most of Seti I's cartouches feature the usual rendering:

Yet there are sometimes puzzling things done with Seti I's cartouche. The Met museum has a statue of him:

Statue of Seti I

As the info card explains, Seti I is dedicating offerings to Osirus and other gods of the Thinite nome. A look at its cartouche reveals it doesn't quite look like the one above:

Here's another odd cartouche of Seti I, this one is from Seti I's Temple at Abydos:

Traced from a photo by Heidi Kontkanen

There's an explanation in a footnote in TeVelde's book (page 132):

"The name of Sethos was not written with the hieroglyph of the Seth-animal, but with the sign of Osiris, sometimes together with the symbol of Isis. This is an example of enigmatic writing: the Osiris hieroglyph has the value Š and the Isis symbol the value T. Together with the flowering reeds this gives Š(w)t(y) (A. Piankoff, Le nom du roi Sethos en égyptien, BIFAO 47 (1948), p. 175-177). This does not invalidate the opinion of Kristensen: 'We can only see it as a deliberate equation of Seth with Osiris, a demonstration or a profession of their essential identity.' (W.B. Kristensen, Symbool en Werhelijkheid, p. 294)."

In such way Š(w)t(y) is pronounced the same as Seti's name, As TeVelde explains, "the Upper-Egyptian pronunciation may have been Sut, evolved to Set," (or more properly, since I can't find special html characters for these words, see TeVelde, pages 2-3:

Here is the symbol of Isis (the Tyet, which is also claimed by other deities, such as Hathor), which you can see in both the statue's and the cramp's cartouche:

There is an example of a tyet amulet, along with three djed pillar amulets at the Metropolitan Museum:


Tyet Amulet, Late Period, Dynasty 2629, 664332 BCE
Green faience, L. 4.6 cm (1 13/16 in)
Gift of Joseph W. Drexel, 1889, MMA 89.2.638