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The Djed pillar is an Egyptian symbol representing stability. Interpreted as the backbone of the god Osiris. Also a phallic symbol for the "potency and duration of the Pharaoh's rule". Many theories have been advanced to explain what the symbol knew as the Djed pillar represents.

Ancient Egyptian Djed pillar
Ancient Egyptian Djed pillar


It has been regarded as a combination of the four pillars that the Egyptians believed supported the earth's four corners: a tree with lopped branches and a human spinal column. The view most generally held at present is that it depicts a bundle of stalks tied together. Its origin, however, was forgotten by later Egyptians, and it was thought to be the backbone of the god Osiris.

This was the interpretation that seems to have been universally accepted in the time of Tutankhamun. In remote antiquity, the djed pillar was a fetish with a cult of its own. Priests of the cult still functioned in the Old Kingdom or at least bore the appropriate titles.


Ancient Egyptian Djed pillar

Ancient Egyptian Djed pillar

Ancient Egyptian Djed pillar

Ancient Egyptian Djed pillar


At first, the centre of the cult may have been situated at Busiris or Mendes, in the Nile Delta. Still, the Old Kingdom had a sanctuary at Memphis where its independent existence was soon lost. It was absorbed by the powerful cult of the local god, Ptah, an event commemorated by the inclusion of the djed pillar among the emblems mounted at the head of that god's sceptre.



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