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Abstract

The ancient Egyptians knew the scorpion and its toxicity, and venerated it since pre-dynastic era. They used the scorpion as a king's name, a name of a nome (county), and a symbol to their goddess, Serqet, that protects the body and the viscera of the dead, and that accompanies them in their journey to the afterlife. They had medical prescriptions and magical spells to heal the stings. Since the 5th dynasty, the title of a “Follower of Serket” was given to clever physicians. Scorpions are most famously depicted on Horus Cippus, a talisman featuring Horus the Child holding in his hands figures of serpents, scorpions, and dangerous animals. A drawing of a scorpion with two metasomas was found in the tomb of the pharaoh Seti I (1290–1279 BC), probably the first record of this abnormality, more than 13 centuries before Pliny the Elder.

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