THE 'WAS SCEPTRE'
The ancient Egyptians showed their male Immortals as holding one or both of two
objects, like this:
This male Immortal is Thoth. The ancient Egyptians said he was the scribe of the
gods, who taught mankind many of the arts of civilization, including writing. He is
shown with an Ibis head. The ibis is a wading bird found in warm
climates. Ancient Egyptians venerated the white ibis as a sacred bird. Here,
though, we're interested in what Thoth is holding in his right hand. It's called by
modern scholars a 'was sceptre.' Nobody really knows what its purpose was,
except that it's said to have been a symbol of authority. I suggest that symbol has
come down to us through the intervening thousands of years and is now called a
'staff of office.' Let's look at this sceptre a little more closely, and here we see in
better detail the upper part of one being held by Khepri, another ancient Egyptian
god, or Immortal:
It appears to have an animal or other creature design on its transverse part at the
top. This type of ornamentation was quite popular in those days. Now let's look at
the lower end of the same sceptre:
Knowing what I was looking for, I went to the local city Parks Department:
and this is the upper part of what I found there:
here's the lower part, with more magnification:
We should note that the two prongs are completely rounded.
This makes them quite different in purpose from this open ended
The double ended wrench is part of a set of 7. Each end has a vertical interior surface,
designed to make a close fit to a rectangular- or hexagonal-headed bolt, or nut,
The 14 wrench sizes are: 3/16ths, 1/4 inch; 5/16ths, 3/8ths; 7/16ths 1/2 inch; and so on to 1 inch.
Now let's look at the ancient and modern pieces of equipment, side by side:
I suggest here we are looking at two examples of similar
equipment, and therefore they probably have the same purpose.
Apparently there is only one size for both the modern
and ancient long implements. Further, as they have rounded prongs
it seems reasonable to deduce that neither the ancient
nor the modern equipment is for use to loosen or tighten bolts or nuts.
I can tell you
that the modern T-bar is called a water key. Next we have to see
what a water key is used for today, and try to find out why the Immortals might
have been using the equivalent of water keys in ancient Egypt. We'll discuss that
in the next chapter.