Egyptian Nomes > Set


Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


The ancient Egyptian nome of Set, also known as the "Seventeenth Nome of Upper Egypt" or the "Nome of Set," held significant importance due to its strategic location, religious significance, and contributions to the economic and cultural life of ancient Egypt.

Key Features of the Nome of Set:

  1. Geographical Location:

    • The nome of Set was located in Upper Egypt, primarily centered around the city of Sepermeru, which was an important religious and administrative center.
    • This region was situated along the Nile River, benefiting from fertile agricultural lands and serving as a key point of connection between Upper and Lower Egypt.
  2. Capital City (Sepermeru):

    • The capital city of the Set Nome was Sepermeru. The city served as a significant administrative, religious, and economic center within the nome.
    • Sepermeru was strategically located to control and facilitate trade and communication between different parts of Egypt.
  3. Religious Significance:

    • The primary deity worshipped in Sepermeru was Set (Seth), the god of chaos, storms, the desert, and foreign lands. Set was often depicted as a man with the head of a mysterious creature known as the Set animal.
    • Temples and shrines dedicated to Set played a central role in the religious life of the nome, attracting worshippers and pilgrims from across the region.
    • The nome was also associated with the worship of other deities, including Osiris and Isis, reflecting a diverse religious landscape.
  4. Economic Importance:

    • The fertile lands of the Set Nome supported extensive agricultural activities, including the cultivation of grains, vegetables, and flax. This agricultural productivity was crucial for the local economy and food supply.
    • The nome's strategic location along the Nile made it a vital hub for trade and commerce. Goods from Upper Egypt, Lower Egypt, and neighboring regions passed through the nome, contributing to its economic prosperity.
    • The city was known for its production of textiles and other goods, which were highly valued throughout Egypt.
  5. Historical Development:

    • The nome of Set has a long history dating back to the early dynastic periods of Egypt. Its significance continued throughout ancient Egyptian history, including the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms.
    • During the New Kingdom (c. 1550-1070 BCE), the worship of Set gained prominence, especially during the reign of Seti I and Ramesses II, who both honored Set as a significant deity.
    • The nome's importance persisted into the Late Period (c. 664-332 BCE) and the Ptolemaic period, further solidifying its status as a key religious and economic center.
  6. Cultural Contributions:

    • The Set Nome was a center of cultural and intellectual activity. The city's artisans, scribes, and priests played essential roles in the preservation and transmission of knowledge, particularly in the fields of religion, art, and literature.
    • Religious festivals and ceremonies dedicated to Set and other deities were significant cultural events, reflecting the deeply rooted religious traditions of the region.
    • The nome's cultural contributions included advancements in agricultural techniques and craftsmanship, which were highly valued throughout Egypt.
  7. Archaeological Discoveries:

    • Excavations in Sepermeru and the surrounding areas have uncovered numerous artifacts, including statues, stelae, temple remains, and inscriptions. These findings provide valuable insights into the religious practices, daily life, and historical development of the region.
    • Significant archaeological discoveries include the remains of temples dedicated to Set and other deities, as well as richly decorated tombs and reliefs depicting various aspects of ancient Egyptian life.
  8. Strategic and Military Importance:

    • Due to its strategic location along the Nile, the Set Nome was an important center for trade and military expeditions. The city's position allowed it to control and facilitate trade routes between Upper and Lower Egypt, as well as with neighboring regions.
    • The control of the Set Nome was vital for maintaining security and stability in Upper Egypt and for protecting the valuable agricultural and economic resources of the region.

The nome of Set, with its capital at Sepermeru, played a crucial role in the religious, economic, and strategic landscape of ancient Egypt. Its association with the worship of Set, its agricultural productivity, and its strategic location underscored its significance throughout Egyptian history. The cultural and religious contributions of the Set Nome, along with its economic and strategic importance, made it an essential center for the political, cultural, and spiritual life of ancient Egypt.


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