2013/04/24

Egyptian Eye of Ra

 Ancient Egyptian Eye of Ra

The eye of Ra-Atum is the mythological symbol for the sun. At one point, Shu and Tefnut twin children of Ra-Atum, were separated from him. He sent his eye to find them. While the eye was searching, Ra-Atum replaced the eye with another.

 
Egyptian Eye of Ra


When the eye returned with Shu and Tefnut, Ra-Atum wept with joy, and the tears created humankind.However, the eye was enraged at having been replaced.

Egyptian Eye of Ra

Egyptian Eye of Ra


Ra-Atum placed the eye on his forehead so that the eye could rule the world; thus becoming associated with the sun. The second eye is associated with the moon.

2013/04/22

Egyptian Duamutef

Duamutef was portrayed as a jackal who was guarded by Neith. He was one of the four sons of Horus whose names are Imsety (imsti), Hapy (hpy, not to be confused with the Nile river god, Hapi), Duamutef and Kebehsenuef. The four sons of Horus are actually a part of the seven divine beings, where the three are hardly spoken about. Duamutef was a funerary god.The Ancient Egyptians firmly believed that the deceased required his or her organs in order to be reborn in the Afterlife.

Egyptian Duamutef

For use in the afterlife they would be bandaged and vital organs placed individually in Canopic Jars. Canopic Jars were widely used for the preservation of the Internal Organs. The design went through various phases, starting with four human headed jars.The Ancient Egyptian canopic heads therefore were depicted with the man-headed Imsety, the baboon-headed Hapi, the jackal-headed Duamutef and the falcon-headed Qebehsenuef.


Egyptian Duamutef

Egyptian Duamutef

Egyptian Duamutef

Egyptian Duamutef

Egyptian Duamutef




Duamutef's role was to protect the stomach and upper intestines of the deceased and was the guardian of the East. The stomach was kept in a canopic jar after mummification. He collaborated with Anubis in the mummification of Anubis's body and became patrons of the canopy vases.Imsety, Hapy, Duamutef and Kebehsenuef were linked with the liver, lungs, stomach and intestines respectively, though sometimes the associations of Hapy and Duamutef are found switched about.

They were also associated with other body parts. For example Hapy and Duamutef were linked to the hands, while Imsety and Kebehsenuef were linked with the feet.

Egyptian Duat

 Duat : A place of darkness and home of terrifying demons, the Duat was a mythological location  between the world of the living and the world of the  dead. The Amduat, “The Book of That Which is in  the Netherworld,” says the Duat is located deep in a valley that separates Earth from the Netherworld.

Egyptian Duat


When Re the sun god sinks below the horizon at the  end of each day to begin the 12-hour journey he is  accompanied by souls of the deceased. Only those  souls found to be pure after the Weighing of the  Heart Ceremony are allowed to accompany the sun  god on this perilous journey.

At the end of the twelfth  hour, after successfully battling and overpowering evil  demons that menace the sun god at every hour, Re  and the souls emerge safely into the welcoming realm  of the sky goddess, Nut. Re appears on the horizon to  begin a new day, and the souls prepare for resurrection in the Netherworld.

2013/04/16

Egyptian Deities

Ancient Egyptian society was deeply rooted on religious rituals and traditions. Ways of life were based mostly on religion. They believed in a large number of gods and goddesses. Worship of deities constitutes the essence of their religious belief.The gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt were a complex group of beings and ideas. Egyptian Gods tend to stroll around with animal heads, without the matching body. One god can have enormous number of names, which can be often confusing. The list of gods and goddesses will run to enormous number of pages. Therefore, only a few are mentioned below.
Egyptian Deities


 Egyptian Deities



Amon

Amen, also known as Amon was considered as the universal creator. He was sometimes pictured with the head of a ram; sometimes as a man with a crown with two tall straight plumes. Amen, the great god of Thebis was the "hidden god". His temples were situated at Karnak and Luxor. He was the god of fertility, agriculture, reproduction and generation.


Anubis

He was the god of embalming and tombs, protector of the dead, judge of the dead and god of the Underworld. His cult was very ancient. He was a jackal or dog-headed god. He was the god of wisdom, intelligence, death, embalming truth, justice, surgery, medicine, journeys, protection, boats, diplomacy etc.


Bast

Cats were worshipped as deities in Egypt. They were considered sacred and even embalmed when they died. Bast was the cat-headed goddess and the mother of all cats. She was also the goddess of sex and fertility. Bast carried a basket in her left hand.She was generally draped is green. She was often portrayed as lioness, but sometimes with kittens beside her as she was the fertility god. She was the god of fire, moon, childbirth, pleasure, sexual rites, marriage, dance, music etc.

Egyptian Deities
Bes

Bes was a guardian god and was pictured as a leopard skin-clad dwarf with a huge heaf, prominent eyes and cheeks, a curly beard, and an open mouth with protruding tongue. He was known as the protector of the dead and the protector of people from danger. He was the god of childbirth, dance, music, marriage and good luck.


Geb

Geb, a fertility deity was the god of earth. Plants grow within his body, the dead are imprisoned inside him, and earthquakes are his laughter. He is more than a god of the surface of the earth in fact, he is a god of everything contained within the earth.


Hapi

Hapi was pictured as a very fat man with pendulous breasts, dressed like a boatman with a narrow belt around his great belly. Egyptians believed that Hapi lived near the First Cataract on the Isle of Bigeh in a cavern. In June they made offerings to him accompanied by poetic hymns. Hapi was considered as the god of the Nile, crops, fertility, water, prosperity.


Hathor

Hathor was a predynastic goddess who was called "Queen of the west" and "House of the face". Hathor's appearance could be as a cow-headed goddess or a human-headed woman with horns and cow's ears. She embodied love, feminity and the joy of motherhood.


Isis

Isis was the supreme Egyptian goddess. She was pictured with dark hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. She was the divine mother of Egyptian pharaohs and Egypt as well.She was the goddess of marriage and domestic life, the Moon, motherhood, fertility, magic, purification, initiation, reincarnation, success, womanhood, healing, spinning, weaving, advice, divination, civilization, agriculture, the arts, protection and advice. She was also the patroness of priestesses.


Ma'at

Ma'at or Mayet was the goddess of truth and balance and was called "Lady of the judgment hall". She was married to Thoth. She was often pictured wearing an ostrich feather on her head while standing or sitting on her heels. Her law governed the three worlds.

Egyptian Deities
Osiris

Osiris was the universal god or the god of nature. He is known as the god who taught mankind the secrets of civilisation. He was pictured with a tanned complexion and fair hair. He was shown sometimes standing, sometimes seated on his throne, tightly wrapped in mummy cloth.


Seth

He was the god of the unclean, the terrible desert, the murderer and cruelty, evil, war, and the Underworld. He was known to the Greeks as Typhon. The animal associated with this god had long pointed ears and looked rather like a dog, but the exact animal is not known. Set was the god of revenge, death, cursing, suffering, destruction and evil.

2013/04/08

Ancient Egyptian Creation

There are several creation myths which developed in various locations in Egypt. The myths all had at the center of their story a primordial mound know as the "Island of Creation." It was the goal of religion to recreate this time which caused the Egyptians to be very traditional in their beliefs. Each of the major creation myths claimed that the temple of their local god/s was the physical location of the island. Three major stories which developed in the Old Kingdom were the Heliopolitan Myth, the Memphite Myth, and the Hermopolitan Myth.

Ancient Egyptian Creation

 Each was named after the city where the myth developed respectively . The Heliopolitan Myth developed in Heliopolis and centered around Re-Atum as the key god figure . According to the myth, Re-Atum willed himself into existence. The Memphite Myth originated in Memphis. According to this myth it was Ptah who was the supreme creator god . The Hermopolitan Myth was developed at Hermopolis . Here the god Thoth, god of wisdom, was the main player . According to Egyptian mythology, Khnum created the living creatures on his potter's wheel. He modelled the animals, plants and people of the earth.





Ancient Egyptian Creation


A detailed description of how he created humans is found at Esna Temple. It describes how he orders the bloodstream to cover the bones, and makes the skin enclose the body. He then makes the respiratory system and the food digestion . The principal creator god in Ancient Egyptian religion is the sun-god; in the Egyptian language, the word for sun is Ra, and this was one name for the sun-god, but he was also regularly called Atum, from the word tm 'complete'.

Ancient Egyptian Creation


The name Atum seems intended to evoke all matter as concentrated in the creator, before creation emerged. Creation is a process of unfurling, with the undivided All gradually fissioning into separable entities . In accordance with the polytheistic beliefs of ancient Egyptians Shu and Tefnut gave birth to the sky- goddess Nut and the earth god Geb, and so the physical universe was created. Ra seems to rest while his sons and daughters are completing the task of creation.

Ancient Egyptian Creation


In one Egyptian creation myth, the sun god Ra takes the form of Khepri, the scarab god who was usually credited as the great creative force of the universe. Khepri tells us that in the beginning there is nothing. He made the watery abyss known as Nu, from which he later draws the materials needed for the creation of everything. By the use of magic Khepri creates land with its foundation in Maat (law, order, and stability). At this point in time Khepri is alone. Khepri wept profusely, and from his tears sprang men and women.

2013/04/05

Ancient Egypt Cartouche

 Ancient Egypt Cartouche
  
Ancient Egyptian Cartouche is a special glyph that gave information on birth dates of people with high statuses. They were made of oval shape and formed as a plaque structure. The cartouches in ancient Egypt had special indications to suggest the significance of the person in the kingdom.Traditionally, Pharaohs in ancient Egypt had many names. One Pharaoh would have up to five names. Usually, when a member of a high family or royal family was born, a name was bestowed on that person.

Ancient Egypt Cartouche
Ancient Egypt Cartouche


The other four names would be designated once the Pharaoh started service to the people.As per ancient Egyptian customs, assigning names was designed to transform the Pharaoh from a mere mortal to someone who has divine powers. 

Ancient Egypt Cartouche
Ancient Egypt Cartouche


However, for every Pharaoh, the name given at birth held the most significance. This was the name that would be etched on an ancient Egypt cartouche plaque for a Pharaoh.Cartouches were unknown in ancient Egypt and their concept was established only during the fourth dynasty.



Ancient Egypt Cartouche

Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template

Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template

Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template



 Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template

Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template

Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template



Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template

King Snerfu was instrumental in bringing about the significance of the ancient Egypt cartouche in everyday life. The word ''cartouche'' was not the original assignment given to the symbolic representation. This word was actually bestowed upon this symbolic representation by the Napoleon brigade.Before the Egyptians invented the cartouche system to record birth dates, the serekh system was used. Archaeologists have been able to uncover quite many of these hieroglyphs. The serekh of Horus was the most important discovery made.



Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template

Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template

Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template


Horus was regarded as God incarnate, and the Egyptians revered this person as all-powerful and all-pervasive.The Egyptians attached a lot of importance to cartouches. They even regarded it as a way of bringing good luck and fortune. Ancient Egyptian manuscripts indicate that the cartouche was placed at certain locations in the house to ward away evil and augur positive energy. Even though superstition ruled the lives of ancient Egyptians, it was aesthetic and culturally vibrant.It was due to the cartouches that archaeologists have been able to find tombs of kings.

Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template
Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template

Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template
Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template

Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template
Ancient Egyptian Cartouche Template

Later, mummies were discovered intact in these tombs. All this was because cartouches were beacons of a protective force protecting a precious thing.The discovery of cartouches from ancient Egypt led researchers to discover other things. Since cartouches were believed to protect the area in which they were located, researchers prodded further deep into these sites to eventually discover mummies and majestic tombs. Without ancient Egypt cartouche items, it would have taken longer to find these ruins.

Ancient Egyptian Chariot

Chariots, inspired armies of Western Asia, was officially presented as a division of the army at the end of the Second Intermediate Period (c.1650-1550 BC). New Kingdom, it became the backbone of the Egyptian army.
Ancient Egyptian Chariot
Ancient Egyptian Chariot

Charioteers were drawn from the upper classes in Egypt. Chariots were generally used as a mobile platform from which to use projectile weapons, and were generally drawn by two horses and two chariots mounted: a driver who was wearing a shield, and a man with a bow or the javelin . Chariots also had the support of infantry.

Ancient Egyptian Chariot
Ancient Egyptian Chariot

Ancient Egyptian Chariot
Ancient Egyptian Chariot


Ancient Egyptian Chariot
Ancient Egyptian Chariot

Ancient Egyptian Chariot
Ancient Egyptian Chariot

Ancient Egyptian Chariot
Ancient Egyptian Chariot





Goddess Bastet

Bast  Beloved cat goddess of  the Egyptians, Bastet is goddess of the Delta, with  possible origins in the Libyan Desert. When Bastet  is associated with Isis, she becomes “the Soul of Isis,”  but as a goddess of music and dance, Bastet is linked  with Hathor. Their cult instrument is the Sistrum,  which they carry as one of their attributes. Bastet’s cult city, Per-Bast (modern Bubastis), is  located in the Delta and is mentioned in the Bible as  Pibeseth (Ezekiel 30:17). Bastet’s name is written with  the bas jar and a loaf , and means “She  of the  bas-jar”—a special vessel that holds perfume  associated with her festivals.

Goddess Bastet


During the Old Kingdom, Bastet was called  “Goddess of the North,” and in the Pyramid Texts  of King Unas, she is “nurse and mother of the king.”  When Sekhmet the lion goddess was named “Lady  of the West,” Bastet became her counterpart as  “Lady of the East.” Early depictions of Bastet show  her with the head of a lion and associated with the  lion-headed goddess, Mut. She is said to be the  mother of Maahes, a lion-headed deity, and the wife  of Ptah. Like Sekhmet, Bastet has a dual personality, both  gentle and fierce. Her association with Sekhmet  reveals Bastet’s aggressive and vengeful side.

In one  version of the mythology, Bastet becomes the daugh- ter of the sun god Re, and when she is called upon  to protect her father, Bastet becomes the “fury in the eye of Re.” As a dutiful daughter, she carried out  the orders of Re and was the “means of her father’s  vengeance.” By the end of the New Kingdom (1550–1069  b.c.), Bastet had become a popular household god- dess. Egyptian families welcomed her into their  homes as goddess of the hearth and protector of  pregnant women. Her festivals were famous, and  she was called “goddess of plenty” and “mistress  of pleasure.” And as her popularity grew, her cult  became well-known for its lavish festivals—some of which were called “Procession of Bastet,” “Bastet  Protects the Two Lands,” “Bastet Goes Forth from  Per-Bast” (her city), “Bastet Appears before Re,” and  the “Festival of Hathor and Bastet.” These joyous  occasions involved days of music, dancing, and mer- riment throughout Egypt.

The Greek historian Herodotus provides a lively  description of the devotees of the goddess as they  made their way to the “Festival of Bastet.” When the Egyptians travel to Bubastis, [the  city] they do so in this manner: men and women  sail together, and in each boat there are many  persons of both sexes. Some of the women shake  sacred rattles, [sistrum, pl. sistra] and some of the  men play pipes during the whole journey, while  others sing and clap their hands. If they pass a  town on the way, some of the women shout and  cheer at the local women, while others dance and  create a disturbance. They do this at every town  on the Nile.

When they arrive at Bubastis, they  begin the festival with great sacrifices, and on this  occasion, more wine is consumed than during  any other time of the year. —Herodotus, Histories, Book II, Chapter 60 The worshippers approached the temple singing,  beating drums, and playing tambourines. Some car- ried sistra (sacred rattles) as they danced through the  streets. Herodotus describes Bastet’s lavish temple  as standing on raised ground in the center of the  city, so it was visible from every quarter. A temenos  wall decorated with various animals surrounded the  temple. The inner courtyard was planted with a  grove of trees.So popular was Bastet that the Greeks identified  her with their goddess Artemis. The third-century  Roman poet Ovid refers to the goddess Bastet in his  work Metamorphoses and said the goddess could turn  herself into a cat.


Bastet was most often shown with  the body of a woman and the head of a cat, wearing a  long, narrow, sheath-style dress with wide decorated  bands over the shoulders. The goddess holds her  sistrum in one hand, and in the other she holds an  aegis, a talisman representing a broad collar necklace  with the head of a cat. Sometimes she is shown with  kittens at her feet, a further depiction of her associa- tion with hearth and family. The ancient Egyptian  word for kitten was miw, pronounced “meow”—the  sound a cat makes. It became a term of endearment  for children, who were called miw-sheri, “little cat.”  Pilgrims traveled from all over Egypt to visit  Bastet’s temple and leave offerings to the goddess.  Because the cat was sacred to Bastet, they left bronze  statues, amulets, and mummified cats. Thousands of  cat mummies have been discovered in underground  crypts at the site of Bastet’s temple in Bubastis.

Egyptian God Atum

Called the “undifferentiated one,” meaning  both male and female, Atum was the primeval being  and the creator of the world. Recognized as an early  form of the sun god, Atum was called the “Lord of  Heliopolis,” the ancient city that was the center for  sun worship. Because of his association with the sun  cult, Atum eventually merged with the sun god, Re, to  become Re-Atum.
Egyptian God Atum
Egyptian God Atum 


The creation myth from Heliopolis  tells us that Atum emerged from Nun, the waters of  chaos, onto the primeval mound before heaven and  earth were separated. From his semen Atum created  the first gods on land, Shu (air) and Tefnut (moisture).  They in turn produced Geb (earth) and Nut (sky),  whose children were Osiris and Isis (who were brother  and sister and also husband and wife) and Set and  Nephthys (who were also brother and sister and  husband and wife).

These first nine deities formed the  Heliopolitan Ennead, a family of gods. Atum was not only the creator god but also a  protector and a guardian of the pharaoh, and one of  his titles was “Father of the King of Egypt.” In the  Old Kingdom (2686–2181 b.c.), it was Atum who embraced the dead king in the burial chamber of  the pyramid and lifted him to the heavens, where he  became an Akhenu seku, an “imperishable star.” During the New Kingdom (1550–1295 b.c.), Atum  presided over the coronation of the king, as shown on  the walls of the Temple of Amun at Karnak. In the  Book of Gates, Atum subdues the serpent NekebuKau by digging his fingernails into the snake, and he  confronts the evil serpent Apophis, condemning him  to death.


Atum protects the souls of the deceased  when they travel through the Underworld. Atum appears in human form, usually wearing the  combined white and red crown of Upper and Lower  Egypt. Often he was seated on a throne holding a  staff of authority. The bull, lion, lizard, and ichneu- mon were sacred to Atum.

Egyptian God Aten

A sun god worshipped by the pharaoh  Akhenaten when he changed the religion of Egypt.  The Aten was symbolized by a sun disk with sun- beams streaming down. The word aten means “disk,”  and when written in hieroglyphs, it refers to the sun  as an astronomical body. The origin of the Aten is  uncertain, but it may have come from an early sun  cult in the city of Heliopolis. Queen Hatshepsut’s  standing obelisk at Karnak Temple states that the  gold and silver cap (electrum) on top of the obelisk  would shine on Egypt like the “aten.” Hatshepsut’s  father, Thutmose I, referred to the Aten as a god in  an inscription carved during his Nubian campaigns.

Egyptian God Aten
Egyptian God Aten

The Aten was favored by Akhenaten’s father,  Amenhotep III, who named a division of his army after  the Aten and gave his wife, Queen Tiye, a pleasure  boat called The Aten Gleams to sail on her private lake.  It was not until Akhenaten became king, however, that  the Aten became the supreme god in Egypt. Per-Aten, the first temple dedicated to the Aten,  was built at Karnak next to the temple of Amun,  the great god of Thebes. What the priests of Amun  thought of the new temple is not known, but after  Akhenaten’s reign, the temple was torn down. In the  1930s through the 1950s, archaeologists discovered 35,000 blocks from the dismantled Aten temple. The  decorations on the blocks and the foundation sug- gested to Egyptologists that the Aten temple featured  open courts with pillars, several sanctuaries, and  colossal statues of Akhenaten. One area of the Aten  temple called Gem-Pa-Aten, “finding the Aten,” was  the domain of Queen Nefertiti and her daughters.

Around year five of his reign, Akhenaten moved  the royal court from Thebes to his new city dedi- cated to the Aten in the remote desert. The city  was called Akhet-Aten, “the horizon of the Aten,”  and included two major temples to the Aten: the  Per-Aten (“house of the Aten”) and the Hwt-Aten  (“mansion of the Aten”). Both temples featured  the new open-air design with no enclosed rooms  and with several offering tables placed around the  courtyard. The Per-Aten, which Egyptologists call  the Great Temple, was the larger of the two. Its first  courtyard was called Per-Hay, “the house of rejoic- ing,” where the first light of the sun was greeted each  day.

As the sun rose, the worshippers moved into the  second court, the Gem-Aten (“finding the Aten”)  and made offerings. An inner courtyard was reserved  for the royal family—Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and their  childrento  make special offerings and perform the  necessary rituals each day. Today nothing except the  foundation remains of these temples, for they were  demolished when Akhenaten was no longer king. The essence of the Aten and Akhenaten’s beliefs  are preserved in the hymn to the Aten that was carved on the walls of the nobles’ tombs at Akhet- Aten. It states that the Aten is the only god, that  he manifests himself in the sun’s rays, and that  nighttime is to be feared. Fierce animals roam the  land and danger is present when the Aten’s rays are  not shining down.

Under the beneficent rays of the  sun, however, daily life proceeds, and all work is  accomplished. All life comes through the Aten, and  he protects all forms of life, none too insignificant for  his attention. The peoples of the world are created in  different colors and are given different speech by the  Aten, from whom all the beauty and bounty of nature  come. The Aten cannot be understood by man and  can be truly known only by his son, Akhenaten. The  people cannot worship the Aten directly. Presumably  they worshipped Akhenaten, the son of the Aten.

Boundary stelae (carved stone tablets) erected  when Akhenaten built his city in the desert tell us  about the nature of the Aten.

The great and living Aten . . . ordaining life,  vigorously alive, my Father . . . , my reminder  of Eternity . . . who proclaims himself with his  two hands, whom no craftsman has devised, who  is established in the rising and setting each day  ceaselessly . . . He fills the land with his rays and  makes everyone to live . . .

The phrase “whom no craftsman has devised”  declared the Aten to be intangible; there could be no  statues of him. The Aten was as elusive as the sun’s  rays. This must have been disturbing to the Egyptian  people, who were used to gods with the head of a cat  and the body of a woman, or a man with the head of  a jackal or an ibis. The “hymn to the Aten” says that the Aten is  the only creator god and that he created not only  the Egyptians but also all the peoples of the Earth. 

This, too, would have been a difficult concept for the  Egyptians. If the Aten was the god of all people, then  the Egyptians were no longer superior, and the old  concept of Divine Order or maat, “the way the world  should be,” was clearly askew. Making war on their  neighbors was no longer blessed by the gods, and life  in the next world did not seem possible, for it was not  clear if there was a Netherworld. The teachings of  the Aten were a curious mixture of humanitarianism  and elitism, for the Aten shone only on the royal  family.

2013/04/04

Ancient Egypt Chariot

Chariotry, inspired from armies of Western Asia, was formally introduced as a division of the army at the end of the Second Intermediate Period (c.1650-1550 BC). By New Kingdom, it became the backbone of the Egyptian army. 

Ancient Egypt Chariot

Charioteers were drawn from the upper classes in Egypt. Chariots were generally used as a mobile platform from which to use projectile weapons, and were generally pulled by two horses and manned by two charioteers: a driver who carried a shield, and a man with a bow or javelin. Chariots also had infantry support.



Ancient Egypt Chariot

Ancient Egypt Chariot
 
Ancient Egypt Chariot

Ancient Egypt Chariot

Ancient Egypt Chariot

Ancient Egypt Chariot

Ancient Egypt Chariot

Ancient Egypt Chariot



Ancient Egypt Chariot