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.