TEMPLES and gods of ancient EGYPT Over a period of 5000 years, the ancient provinces of Egypyt and the route of the Nile have been modified several times, but we want to give the reader some real feeling of this ancient civilization, which is not only an important cradle of humanity, but also the place where monotheism began. Direct acces to geographicals maps : Maps of Lower and Middle Egypt Maps of Upper Egypt 1. The CITIES and gods of the ancient provinces or districts of LOWER EGYPT, (also called "the Kingdom of the North," or the DELTA of the NILE). District 01 - MEMPHIS : the goddess Mennefer. a/ First HENOU, a falcon god seen on the prow of the boats of the dead going towards the next life. b/ "SOKARIS", a precursor of Osiris, was represented as a man enveloped in a shroud , and was in charge of guarding the necropolis of Saqqarah. His female partner Sokaret was also seen in some funeral rituals. c/ This was the city of the creation god PTAH, his companion SEKHMET the lioness, (a powerful and dangerous goddess), and of their son NEFERTOUM, (the Lotus flower that the sun god Re smells each morning), represented as a lion. District 02 - LETOPOLIS: ancient city near Heliopolis : a/ LETOPOLIS, where the god KERTY was worshipped as a reclining ram; (occasionally he would change into the form of a shepherd.) In other cities, he was represented as a lion or a bull. b/ Also the city of the Falcon god MEKHENTYIRTY, whose right eye was the Sun and the left the Moon. He was later assimilated to be the god HAHOERIS, (Horus the Great). District 03 - KOHM el-Hisn : temple to the cow goddess Sekhathor. District 04 - NAUCRATIS District 05 - BUTO and SAIS : a/ BUTO (Tell el-Farein) was the home of a cult to the cobra goddess OUADJYT, who was the partner of the great god HORUS. Buto or LETO was the city formed by combining Pe and Dep. According to Herodotus, Buto was famous during Persian times for its oracles. b/ SAIS : Here reigned the creation goddess NEITH, the queen of lower Egypt, who wore a red crown. Represented as a woman carrying a bow and arrows, she was the mother of the crocodile god Sobek. District 06 - XOIS/ Pa Khasouou : This was a swampy area, where wild bovid animals roamed. Greco-Roman remains have been found here. District 07 - DAMANHOUR : City consecrated to the god HORUS, symbolized by the solar disk surrounded by wings and two uraeus. District 08 - PITHOM : Cult of the main divinity ATOUM District 09 - BUSIRIS : Cult of the ancient ram god ANDJTY (who wore two feathers on his head); and later there were ceremonies of the last branch of the Osiris cult, which the famous Pillar- Djed symbolized by a trunk of a pruned tree. District 10 - ATHRIBIS : The god KHENTYKHETY, a crocodile, was accompanied by the big black bull KEMOUR, who was to become an expression of Osiris as a funeral god. District 11 - LEONTOPOLIS : The lion god MAHeS of the Middle Empire. In this same city, the god SHOU, the great god of the air and the son of Re, married his sister TEFNOUT, and they were worshipped in the shape of two lions sitting back to back. District 12 - SEBENNYTOS (Sammanoud, the holy calf). Birthplace of Manethon District 13 - HELIOPOLIS (to the north of present-day Cairo). This was the city of the sun, and worshipped : a/ Re the sun god, assimilated the sacred bull MNEVIS (Apis) b/ the creation god ATOUM and his two wives, IOUSAAS and NEBETHETEPET, who formed the feminine aspect when Atoum created the world by his desire. Nebethetepet was progressively associated with the great goddess Hathor. District 14 - SILE District 15 - HERMOPOLIS el-Baqlieh District 16 - MENDES : The god Banebdjedet, ( Ba, the Lord of Mendes) was a ram god associated with the fish goddess Hatmehyt. District 17 - BALAMOUN District 18 - BUBASTIS : The cat Goddess BASTET had two aspects: one beneficent, where she was a protector of the home and embodied serenity, and another more dangerous aspect as a lioness. District 19 - TANIS : (or the ancient city of AVARIS), which would become the capital under the second intermediate period of the Hyksos invaders. District 20 - QANTIR or Pi-Ramses : Here they worshipped the falcon god SOPDOU (a principal divinity), partner to the goddesses Khensit, (Uraeus aspect), and Shesemtet, who was one of the four dangerous faces of the goddess HATHOR. These three divinities watched over the eastern borders of the country to prevent hostile invasions. 2. CITIES and divinities of the districts of MIDDLE EGYPT : District 22 - LISHT : Residential city of the XIIè dynasty. To the west was the step pyramid of Snefrou, and those of Amenemhat I and Sesostris I, as well as several mastabas. District 21 - ancient city of ATFIH : (or Aphroditopolis), paid homage to the goddess Bat, (later assimilated as the great nurturing goddess HATHOR), the first of the sacred cows. District 20 - The FAYUM : Three ancient cities bordered the great lake Moeris (which contained 3% salt). The lake was surrounded by marshes full of crocodiles. Soknopaiou or Qasr El Salvador El-Sagha, was dedicated to the god Sobek, and to the lesser gods Karanis and Bacchias. To the south of Lake Moeris (in Egyptian Pa-yom: the sea), was located the large city of CROCODILOPOLIS, which became Medinet el-Fayum, then Arsinoe. Here are the ruins of a mysterious labyrinth, which probably inspired the legend of the Minotaur of Crete. District 19 - HERACLEOPOLIS : This was the Egyptian capital under the XIth dynasty. Even though certain cults worshipped Hathor, Somtous, Bebon and Nehebkaou,; the chief divinity was the ram god HERYSHEF. District 18 - OXYRHYNCHOS - Nothing remains of this city today. District 17 - CYNOPOLIS : Here the chief god was the funeral divinity ANUBIS (which was a black dog, and son of the white cow Hesat) He was the guardian of all the necropoles of Egypt. District 16 - BENI-HASSAN : Here is the temple of Ramses II, and also an underground cave dedicated to the lioness goddess PAKHET, the terrifying daughter of Re. District 15 - HERMOPOLIS : Great religious city of the ancient times (before Thebes). This city was built on a hill (which had existed from primeval times) where the 3 great myths of creation were born : a/ first myth which mentioned the OGDOADES or creation gods: Noun and his partner Nanner= infinite primeval waters, Heh and his partner Héhet= the Cosmos, Temenou and Temenet, (who were replaced by AMON and Amaunet, ) Niou and his companion Niout who personified the void. b/ Thot sends his exotic bird (probably an IBIS), to a hill where it laid a cosmic egg, the universe! c/ The birth of Re in the calyx of a lotus flower, which was also the source of primeval waters. As the sun disappears and is born again every evening, the lotus flower opens in the morning and closes again at night. At Hermopolis they also worshipped: OUNOUT, the goddess with the face of the Uraeus, and NEHEMETAOUY the companion of the god THOT, while in the NEW EMPIRE they worshipped: the SHEPES god, called "the venerable", represented as a celestial entity of light who materialized on earth as a man with a solar disk on his head. Close to Hermopolis is the solar city AKHENATON (today TELL EL-ARMANA,) the former capital of KING Amenophis IV or Akhenaton. District 14 - MEIR and KOUSSIA (CUSAE) : The necropolis of the nobles of the district. District 13 - ASSIOUT- LYCOPOLIS : where they worshipped an old dog black who buried the bones of the dead! Tombs of Djefahapi, of Itybi and his son Kheti. District 12 - ABOUHIG - Aboutig, where there were warehouses (of cereals). District 11 - ANTAEOPOLIS (Now Qaou el-Kebir = the high mountain): In a huge temple (now gone), they venerated the lioness goddess MATIT, who was replaced by the falcon god NEMTY. District 10 - TAHTA (Djaroukha) : In this city Aménophis III gave his wife TIYI a large palace surrounded by 80 hectares of agricultural land and an artificial lake with sluices to irrigate the land. District 09 - AKHMIN - PANAPOLIS (or APOU) - Family of three gods : the god MIN of fertility, (also venerated at Coptos near Thebes), represented by a standing man with an erect phallus. the fierce lioness goddess " REPIT" (also honored on the island of Philae in the form of a uraeus), became assimilated to APERETISET, (the former goddess companion of MIN, with the hairstyle of Hathor). Min and RepiT form a triad with their child KOLANTHES. District 08 - THIS : (capital of the district) This city was under the protection of divine pair of gods ONOURIS, and of the lioness goddess MEHYT, who like Tefnout embodies the eye of Re or abundance. * ABYDOS (near This) venerated KHENTY-IMENTY, the black funeral dog that Osiris had replaced during the ancient empire. Thus Abydos became the capital of the revived cult of the god Osiris. District 07 - HEOU or DIOSPOLIS PARVA : Cult of the ancient goddess BAT, who had a woman's face and decorated ears, but the horns of a cow. Assimilated with Hathor during the first dynasties. District 06 - DENDEREH (Tentyris) : Sanctuary of HATHOR the cow goddess, who was assimilated as Isis during the old kingdom. As for the temples consecrated to Horus and IHY, there is nothing remaining of them, except the door of the sanctuary of IHY, (son of Horus.) District 05 - COPTOS - MIN : The ancient fertility god with an erect phallus. The statue to him at Coptos is identical to that in the city of Akhmin, on the road toward the Red Sea. His cult dates back to archaic times and is devoted to the Moon. District 04 - THEBES - the great religious capital of Egypt : - KARNAK, the site of the biggest sanctuary devoted to AMON (who was partner to Re, the sun god) .He married the goddess MOUT, who had a temple here from the beginning of the New Empire. She was mother, wife and daughter of Amon, and she conceived a son named Khonsou, who became assimilated with the Moon. Her head was covered with the skin of a vulture, (or she was represented as a lioness). She is associated, in legend and myth, with the goddess Lointaine, who used to run away in order to bring the floods necessary for the germination of the seeds. - LUQSOR or Luxor. It is in this city, situated three km from Karnak, that AMON (in the form of Amenemope) came every year during the feast of the Opet to visit and unite with the mother goddess IPET (or Amonet), who became the mother of OSIRIS. - ERMANT or HERMONTIS - Former capital of the IVth district, built on the western bank of the Nile, where they erected a great temple to the war god MONTOU, who had the head of a falcon. His apogee was during the XIIth dynasty, succeeding the bull god Boukhis. Montou's feminine partner was Tjenenet, who was replaced by Ounyt and Rattaouy (two divine forms of Re). In the New Empire, this warrior god was replaced by the great god Amon. On the west bank of the Nile, the thebain priests came at new year to celebrate the cult of Amon-Re and the coming of the floods, which were so necessary at sowing time. King Ramses III constructed his millions years castle here. The great thebain necropolis had the name of Khefe : ( one who stands before his master!) The goddess protector of this necropolis, (situated west of Thebes) was named MERESGER, and she appeared in the shape of a snake or an Uraeus. In the Valley of the queens, she became the companion of Ptah. District 03 - MO'ALLA (H) : (The centre of the ancient cities) Here was honored HEMEN, the god who was half-man, half-falcon. The Texts on the Pyramids show him hunting hippopotami with a harpoon, in order to destroy the forces of chaos. - ESNA where one venerated the two great divinities KHNOUM and NEITH. Khnoum was a great creation god who moulded human beings from clay on a potter's wheel: he had two wives : Nebetou, (the goddess of the oases, who gave him a son: Heka), and MENHYT, the fierce lioness goddess who appeared also as the distant goddess, (the daughter of Re). NEITH was a creation goddess descended from Sais, (of the delta) whose cult traveled the Nile during the Old Kingdom, as far as Esna. - KOMIR -There was a temple dedicated to NEPHTHYS, (sister of Osiris and Isis), and this was shared by ANOUKIS, the wife and daughter of Khnoum. District 02 - HIERACONPOLIS or NEKHEN : A mythical city located beside NEKHEB, where the god Horus ruled, with the ancient vulture goddess Nekhbet. - ELKAB or NEKHEB was in pre-dynastic times dedicated to the worship of the Great white wild cow : SEMATOURET, who became the mother of the Pharaoh, the latter symbolically becoming a young bull! The cult of the goddess Sematouret was gradually replaced by that of the vulture goddess Nekbet. Her nest was made of three wild lilies, which grew abundantly in the Valley of the Nile at this time. - at EDFOU, they worshipped the falcon god HAOERIS, also called HORUS the Great. At Heliopolis, he was considered to be the 5th child of Geb and of Nout. At Edfou he fought the enemies of the sun, while at KOM OMBO he became the spouse of the goddess Tasenetneferet, the sister associated with the myth of the distant flooding. - also at EDFOU, there was an ancient cult to the scorpion goddess HEDEDET, who was replaced by Isis and Selquit (the scorpion goddess who watched over the sarcophagi). District 01 - KOM OMBO (Ombos) : The crocodile god Sobek shared a temple with the solar falcon god : Haroeris. - Elephantine Island and the carriers of granite (from Aswan). Cult of the cobra goddess SATIS. - Sehel Island : the goddess ANOUKIS, of Elephantine (from her hairstyle, we surmise she was probably of African origin). Sometimes she is Satis' daughter, sometimes the wife of the god Khnoum. - Philae Island - The god MANDOULIS was represented in two forms: 1. as a lion from lower Nubia. 2. as a young man, whose companion was the cobra goddess OUADJYT or Satis, the goddess of Elephantine. In the New Empire, this island had an important temple in honor of thegoddess Isis. When the island was flooded by the Aswan dam, UNESCO transferred the temple to the island of Agilkia. - 1st cataract or falls : Here was the great goddess SATIS, (who wore the white crown of Upper Egypt). It was decorated with two antelope horns. With ANOUKIS, they were among the group surrounding the great local god KNOUHM, (of Esna), who had long been considered a god of creation. Philae Island Divinities of the Plateaux of NUBIA DEDOUN : The Nubian falcon god who was assimilated to Horus. He had the form of a lion during the ancient Empire. ARSENOUPHIS : This Nubian god, according to a legend, took the form of ONOURIS / SHOU, brought back the distant, and united with her on the island of Philae. MAHES : Following the example of Bubastis and Leontopolis (two cities situated in the Nile delta), Nubia returned to the cult of the lion during the third intermediate period, (-1080 to -655), this animal being their symbol of strength against foreign invaders. MANDOULIS : In KALABSHA, the lion god of Lower-Nubia sometimes appeared as a child, or sometimes as an adult in the company of the cobra goddess OUADJYT (from Buto), or of Satis, goddess of the first cataract of Nile. The Ten Great Egyptian Versions of Creation The creation and origin of the world (at least of our planet) always intrigued the primitive tribes of all continents. In Egypt , we found belief in ten creation gods, who were supposed to have dragged the world out of the primordial chaos. Besides all these beliefs and primitive myths there may have been many others which were less known and existed in the provinces in predynastic period. 1. The god "ATOUM of Heliopolis" and Pithom (The Nile Delta) At Heliopolis, (Leontopolis of the 13th district), ATOUM, whose name means "He who is and is not" - was a god who floated in the waters of the Noun. The texts of the Pyramids show him as a pharaoh wearing the 2 crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt. Then, despite the primitive idea that he exclusively created the world, the following eras gave him two female partners, the goddesses TEMET (one of the 4 faces of Hathor) and IOUASSAS, who gave birth to the first couple SHOU and TEFNOUT. In ancient times, at Pithom, (the 8th district ), Atoum was considered to be "the great Lord of the Universe." The priests later associated him with Re, the source of life and light, who could predict the number of years each would pharaohs reign, as the fruit of the tree of eternity (called ISHED), where all parted lovers would find each other again one day. The Descendants of the Supreme God : ATOUM-RE : 2. The Goddess NEITH of Sais (5th district of the Nile) NEITH had the form of a woman wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt. She was the precursor of Diane. In her hands she held a bow and arrows. Like ATOUM, she was a hermit goddess who created the world using 7 words or 7 arrows. Replacing the Cow-Goddesses HESAT and METHYER she created the sun along with Sobek, the master of the marshes. Finally she was associated with DOUAMOUTEF, one of the four sons of Horus. She watched over the funeral vase containing the entrails of the dead. 3. The God PTAH of MEMPHIS (the district on the border of the 2 kingdoms) He was thought to be the god who initiated life; he had conceived the world in his heart before creating it in fact. In the Old Kingdom, he borrowed many virtues from the preceding god ATOUM without completely replacing him. He is presented as a man wrapped in a case, with a skull-cap on his head. In his hands he held the Egyptian cross symbol, the ANKH- the symbol of eternity, and also the sceptre Ouas of the gods. Already worshipped at Dei el-Medineh, near the valley of the queens. His cult probably started before the building of Memphis, where be became the principal god. Beginning with the 3rd Dynasty, PTAH was at first associated with Sokar, (the ancient mummified falcon god), then with Osiris, to blend together the three divine acts: of creation, metamorphosis and rebirth. 4. OGDOADE of Hermopolis (15th district of Middle Egypt) This was a strange compendium of gods: 2 couples of serpents and 2 couples of frogs who had left the waters of the Noun. This god personified the elements of creation: infinite liquid, primordial obscurity, and the fertility from the floods, which fertilized the soil and brought along with it reptilians and amphibians from the high Plateau. The clergy of Thebes could only surmise that humanity came from snakes (who had grown feet!) The hidden god Amon of Thebes replaced the Ogdoade. 5. The God THOT of Hermopolis (15th district of Middle Egypt) This curious god, with the head of a pointed beaked Ibis, held the sun on his head, succeeded the Ogdoade at Hermopolis. Considered in ancient times to be the great god of wisdom and science, he was the master of words and writing. He created the world by the WORD and became beside Osiris the judge of souls. In Memphis in the Old Kingdom he was thought of as the tongue of PTAH, and becoming the "guardian of truth". Linked to the myth of flooding, he accompanied SHOU, taking the form of a monkey, to be better able to catch the runaway Tefnout, who had to return to Heliopolis to rejoin his father Re and bring the flood waters which the country so much needed. 6. The god HERYSHEF of Heracleopolis (20th district of Middle Egypt) This name means "he who is on the lake".Presented as a man with the head of a ram, he wore the 2 crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt. These were the symbols of his royal power which he exercised mainly during the time of the Middle Kingdom when his city was chosen as the capital of the Kingdom. He was considered to be a local creation god and (with the god Min of Coptos), and brought fertility and reproduction. 7. The god MONTOU of Ermant near Thebes (4th district of Egypt) Usually represented a man with a falcon’s head (with the sun on his forehead) he was the god of war. He was a local creation god and his cult continued until the period of the Old Kingdom, when he was gradually replaced by AMON : the invisible, omnipresent god. 8. The goddess METHYER or Mehytouret of Esna (3rd district of Upper Egypt) This ancient goddess was represented as a primeval cow floating on the waters of the Noun, symbolizing life leaving the waters. Like the goddess Neith, who succeeded her, she also gave birth to the sun. She protected the sun by placing it between her horns, which were curved into the shape of a lyre. 9. The goddess NEKBET of Elkab ou Nekheb (3rd district of Upper Egypt) Just like the goddess Neith, the creation goddess of Elkab created the world using 7 words or 7 arrows. She was a white vulture who extended her wings to protect the pharaoh. Sometimes she was represented as perched on a nest held up by large flowers. She held in her claws the Ouas, the sceptre of the gods. 10. The god KHNOUM of Elephantine (1st district of Upper Egypt) This ancient god was presented as a man (with the head of a ram) seated before a potter’s wheel. He was making two small human beings from the clay with his hands! His companions were sometimes the goddess SATIS, (wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt with 2 antelope horns), and sometimes the gazelle goddess ANOUKIS, whose cult was supplanted by that of NEPHTYS, (the sister of Osiris and SET). SATIS was believed to be the goddess of fertility and love. She was thought to be able to purify (with the help of her Uraeus) the bodies of the first pharaohs as they reached the entrance to the kingdom of the dead. Later, (as the Greek goddess Diana), SATIS became the goddess of hunting. The Ancient Egyptian Gods During the pre-dynastic period (from around 4000 BC to 3300 BC), animals were used as mascots to symbolize each district in the South and North. Their effigies were engraved on the top of columns and their standards were carried in front of the great ritual and royal processions. Children usually find real (and toy) animals to be submissive and ready friends, and one could consider the ancient Egyptian period to be the childhood of our civilization. The Egyptians were very respectful towards animals and nature. In them they saw the cycle of life, protection, obedience to the mysterious laws of nature, an example of community living. This being a way to stand up for the protection of the younger members and sometimes of the entire group. According Grik Hornung (The Gods of Egypt, the One and the Many). " In the animal cults we find a tendency for the gods to help people broaden their minds in so many ways. One could be an Ibis or a crocodile and all sorts of different animals according to one’s whim. The many different images of God seemed to make him more accessible to the people so their problems were more easily felt by Him. The individual animals were not the gods but could metamorphose into them, so that the image and spirit of each god could move towards them and into them. " Like the ancient hunters, the Egyptians (unlike the Hindus) ate a lot of meat, which they cooked in large pots. The Hebrews missed this during their long exodus journeying toward the future land of Israel. In the 3rd dynasty they developed (due to the openness of spirit of King Djeser), the idea of rebirth and of " life after death ". The hope spread among the people of being reborn beside their king in another world beyond the stars. RE, ATOUM, PTAH, ISIS and OSIRIS would replace the numerous small local deities whom the people had honored since ancient times without really understanding what they represented. When these divine incarnations of animals were replaced by the second plan and new images of god appeared, animals only had a symbolic value as sacrifices to please the gods. The faithful would buy an animal from the priests, who would immolate the animal, mummify it and bury it in a special cemetery where several million Ibis and several thousand bulls have been found buried. They are perfectly preserved due to their complete mummification. Just as the Hebrews sent a scapegoat each year into the desert bearing their sins, the Egyptians tried to escape the wrath of their gods by sacrificing animals and thus obtaining redemption from their sins. Since Vatican II, many churches have been renovated to emphasize the essential points. The presence of God in his house. According to hearsay, there are 133 saints called Peter, 79 called Felix, 77 Mary, 63 Thomas, 55 Paul, 50 William, 42 Joseph etc. We have a lot of choice! But who can blame a devotee for praying to a saint or statue when the prayer is essentially a transference of thought and hope to contact with another spirit and another world? CLASSIFICATION OF THE ANCIENT GODS WHO HAD ANIMAL FORM 1. Gods in the form of bulls APIS The sacred bull of Memphis considered to be a manifestation of the god PTAH and also of the sun. He was usually represented with the sun between his horns and his cult had a resurgence before the first dynasty. He symbolized fertility and was directly connected with the phenomenon of the annual floods. BOUKHIS This name was given by the Greeks to the ancient sacred bull of HERMONTHIS (Ermant) in Upper Egypt. At first he represented the " luminous Ba of abundance " a link between gods and human beings. Also the Egyptians of the third intermediate period had a sacred bull god named Montou. In the Delta, .Montou was represented as Horus with the head of a falcon. In Ermant the head became that of a bull on the body of a man. These sacred bulls were to the people truly living statues, dedicated to abundance, and were embalmed and buried at their deaths at Boupheton . KEMOUR He was the bull god of ATHRIBUS, the capital of the 10th district of the Delta, where he was often associated with the dead king Osiris. KHANOUTEF The sacred bull of Thebes (Ouaset). MNEVIS The sacred bull of Heliopolis, symbolized the sun god Re’ s force and life. This beast had spurs on his body and tail, and was selected according to certain rigid criteria, to be considered an avatar or earthly incarnation of the sun god. He lived in the courtyard of the temple surrounded by several heifers, a privilege he also had much later at Thebes. On his death, he was buried in a necropolis especially reserved for the sacred bulls, who were embalmed as high dignitaries of the realm. TJAIPESEF A bull who symbolized the divine aspect of the pharaoh. 2. The Primeval Cow-goddesses of Ancient Times BAT The ancient goddess of the Delta of the Nile, who became assimilated with the Mother goddess of the East. With her feminine face, (with the ears and horns of a cow) she was shown engraved on the Stone of King Narmer of the first dynasty at Hieraconpolis. Later she was assimilated with the goddess Hathor IHET a primeval goddess of creation (associated with Methyet) since they both were believed to have floated in the primeval waters at the Creation of the World, and giving birth to the sun, which she protected by placing between her horns. HATHOR The female divinity whose name means "the home of Horus" because she lived in the warmth of the sun. She was given 4 attributes, some favorable, some dangerous. She was the goddess of love, music and happiness. In the form of a cow she welcomed the dead into the next world to take them to the spirit world. Like the bull god APIS she carried the sun between her horns. HESAT She was a goddess in the form of a white cow venerated at AFITH or Aphroditopolis. She was the mother of the god ANUBIS (a man with the head of a dog, who takes away the earthly body when it reaches the next world.) She was also the mother of MNEVIS. Her milk was believed to have the power to cure wounds, even those of the god Horus who was wounded defending his mother. Horus was healed by one drop of her milk. METHYER - The primeval cow who according to certain Egyptian cosmogonies floated on the waters of the Noun at the creation of the world. She embodied the invigorating forces in the liquid which gave birth to terrestrial life. One cannot help wondering about the source of these legends, as we now believe that life did in fact start in water and later moved on to dry land. NEITH The great goddess of Sais. She created the sun and was believed to be one of "the aspects" of the goddess HESAT (along with METHYER.) She was often portrayed as a woman carrying a bow and arrow and wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt. At Sais, she was believed to be a creator of the world. NOUT Another primeval goddess embodying the sky. She was the daughter of SHOU and Tefnout and was often represented as a cow (according to the Book of the Sky Cow). SEKHATHOR - The nurturing cow of the third district of Lower Egypt, was associated with Isis and Hathor during the time of the pharaohs and became the companion of Horus and Apis. SHENTAIT She was the recumbent cow goddess who held the sun between the horns. Her name means "the widow" and this brings her closer to the story of Isis. Isis figuratively joined together the pieces of her husband to revive him, whereas SHENTAIT gave birth to the body to give him back his life. These two myths are very similar but they originate from opposite ends of the Dark Age. Thus we can surmise that the Egyptians remembered portions of the myths from the period when the 10 Atlantean kings governed and educated the whole Mediterranean basin. 3. The Ram Gods of Egypt ANDJTY The God of the town of Busiris in the eastern Delta. He was represented as a criocephalic , that is with the body of a man and the head of an animal. Even though they kept his image, his cult was gradually replaced by that of Osiris. BA He is the hieroglyphic for "ram" which means "the soul". In certain drawings, rams symbolized the souls of Osiris and Re, united as one god in the form of a ram’s head. BENEBDJEDET His name means "the soul of Mendes". This ram god was strangely enough associated in that city with the goddess Hatmehyt who was represented as a fish or more particularly as a dolphin, who helped to find the remains of Osiris when they were scattered in the water. HERYSHEF - (the one who guards his lake) This ancient ram god of Heracleopolis was considered in ancient times to be a creation god. He appeared as a man wearing an Egyptian tunic wearing on his ram’s head the crown Atef. This was adorned with ostrich feathers and with 2 suns resting on the 2 rams’ horns. This probably represented a former king of Upper Egypt, who was honored in the 9th and 10th dynasties, during the first intermediate period. One should note that Osiris had the same kind of crown. KERTY The reclining ram god of Letopolis. (He was also represented as a bull, a lion or a mummy, symbolizing the nocturnal sun and the voyage of souls). Later he was assimilated as the falcon god Horus the Great (says Hahoeris). KNOUHM The ram god and Lord of Elephantine in Upper Egypt. He was also an ancient local creator god who made 2 small dolls out of clay on his potter’s wheel and brought them to life. He was represented with the body of a man with a ram’s head and horizontal horns. His cult spread throughout Egypt but particularly at Esna and at Antinopolis, where he was associated with the frog goddess Hequet, (who produced and protected the newborn creatures emerging from the primeval water.) Starting at the fifth dynasty, the priests of Heliopolis believed him to be the sun god under the name of KNOUHM-Re but Amon replaced him at the beginning of the New Kingdom. 4. The LION GODS APEDEMAK A war God of the period of the Decline, deified for his courage, and represented by a man with the head of a lion, (originally from Nubia). AKER A lion with the head of a man (androcephalic) who personified the depths of the earth where the sun travelled between sunset and its reappearance at dawn, while Geb represents the soil in contact with air. MAHES In the original sense, this name meant natural, wild physical strength, which the predynastic Pharaohs professed to have, in order to dominate, kill or capture their enemies. Later, this name merely meant all the lion gods. MANDOULIS This lion god was venerated at Philae and in Lower Nubia. He was represented under the double aspect of an adult lion and a young man, symbolizing the fullness and perpetual renewal of life. His wives were the cobra goddess Ouadjyt or a form of the goddess Satis. 5. The Egyptian LIONESS goddesses MATTIT The war goddess of 12th District of Upper Egypt, represented as a dangerous lioness. She was gradually replaced by the falcon god Nemty, who was in turn assimilated as the god Horus. MEHYT The lioness goddess of THIS and companion of Onouris. Her name means " the one who is complete (in beauty and in fervour) ". Guardian of the borders, she watched over the capital of the first dynasty. She also had the name of MENTIT. MENHYT The lioness goddess of ESNA, in the 3rd District of Upper Egypt. She was the companion of Khnoum and the mother of the god Heka (the luminous being who personified the magical). Always looking cheerful, she was assimilated with the local goddess Nebetou, the lady of the Oases. PAKHET This lioness goddess was thought to be one of the daughters of Re and was one of the circle of dangerous goddesses. She was honored in an underground cave above Tell el-Amarna atSpeos Atrimedos. REPIT At first, the name of the goddess lioness was only an epithet of some sacred pictures, however the goddess had for a long time been known as her dangerous aspects: as a lioness at Akhmim (9th district), and as a dangerous cobra (uraeus) on the island of Philae. Associated in the IIth S. with the god MIN of fertility, she became the mother of the young god Kolanthes. Repit took the form of the mother Aperetiset, shown with the hairstyle of Hathor. SEKHMET The great goddess of Memphis, companion of the god PTAH, the man covered in a tight sheath. Their son was the young lion Nefertoum. Sekhmet, which means "the powerful", embodied the dangerous rays of the sun at its zenith. She could at the same time bring death and illness, or in her good aspects heal the sick, who appealed to her by: "reciting the litanies" at the New Year to keep away danger and the illnesses caused by the flooding. TEFNOUT This goddess, daughter of Re, the wife and sister of the lion SHOU, she embodied light and the rays of the sun. In the form of a fierce lioness, she left her father Re, embodying the myth of the Runaway, leaving to live in the desert of Nubia. Her return is part of the ancestral myth of the flooding, coinciding with the New Year (mid July). The Egyptian gods could take all kinds of forms, and even intermarry to produce forms which were completely different. 6 - a) The pre-dynastic FALCON gods Many nations have adopted the emblem of the royal eagle, but the Egyptians adopted the emblem of the falcon in very ancient times. We will study the two FALCONS " Horus ", the second of whom became the son of Osiris and Isis: the symbol of royal strength. ANTY - This god war falcon is shown in a boat, and he reigned in the province of 12th district of Upper Egypt. Nicknamed " the claw ", the adepts of his ancient cult gave him a twin brother : the falcon god Nemty (the name means: one who journeys), who by contrast with his twin is usually represented perched on a shield. ASH This god is probably one of the most ancient of the falcon gods, coming from the oases near the Libyan deserts. Presented as a man with the head of a falcon, he was later associated withSETH of Ombos (the one that killed his brother Osiris). MEKHENTYIRTY This falcon god had taken the place of the ram god Kerty (the symbol of the setting sun), at Letopolis, and the clergy of Heliopolis assimilated him with the god HAROERIS, or Horus (the ancient). MONTOU This god was presented as a man with a falcon's head, adorned with two feathers and a solar disk decorated with two uraeus (cobras). In the year 2050BC four sanctuaries were erected at ERMANT so that he could ensure the protection of the people. NEPHTHYS This goddess was the sister of Isis, of Osiris and Seth (and also the wife of Seth! ) She was venerated at Komir in Upper Egypt in the form of a milan, (a royal falcon with a forked tail). HEMEN The falcon god of Mo'Allah, HEMEN was a very ancient divinity mentioned in the first texts of the pyramids. He was a mythological war god who fought against the forces of primordial chaos. HORUS of the city of Pe (which became Bouto) in Lower Egypt. This is a very old city where they worshipped the falcon Horus : Horus-Amset and Horus-Hapy, associated with the cobra goddess OUADJYT. Most of these gods were seen in religious processions with the head of a dog in order to show their royal divinity. HORUS - The ancient or the GREAT, or Haroeris - Venerated from Damanhour to Heliopolis, then in all the Valley of Nile where he was considered to be an aspect of the sun and the 5th child of the creation gods : Geb and Nout. Avery ancient god who in some ways inspired the image of Horus the younger, the son of Isis and Osiris. This great bird of Egypt, long believed to be the Lord of sky, was in the first dynasties considered to be the image of the resplendent SUN at its zenith. SOPDOU Guardian of the 20th province of the Delta, he appears in the shape of a warrier falcon with two feathers on his head. Partner to Khensit, the daughter of Re and at SHESEMTET, the companion of Re, who both appear in the shape of Uraeus. SOKAR The ancient divinity whose cult spread to the region of Memphis, he was shown in the shape of a mummified falcon. With his boat named Henou, he led the souls into the hereafter. He was replaced by the god PTAH. 6 - b) The falcon aspects of HORUS as the son of Isis HARPOCRATE or Horus as a child - Seated on the knees of his mother, his head on his mother's breast (picture taken from texts in the pyramids). On becoming adolescent, he was stung by a scorpion, but Isis healed it. HORAKHTYDivinity of Heliopolis representing the sun at its zenith. He was a man with a head of falcon, surmounted by solar disk and two uraeus. This was Horus at the height of his power, and he was worshipped with Atoum-Re of the 5th dynasty. HORSAISIS, "the son of Isis"Part of the Osirian mythology, his mother queen Isis had revived her husband. It was this child who was the forerunner of Harpocrate whose cult developed during the New Empire. HORNEDJITEF This is the Horus who takes care of his father (Osiris). Associated with the resurrection of his father, he inherits the great and vital principles of his father. QEBEHSENOUF - A man with the head of a falcon, partner to the goddess Selqit who watches over the entrails of the dead, he is with Amset, Douamoutef and Hapy, one of the four faces of HORUS in charge of watching over the liver, the stomach, the lungs and the entrails of the bodies having undergone the process of mummification. 7. The Vulture Gods The city of Elkab (or Nekheb) honored the goddess NEKHBET, who was represented by a white vulture perched on three lilies or three stylized lotus flowers. She holds in her claws the insignia of royalty, recalling the ancient period when the South was an independent kingdom fighting with the kingdom of North. In Egyptian Antiquity, Nekhbet was invoked under the name of the goddess "SHETAT". Locally she was considered to be a creation goddess, who created the world pronouncing seven words and launching seven arrows. Remember that Isis will take also the aspect of a vulture to fly over the dead body of Osiris and spiritually impregnate him. 8. Canine divinities in Egyptian mythology ANUBIS - Here is a very ancient divinity whose the cult already was there between the years 4000BC and 3000BC. He is represented also on King AHA's tablet from the first dynasty, where we are shown his feast and his function of mummifier to prepare the dead for their journey into the beyond. His cult remained very important up to fifth dynasty : (toward 2500BC), when he was progressively replaced by Osiris. However, he remained the big dog, who guarded the necropoles. The Texts of the Pyramids call him the fourth son of Re, and the father of the goddess of "freshness KEBEHOUT". Sent by Re, he helped Isis to gather the dispersed pieces of the body of Osiris, which he embalmed. When embalming, the Chief of the priests wore the mask of Anubis during the rituals and of funerals of the dead. Anubis is a Hellenist form : Inpou (the young dog) or Anpou. His title is "the one that is on the mountain and watches over the home of the dead". He was to be honored for a long time in his temple of Cynopolis in Middle Egypt. BEBON - A red dog (sometimes a monkey), assimilated with Seth (the wicked brother of Osiris) for his aggressiveness and sexual appetite. KHENTYIMENTY A black dog adored from ancient times at ABYDOS, his name means "the one who is the chief of the Occident," (the Occident being comparable to the West, where the sun disappears). This was the place where they buried the dead and the animals. This master of Abydos was progressively replaced in this city by OSIRIS, and the city became the most important place of Egyptian pilgrimage, where all believers went at least once in his life! OUPOUAOUT A divinity of ASSIOUT, represented also as a black dog with one or two uraeus between his paws. His name means "the one who opens the ways" (for the corteges of processions). Like the two other canines his personality was diminished by that of Osiris from the Old Kingdom and he had only a representative local role. 9. The SNAKE gods Snakes were considered by the Egyptians to be either benevolent or harmful, however in the group of harmful snakes some gods (usually feminine), had two faces which could express good or bad. In the category of the benevolent snakes, the Egyptian had adopted some kinds of snakes (grass-snakes, blindworms and other innocuous reptiles) as pets for their houses, (as well as other more familiar animals), since they got rid of the mice and rats who caused real devastation in the granaries and transmitted infectious illnesses. But the Egyptians had such knowledge of dangerous snakes like the asps and cobras, that they raised them (with care) to set them free at night into enemy camps, or introduced them into the heart of the pyramids in order to protect the treasures of the dead kings from that which they considered the biggest crime: the profanation and pillage of the royal tombs. The Egyptians honored the Uraeus, the symbol of royal authority, represented by a cobra raised up on his tail, ready to bite. This menacing image inspired fear and respect reminding all that Pharaoh had: "the right over life and death" for each one of his subjects. a. Mythology of the dangerous snakes : APOPHIS - As in the Genesis, one finds the myth of a very artful, diabolical original snake who threatens constantly the balance of creation, and tries to corrupt royalty. He compromises the salvation of human souls by inspiring them to do acts of wickedness. The existence of this mythical, malevolent snake goes back far into the pre-dynastic period, his emblem was also recovered on the tomb of king of Ankhitifi of the 11th dynasty who was buried in the necropolis of Mo'Allah (3rd district). It is around this period that Abraham came to Egypt. Like a mythological monster, the snake goes out in the night to upset the boat of the sun, which must be born again in the morning in the east. And not succeeding, he sets traps in the path of departed souls. APEP The snake of chaos (probably derived from Apophis) and BUTO an ancient winged cobra goddess venerated at Pe and Dep in the delta of Nile, which became Bouto: the capital of the ouadjyt. KHENSIT - She was the companion of the falcon god SOPDOU of the 20th district. She was an ancient dangerous goddess who manifested herself as the Uraeus. Considered to be a daughter of Re, her name is seen in the some of the first texts in the Pyramids. OGDOADE Strange assembly of eight divinities composed of two couples of frogs and two couples of female snakes who left the waters of the Noun at Hermopolis from a primeval egg! The first couple NOUN and NOUNET represented the liquid infinity, the second KEK and KEKOUT : the primordial obscurity, the third HEH and HEHET: spatial infinity, the fourth couple, TEMENOU and TEMENET, who personified the void, were replaced by : AMON and AMONET. The clergy of Thebes not could accept this explanation of the universe, so they modified it in the first dynasties. They attributed creation to the two primitive forms of the invisible god AMON : the god KEMATEF (the one who accomplished the time) created the earth with the aid of his son: the IRTO snake (the one that created the Earth). They took from the Ogdoade the function of creation gods. Once they had accomplished their work, they fell asleep at Djame, and AMON (the Supreme hidden divinity) succeeded them at Memphis then at Thebes. OUADJYT Name of the cobra goddess who patronized of the city of BOUTO in the Delta of Nile, where she was the associate of Horus of Pe. The goddess is represented as a cobra with her head upright. She held the OUAS against her, (the scepter of the hand of the gods) and a solar disk. She probably was a very ancient god of fertility, whose image has been assimilated to the uraeus. There is a strange resemblance in the letters and consonnance between OUAS, OUADJYT and the OUDJA, the latter meaning "the eye of Horus", which was pulled out by Seth during his fight with Horus, who won, recovered his eye, and gave of his benevolence to the two kingdoms of the reunified Egypt. b. Myths of the benevolent snakes : ICHNEUMON Like the mongoose, he was a natural adversary of snakes. Also he was a protector of solar divinities, and by extension, he was supposed to fight all the enemies of the cosmos. MEHEN Contrary entity of Apophis. He represented the benevolent snake, a guardian angel of the boat of the sun mainly against his rival the diabolic Apophis. To better protect the gods Osiris and Re (who hid until the dawn), Mehen surrounded the tabernacle which contained the two divinities with his coils, and helped them to travel towards the west, where the sun gods would be born again in the morning. MERESGER The lord of the necropolis of Thebes who appeared either in the shape of an Uraeus, or in a hybrid shape composed of a snake's body in three coils, surmounted by a woman's head with her hair covered with a veil. NEHEBKAOU Nicknamed "the one that brings the kas", (the spiritual invisible forces of the divinities and also of every individual) .He was thus a benevolent snake who is to counted among the primeval gods. Creator of the sun, his parents were GEB and the snake goddess Renenoutet, (who personified destiny). Her role was to bring to souls after death the "Kas" necessary for obtaining a favorable final judgement. RENENOUTET A cobra goddess, who with her son Nepri (god of the crops) watched over the granaries. A temple was consecrated to her at Medinet el-Fayoum. She personified destiny and success. SOMTOUS " The one that united" - This slogan had often been associated with the name of Horus, in particular at HERACLEOPOLIS and at DENDARA where the son of Isis embodied the reunification of the two kingdoms. He was usually represented by a cobra standing erect on his tail. 10. The ancient SCORPION gods HEDEDET - An ancient scorpion goddess venerated in the 2nd district of Upper Egypt, she protected the people against animal bites. Associated with the scorpion goddess Selqit, she gradually lost her influence to the great goddess Isis. SELQIT This scorpion goddess protected the sarcophaguses and funeral vases containing the parts of the body for mummification. A benevolent goddess, she nursed the dead and used her magic powers to heal those that were stung by scorpions. From the 5th dynasty on, she was assimilated as the goddess protector Isis. TABITHET An ancient scorpion goddess, she was assimilated as the mother of Horus the ancient. 11. Ancient divinities: CROCODILES and HIPPOS SOBEK - The man with the head of crocodile, considered by the inhabitants of el-Fayoum as a primeval divinity, was associated with the sun under the name of SOBEK-Re, with his mother, the goddess Neith. IPET - Despite IPET's ungainly appearance, (as a hippopotamus), the god Amon came once a year to the temple of Luxor to unite with this ancient mother goddess, to ensure the renewal of the cycles of life. Assimilated to NOUT, she became the mother and nurse of Osiris. Even though initially the hippos were considered to be good animals that one hunted at one's own his risk, after the New Kingdom, they had become bothersome because of their rapid increase in numbers, and also their loud piercing cries prevented the people from sleeping at night. In the period of the Decline, the wicked Seth was assimilated to be a hippo. TAOURET His name means "the Huge"; this composite god had the paws of a lion, a crocodile's back, a hippo's form, and was a curious mixture in the people's minds of gods of ancient times......almost indefinable! Like our demons, his aspect inspired fear, especially at the time of the trial of souls, where this monster waited on the banks of Maat and Anubis to seize souls who had been judged unworthy. He then threw them into the pastures as fodder. That's why he was nicknamed "the devouror". Despite their uninspiring aspects, the supersticious people thought of Taouret and Ipet as aggressive, kind and strong mothers, who watched over childbirth and protected small children. Egypt during the Archaic and Pre-dynastic Periods The small Egyptian states were regrouped at around 5.000BC into two large kingdoms: one being the Kingdom of the Delta, which celebrated the god Horus (the ancient); and the other the Kingdom of the Valley of Nile, which worshipped Kom Ombo, and at Hierakonpolis, the god Set. But during the IVth millenium BC., the Kingdom of the North took over the South, Horus ousted Set, and the pre-dynastic Pharaohs reigned over a united Egypt. The years 4 500BC to 3 300BC are called the Magdalean, which corresponds to the "three ages of the Pre-dynastic period " of Egypt: Ancient (4500 to 4000BC), Middle (4000 to 3500BC), and Recent (3500 to 3300BC) We shall only concern ourselves briefly with these three ages : since except for some potteries, some frescos of hunting and of wars between the cities or mini-kingdoms of the Nile, the head of a knife and the "Stone of Palerme" (on which many drawings are missing), the information we gain from them of Neolithic culture is sparse and doesn't describe their daily life or their spiritual concerns. The main zones of political influence during the Recent Egyptian Pre-dynastic period were 1. Bouto, the administrative capital of the Delta, created by combining two former cities: Pe and Dep 2. Region of Fayoum: GERZEH (Gerzean), 3500BC to 3200BC, (situated in Middle Egypt at about 60 to 90 km from Memphis) 3. Regions of Thebes, (formerly NAGADA), This and Abydos. 4. Cities of Hierakonpolis and Elkab 5. The ancient cities of KOM-OMBO and Elephantine. However on parts of the so-called "Stone of Palerme", the scientists have counted at least "twenty five kings", who already had ruled in the two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt before the advent of the first royal official dynasty. The paintings in tomb N°100 of Hierakonpolis, like those on the knife of Gebel el Arak, show pictures of boats without sails or oars, some of lions, of dogs, and especially of wars between two peoples of identical appearance (except for their styles of hairdressing). This doesn't bring much information on the mystical part of Egyptian life or of their belief in a new life after death on this earth... The main divinities honored in the ancient period The " main divinities" in the ancient popular cults and on the royal weapons of the times, are : 1. The god Ra or Re of Heliopolis- representing the solar star 2. The goddess BAT of the 7th district of Upper Egypt. She had the body and face of a woman, with the ears and horns of a cow. 3. The god falcon Horus the Ancient (not to be confused with the son of Osiris), an example of a Pharaoh who stays with his people. 4. The mythical snake Apophis who tried to disrupt creation. 5. The god Set, adopted by the kingdom of the South (This-Abydos), represented by a fierce red dog: the bebon god. 6. The god MIN of fertility (a man with an erect phallus). 7. The two lions Shou (life) and Tefnout, of Heliopolis, who are part of the myth of the floods. EGYPT during the dynastic period : 3 500 to 3 300BC According to the "Stone of de Palerme," there were ten Pharaohs who had already ruled over a united Egypt, before the FIRST Official DYNASTY, (and there were as many precursors to them), they wore the two crowns of royalty : the white crown (a mitre) of Upper and Middle Egypt, the red outside crown symbolizing the delta of the Nile (Lower Egypt). The two crowns united constitute the pschent. Around the year 3 500BC, there was a new schism : the king of North, called Biti, (in hieroglyphics, bee), protected by the cobra goddess Ouadjet, took the red crown and moved to Bouto. Thus the king of South, Nesout, (which means the reed), protected by the vulture goddess Nekbet of El-Kab, took the white crown and moved to Hierakonpolis. Bouto became the political capital of the Delta, and Letopolis became the religious capital of the North; this city the Greeks later gave the name of Heliopolis. Here in order are the seven Pharaohs who reigned during dynasty zero, classified in 1982 by the Egyptologist Kaiser-Dreyer: Names of the Pharaohs of "dynasty zero" who reigned before the year 3 200BC, and whose tombs were recovered : 1. HORUS, whose serekh or seal was surmounted by two falcons (name incomplete) 2. NY-HOR (unclear to read, royal seal found at Tarkhan) 3. HAT-HOR (unclear to read, royal seal found at Tourah) 4. IRY-RO (reading deciphered by Heck 1987) 5. KA (reading deciphered by Heck 1987) 6. SCORPION The chronology of these first kings is very difficult to state definitely. These dates are the object of numerous debates fueled by a lack of irrefutable evidence. Did King Narmer (3185 to 3125BC) directly succeed the king Scorpion, as some scolars want us to believe ? Was it because of the inauguration of the State religion that Narmer was classified as the first king of the first dynasty ? (Several kings before him had also ruled over a united Egypt) Why does the club of king Scorpion have no sacred mention, when that of king Narmer shows him seated on his throne before a god (which is a human silhouette without a face, like a MUMMY), maybe SOKAR or PTAH ? It is possible that some precursors of the kingdom of Imhotep already visited the court of Egypt and began religious instruction of the king 400 years before Imhotep ! But the multitude of ancient Egyptian gods may have prevented the acceptance of the new concepts imposed by Imhotep. According to the archaeological evidence at our disposal, we find probably at this period that the gods and goddesses took on in the Egyptian mind a HUMAN appearance, without relinquishing the myriad of composite divinities : mid human, mid animal. This summary of the pre-dynastic era is needed to understand the incredible reforms which at that time transformed the culture, religion and civilization of the first country in the world to discover (long before the Bible was written and before the birth of the Patriarchs), the existence of The ONE Invisible GOD. Religious spirit grew thanks to the influence of Pharaoh Djeser, who without destroying the former divinities, gradually decreased their importance and offered the country a new concept of religion, 700 years before the message of Abraham. In fact, the Pharaoh retained the beautiful Sarah in his harem, and Abraham frequented the royal court ? One can also summarize and compare this new religion to the Ten Commandments given by Moses to the Hebrews! Also, was not Moses the adopted son of Pharaoh ? His education must have been planned by the Egyptian priests, holders of the wisdom of their predecessors ? There is a strange resemblance between the codes of life and the written wisdom of the kings and ministers of the VIth dynasty and the civil and religious code of Moses given orally a thousand years later ! Why did God want the Hebrew people to stay in Egypt and become an example of life and a spiritual model which would subsequently inspire numerous religions ? The history of religious life in Egypt had many declines (especially in the New Kingdom), where many kings, forgetting the rules and laws of their ancestors, grew arrogant, and constructed huge statues and palaces in the heart of the forbidden necropoles ! Then they required that the people worship them as ALL POWERFUL beings. But God has many ways of working, and He was to choose other people to teach humanity about Him. The message of the Eternal being perpetual, a lot of people would be given the mission of spiritually leading humankind, and in Egypt two men (comparable to the two Hebrew prophets Moses and Elijah) stand out thanks to their intelligence and knowledge: the first was called IMHOTEP - the vizier of king Djeser, and the second : AMENHOTEP (son of Hapou) the architect and the physician of Amenophis III. Egyptian drawings of pre-dynastic times The knife of Gebel el-Arak of Hierakonpolis (Vandier 1952) The handle of this knife, on show in the Louvre shows us some scenes of hunting and war. Who is the Pharaoh who is holding two lions with his naked hands ? Has this something to do with the primordial egg guarded by the dog god SETH ? Just as the message carved on the club of the Scorpion king shows us " the absence of the great divinity ". However, on the other side of the knife we see scenes of war on the banks of the Nile and a city bound like a prisoner, above which floats some bodies who look insentient. The knife of Gebel el-Arak belonged to a Pharaoh of Upper Egypt who probably lived around 3 500BC., and like the tablets made of stone, are decorated with the symbols of the god Min of fertility, or with some precursors of the goddess Hathor. Most these artifacts have been found in tombs beside the bones of the dead. Their presence attests therefore that their was some belief in rebirth in the western Protodynastic era, continuing the customs of Neanderthal man (150 000BC to 35 000BC), who buried their dead with their favorite weapons and some supplies (!) for his long journey into the unknown world ! The club of the pre-DYNASTIC king SCORPION (Vandier 1952) The fragments of this club, which goes back to 3 300 BC, represent four scenes from the life of the pre-DYNASTIC royal Egyptians : In the upper part a parade of figurines who were mascots of the various districts of Upper Egypt brandish a stick on which is a big fish hanging by the tail. This probably alludes to a victory of king Scorpion over the kingdom of fishers of the Delta. On the left of the central part a slave threatens a bound captive with his stick , while beside him some Egyptian women, (maybe those belonging to the harem of the Pharaoh) braid their hair with large flowers of a stylized lotus. At the center, king Scorpion (identified by his emblem), crowned with the white mitre of Upper Egypt and holding a hoe, receives from one of his subjects a tray of grains symbolizing the harvest, and the peasant has a goose whose neck is at the same level. Behind them there is a second person carrying a vase of grapes or fruit. In the lower part of the club one can see a man climbing a wall while his kneeling companion carries on his head a large wooden jar surmounted by a huge bee, (the symbol of the defeated Lower Egypt.) Even though it is incomplete, this pre-dynastic tableau shows us the life and the (lack of a belief system, as shown on the royal weapons of king SCORPION). This indicates that religion had very little importance at that time.