Animal Headed Figures of Ancient Egyptian Gods

The Cow-headed Goddessess 
Cows and bulls were very important in ancient egypt for plowing,threshing and transdport reasons and for their meat and milk production.According to the scenes depicted on the walls of the privte tombs of ancient egypt,we can say that there were four breeds known to the ancient egyptians:-
-The long horn cattle known by “ngiw”,already known from the pre-dynastic times.the shoulder height of these animals probably varied between 120cm and 150cm and the size and the form of horns show much individual variation.
-The small,short horn cattle known by “wndw”.such cattle were perhaps already present at the pre-dynastic site of Maadi,but they were not comman during the old kingdom,popular from the new kingdom.
-Hornless cattle,known since the old kingdom,also comman later.
-The hump-backed cattle known by zebu in the modern times,introduced to egypt from syria during the new kingdom. The worship of the cow was one of the oldest worship in ancient egypt.Cow was worshipped throughtout egypt and associated with several goddessess

The chief deity of the 7th nome of upper egypt known by sheshet means sistrum.Bat is a very ancient goddess,the early evidence of her dates to the late pre-dynastic period.In the pyramids texts ,she was called “Bat with her two faces”,she seemed to be the original personification of the sistrum.
During the middle kingdom,she was superseded by Hathor.she is depicted with heavy inward curving horns .she was a celestial cow.

The earthly cow goddess,the white cow and the one who create all the nourishmenet.Milk was said to be the beer of Hesat,she was depicted as a cow carrying a tray of food on her horns.she was the wife of Menvis bull and the mother of Anubis of Imiut.she was worshipped in the reigon of the modern Atfih.

Mehet weret
The celestial cow,the great flood,the goddess of the waterways and the primeval waters of Nun and the yearly inundation of the Nile.She was also goddess of creation and rebirth in the afterlife and goddess of the necropolis of Thebes.She was depicted lying on a reed mat or as a cow standing in papyrus plants at the foot of the mountian of the west only her head poking out .It seems likely that her original cult was related to the region of Sais .

mentioned in chapter 162 of book of the dead,” I`m the Ihet cow,your name is in my mouth and I shall utter it….”.She supposed to have suckled the young sun upon his emergance from the primveal waters.In a second myth,the cow Ihet give birth and suckled the infant Hours in the marshes of north.

Sekhat Hor
A local cow goddess in the 3rd nome of lower egypt the modern kom el-hisn in the province of el-behara.Her name means “she who remembers hours “and in the pyramid text,she suckles him.she is usually depicted as a cow either standing or lying with a feather often appears between her horns.
she was like HEAST The provider of the milk offered by the king in rituals.One of the texts from the temple of DANDRA mentions her role as a nourisher of the king ” life to the good god,the replica of Shu……..created by Renenut,
suckled by Skhat Hor “.

Shen tait
Her name means “the widow “,she was closely related to Isis.the early image of her shows her as a girl with long hair holding a child.she was also depicted as a recumbent cow.Her seat of worship was Heliopolis or Abydos .

The greatest of all the cows and the 2nd important goddess in ancient egypt next to Isis.she was the chief goddess of the 6th nome of upper egypt.she was the goddess of sky,fertility,motherhood,childbirth,love ,beauty,dance,
music,joy,mistress of turquoise,lady of the green stone and malachite,lady of gold,lady of Iunet,lady of Imentet,lady to the limit”of the univere” and the lady of the southern sycamore.she was the mother and doughter of Ra,mother and wife of HOURS,a wife of Thoth and Sobek and a mother of Ihy.She was associated with several goddessess (over 40).She was worshipped throughtout egypt in Dandara,Thebes,Memphis,Heliopolis
,Hermopolis,Philae,Abu-simbel, Sinai,Edfu,Kom-ombo,Atfih and Qusey
She was also worshipped in Syria,Lebenon and Punt,the Greeks equated her with their own goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite.

All of the these cow-headed goddessess were long horn cows,both of the short horns and the hornless cows never worshipped as goddessesss .
-All of the cows goddessess were associated with God RA and god HORUS as mothers ,wives or doughters.
-four of them were celestial cows,Bat,Mehet weret,Ihet and Hathor.
-Two of them were earthly cows,Hesat and Sekhat hor.
– one of them was closely related to Isis,,,Shentait.
-It seems likely that Bat was the oldest one of them.
-All of the them were different aspects of Hathor,the most important of all.
The Ram-headed Gods in Ancient Egypt
The ram was an important animal in ancient egypt.Two types of rams were known to the ancient egyptians,the first one with long wavy horns,known from the pre-dynastic times and the other one with curvy inwords horns,
known from around the 12th dynasty of the middle kingdom.Ram was worshipped in anceint egypt for several reasons,such as,,,the fertility and the sexual ability.Someother reasons were its strenght and its activity.the
ram was associated with various gods and worshipped at many places in
ancient egypt.
Ram-headed Gods with long wavy horns
Khnum is a pre-dynastic god and one of the most ancient gods of Egypt,the chief god of the first nome of upper Egypt.He was a water god,the god of the silt,the god of the sources of the Nile and the great potter god of the creatian who moulded everything out of the clay including both the people and the gods.His cult center was elephantine where he was worshipped
together with his two wives ( or wife and a doughter )Satet and Anket.He
also was worshipped at Esna where he was thought to to be married to three
wives ( or two )Menhet and Nebtw,( the 3rd one is Neith ).At Her-wer,which
might be Tuna el-gabal (not for sure ),he was married to Heqet.In his form
known by ( sheft-hat ),he was depicted with four ram heads ( the same form was given to the ram of Mendes ) representing RA the sun god,SHU the air
gog,GEB the earth god and OSIRIS the god of the afterlife.In later times,
khnum was depicted with curvy inwords horns.

The local god of Ihnasya el madina, the capital city of the 20th nome of upper Egypt on the west bank of the Nile near Bani suef.Refrences for his cult are mentioned as early as the first dynasty on the palermo stone.He was worshipped as a creator god rising from the Nun.He was the ba of both
OSIRIS and RA,that`s why he wore the atef crown of osiris decorated with the sun-disc of Ra .

Ba or Banebdjed
The original god of Mendes, the capital city of the 16th nome of lower Egypt
the modern Tell el-Rabaa near el-simbellawin in el-manswra.His wife was goddess Hat mehyt the fish goddess.the coffin text suggests that the soul of god osiris took refuge in Mendes when the body was killed by Seth,The
book of the heavenly cow stats that the ba of osiris is the the ram of Mendes.One of Banebdjed epithets was the lord of the sexual pleasure.
A stela from the Ramessum records that the god Ptah took the form of Ba
nebdjed to sleep with a mortal woman,the result was the future phoraoh
Ramses the second.

The original local god of the city of Busiris the modern Abusir bana in the 9th
nome of lower Egypt in the eastern Delta.He has a close relationship with the
job of the king which is evident from the references in the pyramid texts.He
was depicted holding two sceptors,wearing high conical crown decorated withTwo feathers like the atef crown of osiris.His cult was replaced by that of osiris.

The local god of letopolis or Khem ,the modern Ausim northwest of cairo,the
capital city of the 2nd nome of lower egypt.He was an earth god act as the guardian god of the royal tombs.In the old kingdom,he was taken as a partner of osiris .

The ram-headed gods with curvy inwords horns
The god (not the original) of the 4th nome of upper Egypt,originally god of the air and the wind together with his female partner Amunet in Hermopolis
the modern el-ashmonien.In the middle kingdom,he was moved to the 4th nome where his cult was replaced that of Montu and in the new kingdome he became the most powerful god ,considered as the king of all the gods.
Actually,god Amun is not an original ram-headed god but during the new kingdom and after conquereing the kingdom of Kush the ram was
considered as one of the sacred animals of god Amun,that`s why he was depicted as a ram.The chief god of Kush was a woolly ram with curved horns
so,when they identified their god with Amun,the later became assoicated with the ram and the egyptians come to believe that the original image of Amun was the ram and in this form Amun was worshipped in the western
desert moreover,in the Greek tale of Nectanebo ,the last king,having by magic visited OLYMPIAS and become the father of Alexander,he come as the
incarnation of Amun wearing the ram`s skin.

The hieroglyphic word for ram is ( ba ),the same for the soul,that`s why the ram was considered as the ba of some of the gods such as..
The soul of god Ra was a bird with head of a ram and in the under world god
Ra took the shape of a ram-headed god known by AUF,which means the flesh or the body.On one of the walls of qUeen Nefertari tomb god Ra is depicted as a ram-headed mummy in front of god osiris.In his form as sunset
Ra known as Atum is depicted as a man with head of a ram.

The two rams known by Banebdjed and Andjety were manifestations of the soul of god osiris.

In his form as Horemakhet, sometimes he was depicted with a ram head.

 Aurnab Arc 
©Archaeology of Humankind 
Fetish to god in ancient egypt …by Wallis Budge.

One thought on “Animal Headed Figures of Ancient Egyptian Gods”

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