Gods of Egypt - Nefertum, Neith, Nephthys, Nun, Nut

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

A B E G H I K M N O P R S T W

Nefertum

God Nefertum was associated with lotus blossom and was depicted in a form of a man with blue lotus (Nymphaea Caerulea) on his head. Sometimes his head was also decorated with a pair of plumes and two counterweights. The myth About creation from Hermopolis Magna describes, that the sun rose out of primordial lotus blossom. Therefore Nefertum was tightly connected with the sun god. Pyramid texts from Old Kingdom write about Nefertum as "Lotus blossom, which is in front of Ra's nose". "Both countries protector" title (Chener tawej) - meant Upper and Lower Egypt - shows general importance of this god.

Nefertum was worshipped in Memphis (Mennefer) as Ptah's and lion goddess Sekhmet son, that's why he was depicted with lion head sometimes. Sometimes he was also considered cat goddess Bast son or to make it more complicated, son of cobra goddess Wadjet from Buto.

Neith

Goddess Neith was ancient goddess, whose main cult centre was Sais in Nile Delta. Neith got special importance in 26. dynasty's rule period (664-525 BC), because Sais was ruling family home and capital of whole Egypt then. Her attribut was a shield with crossed arrows, which emphasizes the connection with warfare (later Greeks identified her with Athena). This symbol was found on items dated to 1. dynasty period (approximately 3100- 2890 BC). Neith was usually depicted with Lower Egypt red crown. This goddess made a triad with her husband Seth and son Sobek, the crocodile god. As mother goddess she became a title "Great cow" (alike goddesses Nut and Hathor). She was considered goddess creator as well, so she equalled primeval chaos waters, Nun.

Together with Isis, Nephthys and scorpion goddess Serqet she was also funerary deity. All four goddesses should protect one of "Four Horus' sons", who cared about inner organs of deceased. Neith was associated especially with jackal god Duamutef - he was stomach and upper part of enteric tract protector. Egyptians also believed, that Neith invented weaving, therefore she was a patroness of linen bandages for mummies.

Nephthys

Goddess Nephthys was considered Anubis' mother (embalming god with jackal head) in late mythology, thanks to association with Osiris. She was also sister of Isis, Osiris and Seth (sometimes she was his wife as well). Nephthys seems to be helping her more popular sister Isis. Similarly to Isis, Nephthys was depicted in human form, but she could be depicted as a hawk as well. Her name means "Lady of the palace" and her crown composed of this title hieroglyphs (a basket on the large house walls).

Nephthyswas associated with head of deceased or with whole casket (in co-operation with Isis at her feet). She was also one of sky protective deities - she protected Horus' son Hapi with baboon's head, who protected lungs of deads.

Nun

God Nun was divine personification of primordial chaos waters, which preceded the creation. He was depicted as "The oldest father" and "Mankind creator". It was believed, that after everything was created, chaos existed then at the edge of the universe and in the underworld and it was place of outcasts and demons.

Peripheral temple walls from dried bricks were sometimes built in corrugated layers to look like wavy. The aim was probably to imitate waters Nun, because the temple was a symbol of the universe. Nun was also introduced outside the temple in saint lake form.

God Nun could be depicted as a baboon, also with frog head or in human form with a beard. In other case he held sun barge over his head. Goddess Nauket with serpent head was his wife.

Nut

Nut Goddess Nut was sky personification. According to the myth About creation of Heliopolis she was one of Shu's and Tefnut's children and sister - wife of Geb, the earth god. The night darkness was caused by Nut - she swallowed the sun in the evening and gave birth to it by dawn, so the sun spent whole night in her body. This image was often depicted on tombs' ceilings and on the bottom side of sarcophagus' lids. The Egyptians believed, that Nut is a divine personification of the coffin and funerary chamber. Because sun was born out of her every day, also the deads could be reborn from the casket to posthumous life.

Goddess Nut was usually depicted as a woman bent over the ground, she could be depicted as a cow as well. It was believed, that "Divine cow" carries the sun god Ra on her back every morning.

Nefertum   Neith   Nephthys   Nun
Nefertum   Neith   Nephthys   Nun

Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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