Protective province deities - southern part of Upper Egypt

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

Southern part of Upper Egypt spreaded out between Asjut in the north and Kom Ombo in the south. The country around Kom Ombo was a southern boundary in Ptolemaic period. This part had twelve nomes and the Theban was without doubt the most important of them. There is a symbolic name and Greek and Egyptian capital city name of every single nome.

1. Upper Egypt Nome - "Bow province", Kom Ombo (Nubt)

Kom Ombo became the capital city of the first Upper Egypt Nome in Ptolemaic period, because the original capital Elephantine was endangered too much by brigands incursion. There was a temple sacred to both crocodile god Sobek and falcon god Heru-ur. Two prominent triads were worshipped in Kom Ombo in Ptolemaic period: partly Heru-ur, Tasenetnofret and Panebtawy (Lord of two lands) triad, partly Sobek, Hathor and Khonsu triad.

Later Tasenetnofret was identifies with Hathor and Panebtawy with Khonsu, so both triads merge to one. There was a sacred animals necropolis in the city, where are apart from other things laid mummified crocodiles.

2. Upper Egypt Nome - "Horus' throne province", Apollonopolis/ Edfu (Djeba)

Protective god of Edfu, one of the oldest and most influential Egyptian cities (the oldest evidences go to Wadjha governance period, the 1. dynasty monarch), was falcon god Heru-ur, whose attendance is proved there since 3. dynasty governance. Another cult was sacred scorpion goddess Hededet (later Serqet). Other worshipped god was Horus of Edfu, who guarded gold and prospectors, who searched it in Arabian desert.

3. Upper Egypt Nome - "Rural province", Eileithyiaspolis/Elkab (Nekheb)

There was wild cow Sematuret worshipped in the Early dynastic period, who was gradually replaced by vulture goddess Nekhbet. The Greeks called the city Eileithyiaspolis, because they identified Nekhbet with their birthing pain goddess Eileithyia.

4. Upper Egypt Nome - "Was sceptre province", Thebes (Waset)

The first god of Thebes (Waset) was Montu, hawk god with a solar disc on his head. Then came Amun and Veseret (one of the lion goddess Sekhmet's names). Veseret was identified with Mut under 12. dynasty rule and Amun's priesthood gave an impuls to theban triad creation, composed of Amun, Mut and Khonsu.

5. Upper Egypt Nome - "Two falcons province", Kuft (Gebtu)

The city gained its prestige thanks the mines in Arabian desert. Since predynastic time was unconditionally god Minworshipped there, the god of divine energy, fertility and mines in Eastern desert.

6. Upper Egypt Nome "Crocodile province", Tentyris/Dendera (Tareret)

Protective deity of sacred city Dendera was cow goddess Hathor. There already are evidences about her being since Old Kingdom, but main buildings sacred to Hathor came from Ptolemaic period and her temple is the most beautiful and well-preserved temple in Egypt. Hathor from Dendera was allegedly at the birth of other Hathor's appearances. There was a tight bond between priesthoods of Dendera and Edfu. Their common sacred text mentioned the connection between both deities (Hathor and Horus), whereof divine son and god Ihy came from.

7. Upper Egypt Nome "Sistrum province", Diospolis Parva (Hiu)

Ancient cult was sacred to Bat, deity with female head and horns. She was associated with Hathor since first dynasties.

8. Upper Egypt Nome "The oldest land province", This (Thinis)

Thinis was under protection of divine couple Inheret and Menhet (lion goddess). Abydos is situated opposite to Thinis and later became the province capital city. There was black chantry dog Khentiamentiu worshipped, who was replaced by Osiris in Old Kingdom period. Abydos became the capital of resurrected Osiris cult.

9. Upper Egypt Nome "Min emblem province", Panopolis/Akhmim (Ipu)

The city belonged to the devoted of god Min and lion goddess Repity, associated with Aperetiset (former Min's partner). Min and Repit created a local triad together with their child Kolanth. The greek name of city Panopolis is an honour to god Pan, who was identified with Min in Greece.

10. Upper Egypt Nome - "Cobra province", Afroditopolis (Cebu)

The main deity of 10. province capital city was Isis, Who the Greeks identified with their Aphrodite.

11. Upper Egypt Nome - "Greyhound province", Hypselis/Shashotep (Shutb)

This is the smallest Upper Egypt Nome. There was god Khnum worshipped, early the ram god with long corkscrew horns growing horizontally outwards from his headhorns, later with horns curving inward towards him (so-called Amun's horns).

12. Upper Egypt Nome - "Snakes province", Antaeopolis (Pi-Anti)

The capital city of 12. province was adjacented tightly to a cliff near Nile. There was lion goddess Maahes worshipped, who was replaced by falcon god Nemtej. The Greeks identified this local deity with their giant Antaios (from this the name of the city), famous for his power.


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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