You will become familiar with some of the different deities of Ancient Egypt and the religious beliefs that Ancient Egyptians held pertaining to life and death. Purpose
It is not known why the Egyptians chose to associate some gods and goddesses with animals or why a certain animal species came to represent a specific deity. All of the animals that developed sacred associations were native to Egypt as some time during its history. Ancient legends led to the birth of many of the Egyptian gods and goddesses. Ancient Egyptians believed in and worshipped many gods. They believed that their gods had created and ruled the world. While each god served a particular need or purpose, some were more important than others.
Osiris According to Egyptian mythology Osiris was the king of Egypt who was killed by his jealous brother Seth. Seth cut up Osiris’ body and scattered the parts throughout Egypt. However, Osiris’ faithful wife, Isis gathered up the pieces and using her magical abilities, put them back together. Nevertheless, Osiris could never again live like the other gods, so instead, Osiris reigned as the lord of the underworld. Because the legend told of Osiris’ death and rebirth, the Egyptians honored him as the god of the dead. He is depicted as a mummy holding the crook and flail, the insignia associated with kings.
Isis is the faithful wife of Osiris Isis Horus Horus is the son of Osiris and Isis. According to legend, there was a battle between Horus and his uncle Seth for the throne of Egypt. Horus was also wanting to avenge his father’s murder. Horus eventually won and became the ruler of Egypt. However, during the battle, Seth tore out and broke Horus’ eye by smashing it on the ground. Another god, Thoth, picked up the eye and restored it. It is Horus’ eye that became a very powerful amulet known as the wedjet- eye and it is frequently seen in tombs or in jewelry.
Hathor Thoth Thoth is the restorer or the eye. He is generally depicted with the head of an ibis, which is a common Egyptian bird. He was the scribe of the gods and was also believed to have invented writing. He possessed wonderful magic and was also associated with the moon and time. Hathor was a major deity and was identified with beauty and music. She took several forms, all of which were related to a cow. Sometimes she was depicted with a cow’s head or just with the ears or horns of a cow. Many temples were built in her honor.
Anubis Sekhmet Sekhmet represented war, destruction, and pestilence. She was usually portrayed with the head of a lion on a woman’s body. She was also associated with the cat. Anubis had the head of a jackal, and came to be honored as the god of the necropolis. He also served as the god of embalming, and was in charge of preparing bodies for burial.
Works Cited Pictures: I found the clip art of the various Gods and Goddesses and other Egyptian symbols at www.neferchichi.com www.neferchichi.com I have permission to use these pictures. I downloaded them on 10/20/01. Information: Ancient World History Development Team. World History Program: Ancient Egypt and the Near East. Palo Alto, CA: Teacher’s Curriculum Institute, 1997. Armento, Beverly J., Gary B. Nash, Christopher L. Salter, and Karen K. Wixson. A Message of Ancient Days. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1991.
Your Job! Choose your favorite God or Goddess Requirements: Cover sheet (Picture of God) Report that tells about your God. What they represent and control? Any special symbols?