Sacred Animals in Ancient Egypt: The History of the Egyptians’ Different Concepts of Animal Divinities Sacred Animals in Ancient Egypt: The History of the Egyptians’ Different Concepts of Animal Divinities

Sacred Animals in Ancient Egypt: The History of the Egyptians’ Different Concepts of Animal Divinities

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Publisher Description

To the ancient Egyptians, the gods and goddesses were all around them and could be seen daily in nature. Nearly every animal found in ancient Egypt, both domestic and wild, were associated with a god or goddess, which can be seen in Egyptian art where deities are often depicted with human bodies and animal heads. Or sometimes the deities are portrayed as complete animals. Since deities were associated with certain animals, all animals of a specific species were given divine and protected status. The reverence that ancient Egyptians had for certain animals evolved during the long duration of Pharaonic history until by the Late Period animals of specific species were mummified by the thousands as offerings for their associated deities. For instance, ibises were mummified for the god Thoth, while cats were mummified for the goddess Bastet. Modern archaeologists have uncovered most of the Late Period animal mummies in the region near the modern village of Saqqara, which has become known as the “Sacred Animal Necropolis.”

Although most of the animal mummies discovered in the Sacred Animal Necropolis of Saqqara are the thousands of nameless ibises, falcons, crocodiles, and cats, the region was also home to another, more important animal cult. The Serapeum, which housed the mummified remains of the dead Apis bulls, was a much grander burial location than the other sacred animals enjoyed in Saqqara and for good reason – the Apis cult was much more important and enduring than the Late Period animal cults. The Apis cult began early in Egyptian history and gradually rose to prominence until, like the other animal cults, it became the object of popular veneration for all Egyptians. Despite gaining popularity with Egyptians of the lower classes, the Apis cult was also patronized by all of Egypt’s kings, which included foreign kings who wanted to legitimize their rule in the eyes of the Egyptian people.

GENRE
History
NARRATOR
DH
Daniel Houle
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
02:17
hr min
RELEASED
2021
1 July
PUBLISHER
Charles River Editors
SIZE
118.9
MB