ikhet_sekhmet: (ankh-mi-re)
  • J. Gwyn Griffiths. [review of] Elkab I. Les monuments religieux a I'entrie de l'ouady Hellal by Phillipe Derchain. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 59 (Aug., 1973), pp. 257-259. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3856146

    "In this region the desert landscape confronts huge formations of rock, and Derchain believes that a ritual attested in reliefs and inscriptions is that of welcome to the goddess who returns from Nubia in the manner of Hathor-Tefnut. Thus the central scene in the Ramesside chapel (pl. 33), fragmentary though it is, shows an object (now missing) being offered to Re-Harakhty; it is being presented by Nekhbet, who is followed by Onuris and Thoth. Derchain... argues that the missing object is a wedjat-eye... he suggests also that the scene is unique in representing the return of the 'distant goddess' who is here embodied in Nekhbet." Griffiths agrees that the object is a wedjat-eye, but thinks it, and not Nekhbet, represents the stray Eye of Re.

    "Derchain's notes are always instructive, and among the points of mythological interest are the assimilation of Nephthys and Tefnut (p. 38), an association of Nephthys and Thoth (p. 41), the designation of Cleopatra III as 'strong bull, female Horus' (p. 49) [...] On p. 63 Derchain seems intrigued by a mention of Sothis in a context where Nesert, the uraeus, is identified with Bastet. There is a good deal of evidence for an association of Sothis and Bastet and the eye of Re".

    [See the first comment about that "association between Nephthys and Thoth".]

  • Cauville, Sylvie. Le panthéon d'Edfou à Dendera. BIFAO 88 (1988), p. 7-23

    This includes an illustration of a snake-headed Nephthys and a lion-headed Isis, winged and brandishing ostrich feathers. The inscription calls her "Isis who protects her son with her wings".

    Wish I could get a higher-quality picture than this:

    leontocephale isis

  • Kákosy, László and Ahmed M. Moussa. A Horus Stela with Meret Goddesses. Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur, Bd. 25 (1998), pp. 143-159. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25152758

    This is about a stela from Thebes, from the first half of the first millennium BCE, held in the Museum of Seized Antiquities in Cairo. Unusually, even though it's got Horus on the crocodiles, it's got a prayer to Amun, traditional enemy of crocs, with some great lines: "Amun is the triumph. The name of Amun is more powerful than millions. More forceful is Amun-Re(?) than every amulet and your own eye." But of course what attracted my attention was this part of the spell: "Your mouths are sealed by Re, your gullets are blocked by Sakhmet. A voice of lamentation (is heard) from the temple of Neith, a loud wailing from the mouth of the Cat. The gods (say): 'what is it, what is it' ... Re, did you not hear the loud sound in the night on that bank of Nedit and the long silence among all the gods and all the goddesses... There is a voice of lamentation in the temple of Neith, a wailing, a wailing (in) the mouth of the Cat because of those (things) which Mag has committed." Mag or Mega is a crocodile, the son of Seth, often the target of spells like this. But who is the Cat?

    ETA: Links!

    I'm reverse-engineering Mesopotamian hit songs

    Maya Blue Paint Recipe Deciphered

    Scholars Race to Recover a Lost Kingdom on the Nile (Kush; June 19, 2007)

    6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered (Trypillian culture)

    Ancient 'Egyptian blue' pigment points to new telecommunications, security ink technology

    Unmasking the gods (28 February 2002; "the remains of a ritual costume worn by an Egyptian priest some 2,500 years ago")

    Tattoos: The Ancient and Mysterious History

    Massive 5,000-Year-Old Stone Monument Revealed in Israel

    Mysterious 'Spellbook' From Ancient Egypt Decoded

  • ikhet_sekhmet: (lioness)
    A footnote in Mistress of the House, Mistress of Heaven gives a list of "almost forty [Egyptian] goddesses with leonine associations". Using the footnote's spelling, they are:

    Matit ("The Dismemberer")
    Mehit ("The Seizer")
    Pakhet ("The Mangler")
    the lioness of Athribis

    Blimey, I've never even heard of some of those! What a find! Hmm, I count 34, and I think some of those might be the same goddess with different names. OTOH, there's one missing - Henut-Mestjet or Mestjet (known from just one stela). ETA: And another - the goddess Ai!

    ("Leonine associations" is a bit vague. Many of these goddesses are routinely represented as a lioness-headed woman - but what's the connection for the others?)

    I'll add more stuff to this posting as I go along:
    • Djedet is "a protective goddess" in The Book of Traversing Eternity, although not in a liony way.

    • Geraldine Pinch notes that "Hathor, Lady of Mefkat... appears in lioness-headed form on a stela from Serabit el-Khadim."

    • Another addition: Seret is attested by an inscription on a 5th Dynasty statue. (Note to self: Le Role et le Sens p 386; Reallexikon der Religionsgeschichte p 199, Fisher 200.932 2 )

    • Here's Matit in the Lexikon. She was worshipped alongside the falcon deity Anty at Deir el Gebrawi in the Twelfth Nome of Upper Egypt. Here she is in Constant de Wit's Le Role Et Le Sens Du Lion Dans Legypte Ancienne. She had a male counterpart, the god Mati.

    • Wepset appears in the Coffin Texts (CT I, 376/7a-380/1a), in which fire is given "several different names, including Wepset and w3w3.t-flame." (Willems 1996.) She is the Eye of the Sun and the Distant Goddess ("Wawat" is Lower Nubia). "Shu is regularly identified with Onuris" and in this spell Shu is said to "extinguish the flame, to cool Wepset and extinguish the w3w3.t-flame which dispels the mourning of the gods." Willems also notes that a female w3w3.t-flame, personifying "the burning poison in a person's body" is cooled "in a magical text on the Socle Béhague (h25-26)". (p 317)

    • Seems like a reasonable place to throw in these snippets from The Life of Meresamun: "The multiple flexible strands of the menat are represented as a broad collar with falcon terminals around the neck of a female deity, most commonly Hathor but sometimes also Isis or the feline-form goddesses Tefnut, Sekhmet, Menhit, and Bastet." (p 37) "Among deities, Hathor, Mut, Sekhmet, and Tefnut are shown wearing them and, for unknown reasons, the menat was the characteristic emblem of the male god Khonsu." (p 39) Mistress of the House, Mistress of Heaven notes that lioness-headed goddesses "are known in relief as early as the Old Kingdom and in three dimensions from the New Kingdom." (p 138)

    • A statue of Prince Hetep-Seshat and his missus lists amongst his titles "prophet of Khentichemi [Khenti-kheti?], prophet of Banebdjedet, prophet of Horus and Seth... prophet of Bastet, prophet of Shesemtet." He was a busy lad.

    • Aperet-Isis formed a triad at Akhmim with Min and Kolanthes. (ETA: Aha! Henadology reports that Arepet-Isis is actually an epithet of Repyt.)

    • Isis was depicted with a lioness head on Sidonian amulets.

    Capel, Anne K. and Glenn E. Markoe. Mistress of the House, Mistress of Heaven: women in ancient Egypt. New York, Hudson Hills Press in association with Cincinnati Art Museum, 1996.

    Pinch, Geraldine. Votive Offerings to Hathor. Oxford, Griffith Institute, 1993.

    Teeter, Emily and Janet H. Johnson (eds). The Life of Meresamun : a temple singer in ancient Egypt. Chicago, Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2009.

    Willems, Harco. The Coffin of Heqata (Cairo JdE 36418) (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 70). Peeters Publishers and Department of Oriental Studies, Leuven, Belgium, 1996.
    ikhet_sekhmet: (Default)
    Jotting some quick notes from different papers in this collection:

    • "there are no reliable records of Mut before the Second Intermediate Period" (p 25)
    • Of a vulture statue inscribed to Amenemhat III, "beloved of Sekhmet, lady of Ankhtaui": "The syncretism of Nekhbet and Sekhmet is well known" ("eg they may be interchangeable in the Coffin Texts") (p 26)
    • "On a jamb fragment from Coptos, Senusret I is depicted as receiving life from Bastet and Nekhbet" (p 27) And here's a picture (from Petrie's Koptos, 1896)
    • "There is no evidence that Mut was originally depicted as a vulture, unlike the archetypal vulture goddess Nekhbet... Only after the New Kingdom was Mut sometimes depicted as a vulture." Before then, she was only shown as a woman, a lioness, or a lioness-headed woman. (p 242)
    • In Egyptian art the vulture can be shown as protector or carrion-eater, an ambiguity which parallels that of the uraeus, so that the Two Ladies "also form another contradictory duality". (p 243)
    • But, like fellow scavenger the jackal, for the Egyptians the vulture "usually has a positive meaning" and "the greatest care was taken not to link the vulture (mwt) with death, or allocate to her a role as consumer of the dead ('m mtw)." (p 243)
    • The Greeks, for whom the vulture was icky, substituted the eagle in the Septuagint (eg Deut 32:11.)
    • (Contrast Inanna, who eats corpses on the battlefield like a dog, sez I!)
    • The Egyptian association between the vulture, femininity, and motherhood (eg the vulture headdress worn by queens, goddesses, and eventually any deceased woman) may explain Greek myths that there were no male vultures, and the females were impregnated by the wind. (p 244)
    • A fragment, probably from Karnak, shows Ptolemy XII worshipping Mut, called "Raet in the circuit of the sun disc" (as at Hibis) and "hand of the god". (p 137)
    • Perhaps Sekhmet and Mut became associated through "the traditional parallelism of Lower and Upper Egypt, the creator god Ptah and his consort Sekhmet" at Memphis and "the creator god Amun and his consort Mut" at Thebes. (p 223)
    D'Auria, Sue H. (ed) Servant of Mut: studies in honor of Richard A. Fazzini. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2008.


    May. 29th, 2010 10:14 pm
    ikhet_sekhmet: (ankh-mi-re)
    Well! Now it's time to do the same thing for Sekhmet. I'll go through my photocopies and downloads, make notes from them, and update this posting as I go; eventually I'll turn it all into a brief summary.

    This way to the notes )
    Capel, Anne K. and Glenn E. Markoe (eds). Mistress of the House, Mistress of Heaven: Women in Ancient Egypt. New York, Hudson Hills Press in association with Cincinnati Art Museum, 1996.
    Ciccarello, Mark. "Shesmu the Letopolite." in Mark Ciccarello, Mark, et al (eds). Studies in Honor of George R. Hughes. Chicago, Oriental Institute, 1976.
    Ghalioungui, Paul. The Physicians of Pharaonic Egypt (Sonderschrift (Deutsches Archaeologisches Institut. Abteilung Kairo) 10). Cairo, Al-Ahram Center for Scientific Translations; Springfield, Va, Available from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, National Technical Information Service, 1983.
    Kozloff, Arielle P., et al. Egypt's dazzling sun: Amenhotep III and his world. Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art in cooperation with Indiana University Press, 1992.
    Lichtheim, Miriam. Ancient Egyptian Literature. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1973-80.
    Lythgoe, Albert M. Statues of the Goddess Sekhmet. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 14(10) Part 2, Oct 1919, pp 3-23
    Paul McKechnie, Paul and Philippe Guillaume (eds). Ptolemy II Philadelphus and his world. Leiden : Brill, 2008.
    Meeks, Dimitri and Christine Favard-Meeks. Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods. London, John Murray, 1997.
    Mills, A.J. Two Sekhmet Statues at Trewithen in Cornwall. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 65, 1979, p 166.
    Pinch, Geraldine. Egyptian Mythology: a guide to the gods, goddesses, and traditions of ancient Egypt. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
    Traunecker, Claude. The Gods of Egypt. Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press, 2001.
    ikhet_sekhmet: (ankh-mi-re)
    So many photocopies and PDFs... I'm so much better at collecting them than I am at reading them, or posting about them. In this posting I want to gather together a whole lot of notes about the Egyptian goddess Bast or Bastet; when I've finished rummaging through all the research I've accumulated, I'll post again with a summary.

    This way to the cumulative note-taking... )And some links:

    Bastet, the cat - a report from excavations at Tel Basta, February 2009

    Aegis of Sekhmet or Bastet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

    ETA: lots of stuff in the Bastet tag in my Tumblr!

    Ambers, Janet et al. A new look at an old cat: a technical investigation of the Gayer-Anderson cat. British Museum Technical Research Bulletin 2 2008.
    Arnold, Dorothea. An Egyptian Bestiary. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series 52(4) spring, 1995), pp. 1+7-64.
    Cartwright, Harry W. The Iconography of Certain Egyptian Divinities as Illustrated by the Collections in Haskell Oriental Museum. The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures 45(3) April 1929 pp. 179-196.
    Review by Henry George Fischer of Tell Basta by Labib Habachi. American Journal of Archaeology 62(3) July 1958, pp. 330-333.
    Pinch, Geraldine. Egyptian Mythology: a guide to the gods, goddesses, and traditions of ancient Egypt. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
    Raffaele, Francesco. An unpublished Early Dynastic stone vessel fragment with incised inscription naming the goddess Bastet. Cahiers Caribéens d'Egyptologie , 7-8, 2005.
    Schorsch, Deborah and James H. Frantza. A Tale of Two Kitties. Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, winter 1997/1998, pp 16-29.
    Scott, Nora E. The Cat of Bastet. Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin ns 17(1) summer 1958, pp 1-7.
    Spalinger, Anthony J. "Social and Religious Implications of the New Military System". in War in Ancient Egypt: the New Kingdom. Malden, MA; Oxford, Blackwell, 2005.
    Te Velde, H. "The Cat as sacred animal of the goddess Mut." In M. Heerma van Voss et al (eds). Studies in Egyptian Religion. Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1982.
    - Some Remarks on the Structure of Egyptian Divine Triads. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 57, August 1971, pp 80-86.


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    Plaything of Sekhmet

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