Pictures

God Atum as a bowman

By Jacqueline Engel

The god Atum as a bowman.

(Thanks to Robert Steven Bianchi)

Atum is usually depicted as a man wearing either the royal head-cloth or the dual white and red crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, reinforcing his connection with kingship. Sometimes he is also shown as a serpent, the form he returns to at the end of the creative cycle, and also occasionally as a mongoose, lion, bull, lizard, or ape.

Atum is one of the most important and frequently mentioned deities from earliest times, as evidenced by his prominence in the Pyramid Texts, where he is portrayed as both a creator and father to the king. Several writings contradict how Atum was brought into existence. Some state Atum was created by himself by saying his name, while others argue he came out from a blue lotus flower or an egg.

Egyptian Museum Cairo

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