Mummy of the ram with gilded cartonage

By Jacqueline Engel

Mummy of the ram with gilded cartonage.

The ram mentioned to Khnum.

The principle god of the Triad of Elephantine.

Ptolemaie period


Nubian museum Aswan.

The Triad of Elephantine

Elephantine (Abu) was the ancient capital of the first nome of Upper Egypt.

It is a small island just north of the First Cataract of the Nile.

Khnemu was a ram-headed creator-god whose cult center was at the city of Elephantine.

Khnemu was said to have created all men and their kai from clay and straw.

He molded their bodies on a giant potter’s wheel.

In the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom, the pharaoh was called the “son of Khnemu.”

Inscriptions at Elephantine detail the visit to the shrine of Khnemu at Elephantine by Pharaoh Djoser.

He was there to request the god’s help in ending a seven year long famine which had plagued Egypt.

At the Great Temple of Luxor, Khnemu was shown sculpting the body and ka of the pharaoh.

The queen had conceived the king following intercourse with Amon and Hathor brought the sculptures to life by giving them the ankh.

Rounding out the triad of Elephantine was Khnemu’s consort, Satet and their daughter, Anqet.

Satet, as the “Mistress of Elephantine”, was associated with the annual flooding of the Nile.

Anqet was the divine child of Satet and Khnemu and was seen as the guardian of Egypt’s southern frontier and the Nile cataracts.

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