The Serpent God Amun Re



Amun- Re  (Amen, Amon) - The Pyramid Text from the  Old Kingdom (5th Dynasty, Unas - line 558) show him to be a primeval deity and a symbol of creative force.
Most of his prestige came after replacing the war god Montu  when he became the  principle god of Thebes during Egypt's New Kingdom. By the 25th Dynasty, Amun-
Re was " King of the Gods", chief god of the Nubian Kingdom of Napata and by the Ptolemic, or Greek period, he was regarded as the Egyptian equivalent of Zeus.
Amun-Re grew so important spiritually and politically, the other gods became mere symbols of his power, or manifestations of Amun-Re. In essence, he became the
one and only supreme deity.

He was one of the eight Heh gods of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis, where his original consort was Amaunet (Ament). His worship may have originated at Hermopolis, but
another possibility was that he functioned early on as a less prominent god at Thebes, where he eventually flourished. The Nubians, however, believed that he
originated at Gebel Barkal, located in the modern north of the Sudan.

With  the expulsion of the Hyksos rulers of Egypt  (middle of the 16th Dynasty) , Amun's growth was accelerated due to the vindication of both Egyptian power and
Amun-Re as a protector of both the Egyptian state and the Monarchy.  At that time, temples were built and dedicated to Amun throughout Egypt, including the Luxor
Temple and the Great Temple at Karnak. His importance during this and later periods is evidenced by the grander and extravagance of these temples. They were
enlarged and enriched over the centuries by rulers of Egypt who were eager to express their devotion to Amun-Re.

The Thebes Triad - Origination of the Trinity  -

In fact, his growth to that of a national god mirrored the growth of Thebes in importance. This growth was accelerated when Amenemhet I took control of the thrown at
Thebes, and founded the 12th Dynasty. However, the apex of his worship probably occurred during the New Kingdom onward at Thebes, where the important Opet
festival was dedicated to Amun. During the Opet Festival, the statue of Amun was conveyed by boat from the temple of Karnak to Luxor in order to celebrate Amun's
marriage to Mut in his aspect of Ka-mut-ef (literally, "bull of his mother"). In this capacity, Amun was recognized for his procreative function. Together, Amun and Mut
conceived their son, Khonsu, a moon god, to create of the Thebes Triad.

The sacred animal of Amun was originally the Goose, and like Geb, he was sometimes known as the "Great Cackler". Later, Amun was more closely associated with
the Ram, a symbol of fertility. At various times he also appears as a man with the head of a frog, the head of a uraeus, the head of a crocodile, or as an ape.
However, when depicted as a king, he wears the crown of two plumes, a symbol borrowed from Min, and often sits on a throne. In this form, he is one of nine deities
who compose the company of gods of Amen-Ra. In the Greek period (and somewhat earlier, in order to ascribe many attributes to Amun-Re, he was sometimes
depicted in bronze with the bearded head of a man, the body of a beetle with the wings of a hawk, the legs of a man and the toes and claws of a lion. He was further
provided with four hands and arms and four wings.

The worship surrounding Amun, and later, Amun-Re represented one of ancient Egypt's most complex theologies. In his most mature form, Amun-Re became a
hidden, secret god. In fact, his name (Imn), or at least the name by which the ancient Egyptians called him, means "the hidden one" or "the secret one" (though there
has been speculation that his name is derived from the Libyan word for water, aman. However, modern context seems to negate this possibility). In reality, however,
and according to mythology, both his name and physical appearance were unknown, thus indicating his unknowable essence.

Stated differently, Amun was unknown because he represented absolute holiness, and in this regard, he was different then any other Egyptian deity. So holy was he
that he remained  independent of the created universe. He was associated with the air as an invisible force, which facilitated his growth as a supreme deity. He was
the Egyptian creator deity par excellence, and according to Egyptian myth, was self-created. It was believed that he could regenerate himself by becoming a snake
and shedding his skin
. At the same time, he remained apart from creation, totally different from it, and fully independent from it.

However, while hidden, the addition to his name of "Re" revealed the god to humanity. Re was the common Egyptian term for the sun, thus making him visible. Hence,
the name Amun-Re combined within himself the two opposites of divinity, the hidden and the revealed. As Amun, he was secret, hidden and mysterious, but as Re,
he was visible and revealed. In some respects, this even relates to his association with Ma'at, the Egyptian concept of order and balance, and reflects back upon the
ancient Egyptian's concepts of duality.

The secret, or hidden attribute of Amun enabled him to be easily synchronized and associated with other deities. At Thebes, Amun was first identified with Montu, but
soon replaced him as the city's protector. His association with Re grew in importance when Amenemhet I moved the capital of Egypt to Itjtawy at the apex of the Nile
Delta, where the relationship was probably expedient both theologically and politically. However, this association with Re actually grew as Thebes itself gained
importance. Soon, Amun was identified with other gods as well, taking on the names (among others) Amun-Re-Atum, Amun-Re-Montu, Amun-Re-Horakhty and Min-
Amun. However, it should be noted that with all of this synchronization, Amun was not absorbed to create a a new god. Instead, there was a unity of divine power with
these other gods.

Amun-Re was associated with the Egyptian monarchy, and theoretically, rather than threatening the pharaoh's power, the throne was supported by Amun-Re. The
ancient theology made Amun-Re the physical father of the king. Hence, the Pharaoh and Amun-Re enjoyed a symbiotic relationship, with the king deriving power
from Amun-Re. In return, the king supported the temples and the worship of Amun. In theory, Amun-Re could even take the form of the king in order to impregnate
the chief royal wife with the successor to the throne (first documented during the reign of Hatshepsut during the New Kingdom). Furthermore, according to official
state theology during the New Kingdom, Egypt was actually ruled by Amun-Re through the pharaohs, with the god revealing his will through oracles.

In reality, the god did in fact threaten the monarchy, for the cult of Amun-Re became so powerful that its priesthood grew very large and influential, and at one point,
priests of the deity actually came to rule Egypt (during the 21st Dynasty). At other times, Amun-Re created difficulties for the king, such as in the case of Akhenaten,
who sought to change the basic structure of Egyptian religion. In this instance, Amun-Re eventually proved more powerful then the king, for though Akhenaten
desperately tried to change the nature of Egyptian religion, for such efforts he himself became the scorn of later pharaohs. After Akhenaten's reign, Egyptian religion
almost immediately reverted back to its prior form and to the worship of Amun-Re.

References:
http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/amun-re.htm

Title Author Date Publisher Reference Number
Ancient Gods Speak, The: A Guide to Egyptian Religion Redford, Donald B. 2002 Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-515401-0
Atlas of Ancient Egypt Baines, John; Malek, Jaromir 1980 Les Livres De France None Stated
Egyptian Religion Morenz, Siegfried 1973 Cornell University Press ISBN 0-8014-8029-9
Gods of the Egyptians, The (Studies in Egyptian Mythology) Budge, E. A. Wallis 1969 Dover Publications, Inc. ISBN 486-22056-7
History of Ancient Egypt, A Grimal, Nicolas 1988 Blackwell None Stated
Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, The Shaw, Ian 2000 Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-815034-2
Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, The McManners, John 1992 Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-285259-0
Valley of the Kings Weeks, Kent R. 2001 Friedman/Fairfax ISBN 1-5866-3295-7

DID YOU KNOW ....

  • The mummy of the wife of King Tutankhamen has auburn hair.

  • A mummy with red hair, red mustache and red beard was found
  by the pyramids at Saqqara.

  • Red-haired mummies were found in the crocodile-caverns of Aboufaida.

  • The book HISTORY OF EGYPTIAN MUMMIES mentions a mummy with reddish-brown hair.

  • The mummies of Rameses II  and Prince Yuaa  have fine silky yellow hair.

  • The mummy of another pharaoh, Thothmes II, has light chestnut-colored hair.

  • An article in a leading British anthropological journal states that many mummies have dark reddish-brownhair.  Professor Vacher De Lapouge described a
    blond mummy found at Al Amrah, which he says has the face and skull measurements of a typical Gaul or Saxon.

  • A blond mummy was found at Kawamil along with many chestnut-colored ones.

  • Chestnut-haired mummies have been found at Silsileh.

  • The mummy of Queen Tiy has "wavy brown hair."

  • Unfortunately, only the mummies of a very few pharaohs have survived to the 20th century, but a large proportion of these are blond.

  • The Egyptians have left us many paintings and statues of blondes and redheads. Amenhotep III's tomb painting shows him as having light red hair.  Also, his
    features are quite caucasian

  • A farm scene from around 2000 B.C. in the tomb of the nobleman Meketre shows redheads.

  • An Egyptian scribe named Kay at Sakkarah around 2500 B.C. has blue eyes.

  • The tomb of Menna (18th Dynasty) at West Thebes shows blond girls.
  • The god Horus is usually depicted as white. He is very white in the Papyrus Book of the Dead of Lady Cheritwebeshet (21st Dynasty), found in the Egyptian
    Museum in Cairo.

  • A very striking painting of a yellow-haired man hunting from a chariot can be found in the tomb of Userhet, Royal Scribe of Amenophis II.  The yellow-haired
    man is Userhet. The same tomb has paintings of blond soldiers. The tomb of Menna also has a wall painting showing a blond man supervising two dark-haired
    workers scooping grain.


  • The Funerary stele (inscribed stone slab)of Priest Remi clearly shows him as having red hair,

  • The eye of Horus, the so-called Wedjat Eye. is always blue.

  • A very attractive painting is found on the wall of a private tomb in West Thebes from the 18th Dynasty. The two deceased parents are white people with black
    hair. Mourning them are two pretty fair-skinned girls with light blond hair and their red-haired older brother.


  • Queen Thi is painted as having a rosy complexion, blue eyes and blond hair.  She was co-ruler with her husband Amenhotep III and it has been said of their
    rule. "The reign of Amenhotep III was the culminating point in Egyptian history, for never again, in spite of the exalted effort of the Ramessides, did Egypt
    occupy so exalted a place among the nations of the world as she had in his time."

  • Amenhotep III looks northern European in his statues.

  • Paintings of people with red hair and blue eyes were found at the tomb of Bagt in Beni Hassan. Many other tombs at Beni Hassan have paintings of individuals
    with blond and red hair as well as blue eyes.

  • Paintings of blonds and redheads have been found among the tombs at Thebes.

  • Blond hair and blue eyes were painted at the tomb of Pharaoh Menphtah in the valley of the Kings.

  • Paintings from the Third Dynasty show native Egyptians with red hair and blue eyes. They are shepherds, workers and bricklayers.

  • A blond woman was painted at the tomb of Djeser-ka-ra-seneb in Thebes.

  • A model of a ship from about 2500 B.C. is manned by five blond sailors.

  • The god Nuit was painted as white and blond.

  • A painting at the tomb of Meresankh III at Giza, from about 2485 B.C., shows white skin and red hair.

  • Two statues from about 2570 B.C., found in the tombs at Medum, show Prince Rahotep and his wife Nofret. He has light green stones for eyes. She has violet-
    blue stones.

  • A painting from Iteti's tomb at Saqqara shows a very Nordic-looking man with blond hair.

  • Grafton Smith mentions the distinctly red hair of the 18th Dynasty mummy Henutmehet.

  • Harvard Professor Carleton Coon, in his book THE RACES OF EUROPE, tells us that "many of the officials, courtiers, and priests, representing the upper class
    of Egyptian society but not the royalty, looked strikingly like modern Europeans, especially long-headed ones." (Note: Nordics are long-headed.)  Long-headed
    Europeans are most common in Britain, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and northern Germany.

  • Time-Life books put out a volume called RAMESES II THE GREAT. It has a good picture of the blond mummy of Rameses II. Another picture can be found in
    the book X-RAYING THE PHARAOHS, especially the picture on the jacket cover. It shows his yellow hair.


  • A book called CHRONICLE OF THE PHARAOHS was recently published showing paintings, sculptures and mummies of 189 pharaohs and leading
    personalities of Ancient Egypt. Of these, 102 appear European, 13 look Black, and the rest are hard to classify. All nine mummies look like our Europeans.


  • The very first pharaoh, Narmer, also known as Menes, looks very Caucasion

  • The same can be said for Khufu's cousin  Hemon, who designed the Great Pyramid of Giza, with help from Imhotep. A computer-generated reconstruction of
    the face of the Sphinx shows a European-looking face. It was once painted sunburned red.  The Egyptians often painted
upper class men as red and upper class women as white; this is because the men became sun-burned or tanned while
outside under the burning Egyptian sun. The women, however, usually stayed inside.

  • In 1902, E. A. Wallis Budge, the renowned Egyptologist, described the pre-dynastic Egyptians thus:

  • "The predynastic Egyptians, that is to say, that stratum of them which was indigenous to North Africa, belonged to a white or light-skinned race with fair hair,
    who in many particulars resembled the Libyans, who in later historical times lived very near the western bank of the Nile." [E. A. W. Budge, Egypt in the
    Neolithic and Archaic Periods (London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Trübner, 1902), p. 49.]

  • Later, in the same book, Budge referred to a pre-dynastic statuette that: "has eyes inlaid with lapis-lazuli, by which we are probably intended to understand
    that the woman here represented had blue eyes." [Ibid., p. 51.]

  • In 1925, the Oxford don L. H. Dudley Buxton, wrote the following concerning ancient Egyptian crania:

  • "Among the ancient crania from the Thebaid in the collection in the Department of Human Anatomy in Oxford, there are specimens which must unhesitatingly
    be considered to be those of Nordic type. [L. H. D. Buxton, The Peoples of Asia (London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Trübner, 1925), p. 50.]

  • The Scottish physical anthropologist Robert Gayre has written, that in his considered opinion:

  • "Ancient Egypt, for instance, was essentially a penetration of Caucasoid racial elements into Africa . . . This civilisation grew out of the settlement of
    Mediterraneans, Armenoids, even Nordics, and Atlantics in North Africa . . ." [R. Gayre of Gayre, Miscellaneous Racial Studies, 1943-1972 (Edinburgh:
    Armorial, 1972), p. 85.]

  • When English archaeologist Howard Carter excavated the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922, he discovered in the Treasury a small wooden sarcophagus. Within it
    lay a memento of Tutankhamen's beloved grandmother, Queen Tiye: "a curl of her auburn hair." [C. Desroches-Noblecourt, Tutankhamen: Life and Death of a
    Pharaoh (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1972), p. 65.]  (See mummy picture)

  • Queen Tiye (18th Dynasty), was the daughter of Thuya, a Priestess of the God Amun. Thuya's mummy, which was found in 1905, has long, red-blonde hair.
    Examinations of Tiye's mummy proved that she bore a striking resemblance to her mother. [B. Adams, Egyptian Mummies (Aylesbury: Shire Publications,
    1988), p. 39.]  (See mummy picture)

  • A painting of the mother of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (18th Dynasty), reveals that she had blonde hair, blue eyes and a rosy complexion. [W. Sieglin, Die
    blonden Haare der indogermanischen Völker des Altertums (Munich: J. F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1935), p. 132.]

  • Princess Ranofri, a daughter of Pharaoh Tuthmosis III (18th Dynasty), is depicted as a blonde in a wall painting that was recorded in the 19th century, by the
    Italian Egyptologist Ippolito Rosellini. [Ibid., p. 132.]

  • In 1929 archaeologists discovered the mummy of fifty year-old Queen Meryet-Amun (another daughter of Tuthmosis III); the mummy has wavy, light-brown hair.
    [R. B. Partridge, Faces of Pharaohs (London: Rubicon Press, 1994), p. 91.]

  • American Egyptologist Donald P. Ryan excavated tomb KV 60, in the Valley of the Kings, during the course of 1989. Inside, he found the mummy of a royal
    female, which he believes to be the long-lost remains of the great Queen Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty). Ryan describes the mummy as follows:

  • "The mummy was mostly unwrapped and on its back. Strands of reddish-blond hair lay on the floor beneath the bald head." [Ibid., p. 87.]

  • Manetho, a Graeco-Egyptian priest who flourished in the 3rd century BC, wrote in his Egyptian History, that the last ruler of the 6th Dynasty was a woman by
    the name of Queen Nitocris. He has this to say about her:

  • "There was a queen Nitocris, braver than all the men of her time, the most beautiful of all the women, blonde-haired with rosy cheeks. By her, it is said, the
    third pyramid was reared, with the aspect of a mountain." [W. G. Waddell, Manetho (London: William Heinemann, 1980), p. 57.]

  • According to the Graeco-Roman authors Pliny the Elder, Strabo and Diodorus Siculus, the Third Pyramid was built by a woman named Rhodopis. When
    translated from the original Greek, her name means "rosy-cheeked". [G. A. Wainwright, The Sky-Religion in Egypt (Cambridge: University Press, 1938), p. 42.]

  • We may also note that a tomb painting recorded by the German Egyptologist C. R. Lepsius in the 1840s, depicts a blonde woman by the name of Hetepheres
    (circa 5th Dynasty). The German scholar Alexander Scharff, observed that she was described as being a Priestess of the Goddess Neith, a deity who was
    sacred to the blond-haired Libyans of the Delta region. He goes on to state that her name is precisely the same as that of Queen Hetepheres II, who is also
    shown as fair-haired, in a painting on the wall of Queen Meresankh III's tomb. He deduced from all of this, that the two women may well have been related, and
    he suggested that Egypt during the Age of the Pyramids, was dominated by an elite of blonde women. [A. Scharff, "Ein Beitrag zur Chronologie der 4. Ã
    ¤gyptischen Dynastie." Orientalistische Literaturzeitung XXXI (1928) pp. 73-81.]

  • The twentieth prayer of the 141st chapter of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, is dedicated "to the Goddess greatly beloved, with red hair." [E. A. W.
    Budge, The Book of the Dead (London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Trübner, 1901), p. 430.] In the tomb of Pharaoh Merenptah (19th Dynasty), there are
    depictions of red-haired goddesses. [N. Reeves & R. H. Wilkinson, The Complete Valley of the Kings (London: Thames & Hudson, 1997), p. 149.]

  • In the Book of the Dead, the eyes of the god Horus are described as "shining," or "brilliant," whilst another passage refers more explicitly to "Horus of the blue
    eyes". [Budge, op. cit., pp. 421 & 602.] The rubric to the 140th chapter of said book, states that the amulet known as the "Eye of Horus," (used to ward-off the
    "Evil Eye"), must always be made from lapis-lazuli, a mineral which is blue in colour. [Ibid., p. 427.] It should be noted that the Goddess Wadjet, who symbolised
    the Divine Eye of Horus, was represented by a snake (a hooded cobra to be precise), and her name, when translated from the original Egyptian, means "blue-
    green". [A. F. Alford, The Phoenix Solution (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1998), pp. 266-268.] Interestingly, the ancient Scandanavians claimed that anyone
    who was blue-eyed (and therefore possessed the power of the Evil Eye), had "a snake in the eye," and blue eyes were frequently compared to the eyes of a
    serpent. [F. B. Gummere, Germanic Origins (London: David Nutt, 1892), pp. 58, 62.]

  • In the ancient Pyramid Texts, the Gods are said to have blue and green eyes. [Alford, op. cit., p. 232.] The Graeco-Roman author Diodorus Siculus (I, 12),
    says that the Egyptians thought the goddess Neith had blue eyes. [C. H. Oldfather, Diodorus of Sicily (London: William Heinemann, 1968), p. 45.]

  • A text from the mammisi of Isis at Denderah, declares that the goddess was given birth to in the form of a "ruddy woman". [J. G. Griffiths, De Iside et Osiride
    (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1970), p. 451.] Finally, the Greek author Plutarch, in the 22nd chapter of his De Iside et Osiride, states that the Egyptians
    thought Horus to be fair-skinned, and the god Seth to be of a ruddy complexion. [Ibid., p. 151.]


CONTINUE TO NEXT PAGE
Red Haired Mummies
Amun Re

Exploring the Unknown   with
Brad and Mary Sutherland
Brad and Mary Sutherland
248 Carver Street
Winslow, Illinois 61089
815 367 1006
Allow me to Introduce Myself ....
Click Here
Amun Re  - Equivalent to Zeus

Regenerated himself by becoming a snake and shedding
his skin.
Get Your Book Autographed by Mary Sutherland by ordering directly off my website !  
CLICK HERE

Help Support Mary
Sutherland's Work
by sending a  
Donation.  
Thank You.