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HOME : Egyptian Antiquities : Masterpieces of Egyptian Art : Egyptian Faience Figure Of TheGod Khnum
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Egyptian Faience Figure Of TheGod Khnum - FA.1a
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 900 BC to 500 BC
Dimensions: 3" (7.6cm) high
Collection: Egyptian Antiquities
Style: Faience


Location: Great Britain
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Description
Khnum is an ancient Egyptian god who was the God of the Nile inundation from Elephantine where he guarded the first cataract. Khnum name also spelled as Chnum, Knum, or Khnemu and he is one of the oldest Egyptian gods. He is also known as Chnoumis in Greek and his name 'Khnum' means “builder”. Khnum was worshipped from the 1st dynasty (c. 2925–2775 bce) into the early centuries ce. He was represented as a ram with horizontal twisting horns or as a man with a ram's head. ... Khnum also had an important cult at Esna, south of Thebes. Rams, seen as a symbol of fertility, were identified with various gods, notably Khnum, a creator god, and Amun, the great god of the city of Thebes. Ram-headed sphinxes flank the entrance to the temple of Amun at Thebes. God of Water Since Khnum was originally seen as the god of water, it makes sense that we should start our study of him there. Other than traditional water you or I might think of, Khnum was also associated with the rivers and lakes of the underworld. Khnum was seen as the source of the Nile, the most powerful river in Egypt. In addition to providing water, the Nile served as a way to irrigate crops and transport goods. According to the legend of Khnum, he made sure there was enough black silt deposits along the banks of the Nile to make the land fertile. This same silt forms clay, which link Khnum to his next association—the potter god. God of Fertility Khnum was often depicted with human hands so that he could work his potter's wheel to create humans. Khnum was believed to have created humankind from clay. Not only did he craft their physical bodies out of clay, but he also created an individual's 'ka' (spirit) and could bless them with the gift of health. Ancient Egyptians believed he also created the gods that came after him on his potter's wheel. Additionally, they believe he created the 'First Egg,' which is what the sun came from. Because rams are very fertile, he was also associated with fertility. Deity of the Dead In the Book of the Dead, spells call on Khnum, and many Egyptians were buried with heart-scarabs with spells to Khnum. They did this looking for protection and favor in the afterlife. Khnum guided Ra (the sun god) on his journey through the underworld, created the boat they used, and defend him from the serpent that tried to attack. Egyptians believed that during the day, Ra road the boat across the sky—bringing light and warmth to the earth. Each night, when the sun set, he made a journey through the underworld. This journey was difficult, so Ra depended on Khnum and a few other gods to help him on this difficult journey. Because Khnum made sure that Ra made this dangerous journey safely, he was regarded as the protective deity of the dead. Worship During the Old Kingdom (2613-2181 BCE), Khnum was the most worshiped god. In fact, the pharaoh even took the name Khnum-Khufu, which means 'Khnum is his protector.' Later, his popularity was surpassed by Ra. - (FA.1a)

 

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