Heliopolis (ancient Egypt)
Heliopolis was a major city of ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian name of the city was Iunu, it was Heliopolite Nome of Lower Egypt and a major religious center. It is now located in a northeastern suburb of Cairo. Heliopolis was one of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt, it expanded under the Old and Middle Kingdoms but is today destroyed, its temples and other buildings having been scavenged for the construction of medieval Cairo. Most information about the ancient city comes from surviving records; the major surviving remnant of Heliopolis is the obelisk of the Temple of Ra-Atum erected by Senusret I of Dynasty XII. It still stands in its original position, now within Al-Masalla in Cairo; the 21 m high red granite obelisk weighs 120 tons. Heliopolis is the latinized form of the Greek name Hēlioúpolis, meaning "City of the Sun". Helios, the personified and deified form of the sun, was identified by the Greeks with the native Egyptian gods Ra and Atum, whose principal cult was located in the city.
Its native name was I͗wnw, whose exact pronunciation is uncertain because ancient Egyptian recorded only consonantal values. Its traditional Egyptological transcription is Iunu but it appears in biblical Hebrew as Ôn and Āwen, leading some scholars to reconstruct its pronunciation as *Āwanu. Variant transcriptions include Annu; the city appears in the Old Kingdom Pyramid Texts as the "House of Ra". In ancient Egypt, Heliopolis was a regional center from predynastic times, it was principally notable as the cult center of the sun god Atum, who came to be identified with Ra and Horus. The primary temple of the city was known as the Great House of Atum, its priests maintained that Atum or Ra was the first being, rising self-created from the primeval waters. A decline in the importance of Ra's cult during Dynasty V led to the development of the Ennead, a grouping of nine major Egyptian gods which placed the others in subordinate status to Ra–Atum; the high priests of Ra are not as well documented as those of other deities, although the high priests of Dynasty VI have been discovered and excavated.
During the Amarna Period of Dynasty XVIII, Pharaoh Akhenaten introduced a kind of henotheistic worship of Aten, the deified solar disc. As part of his construction projects, he built a Heliopolitan temple named "Elevating Aten", whose stones can still be seen in some of the gates of Cairo's medieval city wall; the cult of the Mnevis bull, another embodiment of the Sun, had its altar here as well. Their personal formal burial ground was situated north of the city; the store-city Pithom is mentioned once in the Hebrew Bible, according to one theory, this was Heliopolis. Alexander the Great, on his march from Pelusium to Memphis, halted at this city. Heliopolis flourished as a seat of learning during the Greek period. Ichonuphys was lecturing there in 308 BC, the Greek mathematician Eudoxus, one of his pupils, learned from him the true length of the year and month, upon which he formed his octaeterid, or period of 8 years or 99 months. Ptolemy II had Manetho, the chief priest of Heliopolis, collect his history of the ancient kings of Egypt from its archives.
The Ptolemies took little interest in their "father" Ra, Alexandria had eclipsed the learning of Heliopolis. By the 1st century BC, in fact, Strabo found the temples deserted, the town itself uninhabited, although priests were still present. Heliopolis was well known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, being noted by most major geographers of the period, including Ptolemy and others, down to the Byzantine geographer Stephanus of Byzantium. In Roman Egypt, Heliopolis belonged to the province Augustamnica, causing it to appear as Heliopolis in Augustamnica when it needed to be distinguished from Baalbek, its population contained a considerable Arabian element. Many of the city's obelisks were removed to adorn more northern cities of the Rome. Two of these became London's Cleopatra's Needle and its twin in New York's Central Park. During the Middle Ages, the growth of Fustat and Cairo only a few kilometres away caused its ruins to be massively scavenged for building materials, including for their city walls.
The site became known as the "Well of the Sun" and ʻArab al-Ḥiṣn. The importance of the solar cult at Heliopolis is reflected in both ancient pagan and current monotheistic beliefs. Egyptian and Greco-Roman mythology held that the bennu or phoenix brought the ashes of its predecessor to the altar of the sun god at Heliopolis each time it was reborn. In the Hebrew's scriptures, Heliopolis is referenced directly and obliquely in reference to its prominent pagan cult. In his prophesies against Egypt, Isaiah claimed the "City of the Sun" would be one of the five Egyptian cities to follow the Lord of Heaven's army and speak Hebrew. Jeremiah and Ezekiel mention the "House of the Sun" and Ôn, claiming
Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and become heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth, it provides suitable conditions for many types of ecosystems, as well as water for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation. The major cause of rain production is moisture moving along three-dimensional zones of temperature and moisture contrasts known as weather fronts. If enough moisture and upward motion is present, precipitation falls from convective clouds such as cumulonimbus which can organize into narrow rainbands. In mountainous areas, heavy precipitation is possible where upslope flow is maximized within windward sides of the terrain at elevation which forces moist air to condense and fall out as rainfall along the sides of mountains. On the leeward side of mountains, desert climates can exist due to the dry air caused by downslope flow which causes heating and drying of the air mass.
The movement of the monsoon trough, or intertropical convergence zone, brings rainy seasons to savannah climes. The urban heat island effect leads to increased rainfall, both in amounts and intensity, downwind of cities. Global warming is causing changes in the precipitation pattern globally, including wetter conditions across eastern North America and drier conditions in the tropics. Antarctica is the driest continent; the globally averaged annual precipitation over land is 715 mm, but over the whole Earth it is much higher at 990 mm. Climate classification systems such as the Köppen classification system use average annual rainfall to help differentiate between differing climate regimes. Rainfall is measured using rain gauges. Rainfall amounts can be estimated by weather radar. Rain is known or suspected on other planets, where it may be composed of methane, sulfuric acid, or iron rather than water. Air contains water vapor, the amount of water in a given mass of dry air, known as the mixing ratio, is measured in grams of water per kilogram of dry air.
The amount of moisture in air is commonly reported as relative humidity. How much water vapor a parcel of air can contain before it becomes saturated and forms into a cloud depends on its temperature. Warmer air can contain more water vapor than cooler air before becoming saturated. Therefore, one way to saturate a parcel of air is to cool it; the dew point is the temperature. There are four main mechanisms for cooling the air to its dew point: adiabatic cooling, conductive cooling, radiational cooling, evaporative cooling. Adiabatic cooling occurs when air expands; the air can rise due to convection, large-scale atmospheric motions, or a physical barrier such as a mountain. Conductive cooling occurs when the air comes into contact with a colder surface by being blown from one surface to another, for example from a liquid water surface to colder land. Radiational cooling occurs due to the emission of infrared radiation, either by the air or by the surface underneath. Evaporative cooling occurs when moisture is added to the air through evaporation, which forces the air temperature to cool to its wet-bulb temperature, or until it reaches saturation.
The main ways water vapor is added to the air are: wind convergence into areas of upward motion, precipitation or virga falling from above, daytime heating evaporating water from the surface of oceans, water bodies or wet land, transpiration from plants, cool or dry air moving over warmer water, lifting air over mountains. Water vapor begins to condense on condensation nuclei such as dust and salt in order to form clouds. Elevated portions of weather fronts force broad areas of upward motion within the Earth's atmosphere which form clouds decks such as altostratus or cirrostratus. Stratus is a stable cloud deck which tends to form when a cool, stable air mass is trapped underneath a warm air mass, it can form due to the lifting of advection fog during breezy conditions. Coalescence occurs. Air resistance causes the water droplets in a cloud to remain stationary; when air turbulence occurs, water droplets collide. As these larger water droplets descend, coalescence continues, so that drops become heavy enough to overcome air resistance and fall as rain.
Coalescence happens most in clouds above freezing, is known as the warm rain process. In clouds below freezing, when ice crystals gain enough mass they begin to fall; this requires more mass than coalescence when occurring between the crystal and neighboring water droplets. This process is temperature dependent, as supercooled water droplets only exist in a cloud, below freezing. In addition, because of the great temperature difference between cloud and ground level, these ice crystals may melt as they fall and become rain. Raindrops have sizes ranging from 0.1 to 9 mm mean diameter. Smaller drops are called cloud droplets, their shape is spherical; as a raindrop increases in size, its shape becomes more oblate, with its largest cross-section facing the oncoming airflow. Large rain drops become flattened on the bottom, like hamburger buns. Contrary to popular beli
The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers 240 km of Mediterranean coastline and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is 160 km in length; the Delta begins down-river from Cairo. The Nile Delta is an area of the world that lacks detailed ground truth data and monitoring stations. Despite the economic importance of the Nile Delta, it could be considered as one of the most data-poor regions with respect to sea level rise. From north to south, the delta is 160 km in length. From west to east, it covers some 240 km of coastline; the delta is sometimes divided into sections, with the Nile dividing into two main distributaries, the Damietta and the Rosetta, flowing into the Mediterranean at port cities with the same name. In the past, the delta had several distributaries, but these have been lost due to flood control and changing relief.
One such defunct distributary is Wadi Tumilat. The Suez Canal is east of the delta and enters the coastal Lake Manzala in the north-east of the delta. To the north-west are three other coastal lakes or lagoons: Lake Burullus, Lake Idku and Lake Mariout; the Nile is considered to be an "arcuate" delta, as it resembles a triangle or flower when seen from above. Some scholars such as Aristotle have written that the delta was constructed for agricultural purposes due to the drying of the region of Egypt. Although such an engineering feat would be considered equivalent to a wonder of the ancient world, there is insufficient evidence to determine conclusively whether the delta is man-made or was formed naturally. In modern day, the outer edges of the delta are eroding, some coastal lagoons have seen increasing salinity levels as their connection to the Mediterranean Sea increases. Since the delta no longer receives an annual supply of nutrients and sediments from upstream due to the construction of the Aswan Dam, the soils of the floodplains have become poorer, large amounts of fertilizers are now used.
Topsoil in the delta can be as much as 21 m in depth. People have lived in the Delta region for thousands of years, it has been intensively farmed for at least the last five thousand years; the Delta used to flood annually. Records from ancient times show that the delta had seven distributaries or branches,: the Pelusiac, the Tanitic, the Mendesian, the Phatnitic, the Sebennytic, the Bolbitine, the Canopic There are now only two main branches, due to flood control and changing relief: the Damietta to the east, the Rosetta in the western part of the Delta; the Rosetta Stone was found in the Nile Delta in 1799 in the port city of Rosetta. The delta was a major constituent of Lower Egypt. There are many archaeological sites around the Nile Delta. About 39 million people live in the Delta region. Outside of major cities, population density in the delta averages 1,000/km2 or more. Alexandria is the largest city in the delta with an estimated population of more than 4.5 million. Other large cities in the delta include Shubra El Kheima, Port Said, El Mahalla El Kubra, Mansura and Zagazig.
During autumn, parts of the Nile River are red with lotus flowers. The Lower Nile and the Upper Nile have plants; the Upper Nile plant is the Egyptian lotus, the Lower Nile plant is the Papyrus Sedge, although it is not nearly as plentiful as it once was, is becoming quite rare. Several hundred thousand water birds winter in the delta, including the world’s largest concentrations of little gulls and whiskered terns. Other birds making their homes in the delta include grey herons, Kentish plovers, cormorants and ibises. Other animals found in the delta include frogs, tortoises and the Nile monitor. Nile crocodiles and hippopotamus, two animals which were widespread in the delta during antiquity, are no longer found there. Fish found in the delta soles; the Delta has a hot desert climate as the rest of Egypt, but its northernmost part, as is the case with the rest of the northern coast of Egypt, the wettest region in the country, has moderate temperatures, with highs not surpassing 31 °C in the summer.
Only 100–200 mm of rain falls on the delta area during an average year, most of this falls in the winter months. The delta experiences its hottest temperatures in July and August, with a maximum average of 34 °C. Winter temperatures are in the range of 9 °C at nights to 19 °C in the daytime. With cooler temperatures and some rain, the Nile Delta region becomes quite humid during the winter months. Furthermore, Egypt’s Mediterranean coastline is being swallowed up by the sea because of global warming and the rise of the sea level, the lack of sediments being deposited since the construction of the Aswan Dam, in some places as much as 90 m a year; as the polar ice caps melt, much of the northern delta, including the ancient port city of Alexandria, will disappear under the Mediterranean. A 30 cm rise in sea level will affect about 6.6% of the total land cover area in the Nile Delta region.
Tiye was the daughter of Yuya and Tjuyu. She became the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III, she was grandmother of Tutankhamun. Her mummy was identified as "The Elder Lady" found in the tomb of Amenhotep II in 2010. Tiye's father, was a non-royal, wealthy landowner from the Upper Egyptian town of Akhmim, where he served as a priest and superintendent of oxen or commander of the chariotry. Tiye's mother, was involved in many religious cults, as her different titles attested, which suggests that she was a member of the royal family. Egyptologists have suggested that Tiye's father, was of foreign origin due to the features of his mummy and the many different spellings of his name, which might imply it was a non-Egyptian name in origin; some suggest that the queen's strong political and unconventional religious views might have been due not just to a strong character, but to foreign descent. Tiye had a brother, Second Prophet of Amun. Ay, a successor of Tutankhamun as pharaoh after the latter's death, is believed to be yet another brother of Tiye.
Tiye was married to Amenhotep III by the second year of his reign. He had been needed a stronger tie to the royal lineage, he appears to have been crowned while still a child between the ages of six to twelve. They had at least seven more children: Sitamun – The eldest daughter, elevated to the position of Great Royal Wife around year 30 of her father's reign. Isis – Also elevated to the position of Great Royal Wife. Henuttaneb – Not known to have been elevated to Queenship, though her name does appear in a Cartouche at least once. Nebetah – Sometimes thought to have been renamed Baketaten during her brother's reign. Crown Prince Thutmose – Crown Prince and High Priest of Ptah, pre-deceasing his father. Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten – Succeeded his father as pharaoh, husband of Queen Nefertiti, father of Ankhesenamun, who married Tutankhamun. Smenkhkare – traditionally seen as one of Akhenaten's immediate successors, today some Egyptologists such as Aidan Dodson believe he was the immediate predecessor of Neferneferuaten and a junior co-regent of Akhenaten who did not have an independent reign.
Sometimes identified with the mummy from KV55, therefore Tutankhamun's father. The Younger Lady from KV35 – A daughter of Amenhotep III and Tiye, mother of Tutankhamun and sister-wife of KV55. One of the already-known daughters of Amenhotep III and Tiye. Beketaten – Sometimes thought to be Queen Tiye's daughter based on a stelae with Baketaten seated next to Tiye at dinner with Akhenaten and Nefertiti, her husband devoted a number of shrines to her and constructed a temple dedicated to her in Sedeinga in Nubia where she was worshipped as a form of the goddess Hathor-Tefnut. He had an artificial lake built for her in his Year 12. On the colossal statue now in the Egyptian Museum she is of equal height with her husband; as the American Egyptologists David O'Connor and Eric Cline note: Tiye wielded a great deal of power during both her husband’s and son’s reigns. Amenhotep III became a fine sportsman, a lover of outdoor life, a great statesman, he had to consider claims for Egypt's gold and requests for his royal daughters in marriage from foreign kings such as Tushratta of Mitanni and Kadashman-Enlil I of Babylon.
The royal lineage was carried by the women of Ancient Egypt and marriage to one would have been a path to the throne for their progeny. Tiye became confidant. Being wise, intelligent and fierce, she was able to gain the respect of foreign dignitaries. Foreign leaders were willing to deal directly through her, she continued to play an active role in foreign relations and was the first Egyptian queen to have her name recorded on official acts. Tiye may have continued to advise her son, when he took the throne, her son’s correspondence with Tushratta, the king of Mitanni, speaks of the political influence she wielded at court. In Amarna letter EA 26, king to Mitanni, corresponded directly with Tiye to reminisce about the good relations he enjoyed with her deceased husband and extended his wish to continue on friendly terms with her son, Akhenaten. Amenhotep III died in Year 38 or Year 39 of his reign and was buried in the Valley of the Kings in WV22. Tiye continued to be mentioned in the Amarna letters and in inscriptions as queen and beloved of the king.
Amarna letter EA 26, addressed to Tiye, dates to the reign of Akhenaten. She is known to have had a house at Akhetaten, Akhenaten's new capital and is shown on the walls of the tomb of Huya – a "steward in the house of the king's mother, the great royal wife Tiyi" – depicted at a dinner table with Akhenaten and their family and being escorted by the king to her sunshade. In an inscription dated to November 21 of Year 12 of Akhenaten's reign, both she and her granddaughter Meketaten are mentioned for the last time, they are thought to have died shortly after that date. This information is corrorborated by the fact that the shrine which Akhenaten created for her—which was found transported from Amarna to tomb KV55 in Thebes—bore th
The Pyramid Texts are the oldest known corpus of ancient Egyptian religious texts dating to the Old Kingdom. Written in Old Egyptian, the pyramid texts were carved onto the subterranean walls and sarcophagi of pyramids at Saqqara from the end of the Fifth Dynasty, throughout the Sixth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, into the Eighth Dynasty of the First Intermediate Period; the oldest of the texts have been dated to c. 2400–2300 BC. Unlike the Coffin Texts and Book of the Dead, the pyramid texts were reserved only for the pharaoh and were not illustrated. Following the earlier Palermo Stone, the pyramid texts mark the next-oldest known mention of Osiris, who would become the most important deity associated with afterlife in the Ancient Egyptian religion; the use and occurrence of pyramid texts changed between the Old and New Kingdoms of Ancient Egypt. During the Old Kingdom, pyramid texts could be found in the pyramids of kings as well as three queens named Wedjebten and Iput. During the Middle Kingdom, pyramid texts were not written in the pyramids of the pharaohs, but the traditions of the pyramid spells continued to be practiced.
In the New Kingdom, pyramid texts could now be found on tombs of officials. French archaeologist and Egyptologist Gaston Maspero, director of the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology in Cairo, arrived in Egypt in 1880, he chose a site in South Saqqara, a hill, mapped by the Prussian Egyptologist Karl Richard Lepsius in the prior decades, for his first archaeological dig. There, Maspero found the ruins of a large structure, which he concluded must be the pyramid of Pepi I of the Sixth Dynasty. During the excavations he was able to gain access to the subterranean rooms, discovered that the walls of the structure were covered in hieroglyphic text. Maspero contacted the then'director of the excavations' in Egypt, Auguste Mariette, to inform him of the discovery, though Mariette concluded that the structure must be a mastaba as no writing had been discovered in a pyramid. Maspero continued his excavations at a second structure, around a kilometre south-west of the first, in search of more evidence.
This second structure was determined to be the pyramid of Pepi I's successor. In it, Maspero discovered the same hieroglyphic text on the walls he'd found in Pepi I's pyramid, the mummy of a man in the sarcophagus of the burial chamber; this time, he visited Mariette though he rejected the findings, stating on his deathbed that "n thirty years of Egyptian excavations I have never seen a pyramid whose underground rooms had hieroglyphs written on their walls." Throughout 1881, Maspero continued to direct investigations of other sites in Saqqara, more texts were found in each of the pyramids of Unas and Pepi II. Maspero began publishing his findings in the Recuils des Travaux from 1882, continued to be involved in the excavations of the pyramid in which the texts had been found until 1886. Maspero published the first corpora of the text in 1894 in French under the title Les inscriptions des pyramides de Saqqarah. Translations were made by German Egyptologist Kurt Heinrich Sethe to German in 1908–1910 in Die altägyptischen Pyramidentexte.
The concordance that Sethe published is considered to be the standard version of the texts. Samuel A. B. Mercer published a translation into English of Sethe's work in 1952. British Egyptologist Raymond O. Faulkner presented the texts in English in 1969 in The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts; the first systematic investigations of Pepi II and his wives' – Neith, Iput II, Wedjebetni – pyramids was conducted by Gustave Jéquier between 1926 and 1932. Jéquier conducted the excavations of Qakare Ibi's pyramid, he published the complete corpus of texts found in these five pyramids. Since 1958, expeditions under the directions of Jean-Philippe Lauer, Jean Sainte-Fare Garnot, Jean Leclant have undertaken a major restoration project of the pyramids belonging to Teti, Pepi I, Merenre I, as well as the pyramid of Unas. By 1999, the pyramid of Pepi had been opened to the public, the debris cleared away from the pyramid while research continued under the direction of Audran Labrousse; the corpus of pyramid texts in Pepi I's pyramid were published in 2001.
In 2010, the texts were discovered in Behenu's tomb. To date, the Pyramid Texts have been discovered in the pyramids of pharaohs: Unas: Teti: Pepi I: Merenre I: Pepi II: Qakare Ibi: and in the pyramids of queens: Akhesenpepi II, wife of Pepi I Neith, wife of Pepi II Iput II, wife of Pepi II Wedjebetni, wife of Pepi II Behenu, probable wife of Pepi II The spells, or utterances, of the Pyramid Texts were concerned with enabling the transformation of the deceased into an Akh; the spells of the Pyramid Texts are divided into two broad categories: Sacerdotal texts and Personal texts. The sacerdotal texts are ritual in nature, were conducted by the lector priest addressing the deceased in the second person, they consist of offering spells, short spells recited in the presentation of an offering, recitations which are predominantly instructional. These texts appear in the Offering and Insignia Rituals, the Resurrection Ritual, in the four pyramids containing the Morning Ritual; the writing in these texts indicates that they originated around the time of the Second and Third Dynasties.
The remaining texts are personal, are broadly concerned with guiding the spirit out of the tomb, into new life. They consist of provisioning and apotropaic –
An ideogram or ideograph is a graphic symbol that represents an idea or concept, independent of any particular language, specific words or phrases. Some ideograms are comprehensible only by familiarity with prior convention. In proto-writing, used for inventories and the like, physical objects are represented by stylized or conventionalized pictures, or pictograms. For example, the pictorial Dongba symbols without Geba annotation cannot represent the Naxi language, but are used as a mnemonic for reciting oral literature; some systems use ideograms, symbols denoting abstract concepts. The term "ideogram" is used to describe symbols of writing systems such as Egyptian hieroglyphs, Sumerian cuneiform and Chinese characters. However, these symbols are logograms, representing words or morphemes of a particular language rather than objects or concepts. In these writing systems, a variety of strategies were employed in the design of logographic symbols. Pictographic symbols depict the object referred to by the word, such as an icon of a bull denoting the Semitic word ʾālep "ox".
Some words denoting abstract concepts may be represented iconically, but most other words are represented using the rebus principle, borrowing a symbol for a similarly-sounding word. Systems used selected symbols to represent the sounds of the language, for example the adaptation of the logogram for ʾālep "ox" as the letter aleph representing the initial sound of the word, a glottal stop. Many signs in hieroglyphic as well as in cuneiform writing could be used either logographically or phonetically. For example, the Akkadian sign AN could be an ideograph for "deity", an ideogram for the god Anum in particular, a logograph for the Akkadian stem il- "deity", a logograph for the Akkadian word šamu "sky", or a syllabogram for either the syllable an or il. Although Chinese characters are logograms, two of the smaller classes in the traditional classification are ideographic in origin: Simple ideographs are abstract symbols such as 上 shàng "up" and 下 xià "down" or numerals such as 三 sān "three".
Semantic compounds are semantic combinations of characters, such as 明 míng "bright", composed of 日 rì "sun" and 月 yuè "moon", or 休 xiū "rest", composed of 人 rén "person" and 木 mù "tree". In the light of the modern understanding of Old Chinese phonology, researchers now believe that most of the characters classified as semantic compounds have an at least phonetic nature. An example of ideograms is the collection of 50 signs developed in the 1970s by the American Institute of Graphic Arts at the request of the US Department of Transportation; the system was used to mark airports and became more widespread. Mathematical symbols are a type of ideogram. Inspired by inaccurate early descriptions of Chinese and Japanese characters as ideograms, many Western thinkers have sought to design universal written languages, in which symbols denote concepts rather than words. An early proposal was An Essay towards a Real Character, a Philosophical Language by John Wilkins. A recent example is the system of Blissymbols, proposed by Charles K.
Bliss in 1949 and includes over 2,000 symbols. The Ideographic Myth Extract from DeFrancis' book. American Heritage Dictionary definition Merriam-Webster OnLine definition
Nut known by various other transcriptions, is the goddess of the sky in the Ennead of ancient Egyptian religion. She was seen as a star-covered nude woman arching as a cow; the pronunciation of ancient Egyptian is uncertain because vowels were long omitted from its writing, although her name includes the unpronounced determinative hieroglyph for "sky". Her name Nwt, itself meaning "Sky", is transcribed as "Nut" but sometimes appears in older sources as Nunut and Nuit, she appears in the hieroglyphic record by a number of epithets, not all of which are understood. Nut is a daughter of Tefnut, her brother and husband is Geb. She had four or, in some sources, five children: Osiris, Isis, in some sources Horus, she is considered one of the oldest deities among the Egyptian pantheon, with her origin being found on the creation story of Heliopolis. She was the goddess of the nighttime sky, but became referred to as the sky goddess, her headdress was the hieroglyphic of part of her name, a pot, which may symbolize the uterus.
Depicted in nude human form, Nut was sometimes depicted in the form of a cow whose great body formed the sky and heavens, a sycamore tree, or as a giant sow, suckling many piglets. A sacred symbol of Nut was the ladder used by Osiris to enter her heavenly skies; this ladder-symbol was called maqet and was placed in tombs to protect the deceased, to invoke the aid of the deity of the dead. Nut and her brother, may be considered enigmas in the world of mythology. In direct contrast to most other mythologies which develop a sky father associated with an Earth mother, she personified the sky and he the Earth. Nut appears in the creation myth of Heliopolis which involves several goddesses who play important roles: Tefnut is a personification of moisture, who mated with Shu and gave birth to Sky as the goddess Nut, who mated with her brother Earth, as Geb. From the union of Geb and Nut came, among others, the most popular of Egyptian goddesses, the mother of Horus, whose story is central to that of her brother-husband, the resurrection god Osiris.
Osiris is killed by his brother Set and scattered over the Earth in 14 pieces, which Isis gathers up and puts back together. Osiris climbs a ladder into his mother Nut for safety and becomes king of the dead. Ra, the sun god, was the second to rule the world, according to the reign of the gods. Ra was a strong ruler but he feared anyone taking his throne; when he discovered that Nut was to have children, he was furious. He decreed, "Nut shall not give birth any day of the year." At that time, the year was only 360 days. Nut spoke to Thoth, god of wisdom, he had a plan. Thoth gambled with god of the moon, whose light rivaled that of Ra's; every time Khonsu lost, he had to give Thoth some of his moonlight. Khonsu lost so many times. Since these days were not part of the year, Nut could have her children, she had five children: Osiris ruler of the gods and god of the dead. When Ra found out, he was furious, he separated Nut from her husband Geb for eternity. Her father, was to keep them apart. Nut did not regret her decision.
Some of the titles of Nut were: Coverer of the Sky: Nut was said to be covered in stars touching the different points of her body. She Who Protects: Among her jobs was to protect Ra, the sun god. Mistress of All or "She who Bore the Gods": Originally, Nut was said to be lying on top of Geb and continually having intercourse. During this time she birthed four children: Osiris, Isis and Nephthys. A fifth child named, he was the Egyptian counterpart to the Greek god Apollo, made syncretic with Horus in the Hellenistic era as'Horus the Elder'. The Ptolemaic temple of Edfu is dedicated to Horus the Elder and there he is called the son of Nut and Geb, brother of Osiris, the eldest son of Geb, she Who Holds a Thousand Souls: Because of her role in the re-birthing of Ra every morning and in her son Osiris' resurrection, Nut became a key god in many of the myths about the afterlife. Nut was the goddess of the sky and all heavenly bodies, a symbol of protecting the dead when they enter the afterlife. According to the Egyptians, during the day, the heavenly bodies—such as the sun and moon—would make their way across her body.
At dusk, they would be swallowed, pass through her belly during the night, be reborn at dawn. Nut is the barrier separating the forces of chaos from the ordered cosmos in the world, she was pictured as a woman arched on her fingertips over the earth. Nut's fingers and toes were believed to touch the four cardinal points or directions of north, south and west; because of her role in saving Osiris, Nut was seen as a friend and protector of the dead, who appealed to her as a child appeals to its mother: "O my Mother Nut, stretch Yourself over me, that I may be placed among the imperishable stars which are in You, that I may not die." Nut was thought to draw the dead into her star-filled sky, refresh them with food and wine: "I am Nut, I have come so that I may enfold and protect you from all things evil."She was painted on the inside lid of the sarcophagus, protecting the deceased. The vaults of tombs were painted dark blue with many stars as a representation of Nut; the Book of the Dead says, "Hail, thou Sycamore Tree of the Goddess Nut!
Give me of the water and of the air whi