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3100– 2686 BC) kings had animal names and emblems, like the two “Scorpion” kings, “Catfish” Narmer and “Serpent” Djet. Scenes of harvests and animal husbandry were painted on the earliest elaborate tombs. Known as mastaba (from the Arabic word for “bench”), these tombs first appeared in the Early Dynastic Period (beginning from about c. 3100 BC). W. Green (1869–1949) unearthed decorated palettes, ritual objects, weapons, utensils and figurines dating to c. 3000 BC in the Early Dynastic Period as well as the remains of what may have been one of the earliest Old Kingdom temples (after c.

But as we shall soon see in the section on taboos, several dangerous animals were both revered and detested. Placed within such a totemistically influenced culture and context, the deification and demonization of animals were therefore logical developments. The belief that animals were the repository of the divine almost necessarily led to the practice of divinizing animals, but it also led to the demonization of dangerous animals. The creation of gods and demons who were composites of animals or who combined animal and human characteristics was also logical.

26 The Early Religious and Societal Context reverence for Hathor as “The Lady of Amenta,” the West, the afterlife, was immense in temples on the Waset (Thebes) west bank of the Nile. As Het-Heru (Hathor), “the house, or womb, of Heru,” of Horus, she was the original mother and wife of Haroeris, the first Horus (Horus the Elder) and included the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars. And since Horus was incarnated in the reigning pharaoh, Hathor was the mother of the pharaoh, but this function was largely appropriated by Isis after the Osirisian myth rose to prominence from about 2375 BC.

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Akhenaten: Egyptian Museum of Cairo by Farid Atiya

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