The Egyptian Religious Year (Part 12/12). The Egyptian year ended on a down-note. Thanks to a string of "unlucky" days, the ancients experienced a time of uncertainty and disorder in their lives. Part of this was due to the fact that the end of the year was co-opted entirely by Sakhmet, Lady of War and [...]

The Religious Year (Part 10+11). As the end of year approached, the Egyptians celebrated some essential festivals to honour the past and prepare for the future. With the harvest now underway, and the flood on the horizon, the Egyptians first celebrated the memory of their ancestors, and then made offerings to Hapy: lord of the [...]

The Religious Year (8+9). The planting season (peret) was ending; the season of harvest (shemu) was starting. Over these two months, Egyptians looked to the fields, and the gods that would protect the growth of the crops. To guarantee divine favour and protection, they looked to beings that would protect them from hardship or hazard. [...]

The Book of the Hidden Chamber (Amduat) In the mid-18th Dynasty (c.1430 BCE), pharaohs were decorating their tombs with a beautiful and intricate set of religious images. These texts/scenes comprised the Amduat ("That Which is in the Underworld"), and they told the story of Re's journey through the night-time hours. In twelve chapters, Re travelled [...]

The Architect Kha and his Book of Going Forth by Day In the days of Amunhotep II (c.1420 BCE), a royal architect named Kha commissioned a funerary text for his tomb. This text was a magnificent rendition of the Book of the Dead. To celebrate Kha's work, and the survival of his tomb, we take [...]

Amunhotep II (Part 4): Worshiping the Sphinx Before he became King, Amunhotep II made a promise to revitalize worship at the Giza necropolis. Once Pharaoh, he fulfilled that promise in spectacular fashion... Direct Download (Save As mp3) The Sphinx Temple of Amunhotep II ( The Sphinx Temple of Amunhotep II, with limestone gateway and the [...]

The Month of Cats and Snakes (The Religious Year 5/12). The fifth month, Ta-Abet ("the banquet offering") was a month for worshiping snakes and cats above all. In particular, the Egyptians celebrated the gods Nehebkau, Bastet, Mut and Wadjet. We meet three of these strange deities, and see why, for the Egyptians, cats and snakes went hand-in-hand [...]