Introduction - Ancient Egyptian GodsThe ancient Egyptians were deeply religious people who believed in numerous gods. They believed these deities had supernatural powers and could in fact control natural events. Throughout their history the people of this ancient civilization built great temples to honor their gods and goddesses, and they prayed and used rituals to influence the gods to look favorably upon them and help them when needed. In this section of Ancient Egypt Facts we list interesting facts about the Egyptian Gods. You will find links to pages of detailed factual information about some of these gods. There are facts about who the Egyptian gods were, what powers they were believed to have, how they were worshipped, and where some of them had great temples erected. As with all are pages we write in a manner that hopefully both kids and adults will find interesting and easy to understand.
Click here for a great selection of Amazon.com books about the ancient Egyptian Gods.
General Ancient Egyptian Gods Facts
- The first evidence of ancient Egyptian belief in gods comes from writings dating back to the Early Dynastic Period (3100 BC - 2686 BC).
- Throughout its history new gods emerged in ancient Egypt. In fact some of the major deities like Amun did not appear until the Old Kingdom (2649 - 2150 BC).
- Just how many gods and goddesses existed in ancient Egyptian mythology is difficult to determine. Egyptologists have discovered written references to numerous deities many of whom very little is known about. There are references to other gods who are not even named. Some scientist think this civilization believed in several thousand gods.
- The Egyptian Pharaohs (kings) were regarded as the representatives of the gods.
- As ancient Egypt conquered new regions they would often start believing in deities worshiped in those regions. For example it is believed that the god Dedun was adopted from Nubia which is located in the northern Sudan.
- The abilities of the gods of ancient Egypt were not unlimited. Although all were believed to have great supernatural powers these powers and the range of their influence had boundaries.
- Rituals for the gods were conducted inside temples. The Pharaoh and high priests were the only people allowed to enter temples. These buildings were filled with statues of gods. These statues would only be brought out of the temple for festivals. When brought out they were enclosed in a portable shrine to segment them from the impurities that existed in the world outside.
Ancient Egyptian Gods ListBelow we have listed the names of just a few of the major gods and goddesses that were worshiped in ancient Egypt; as mentioned earlier there were likely thousands of gods.
- Ra - The god of the Sun. King of the gods. Also called Amun-Ra and Akmun-Rah.
- Amun - Early in Egyptian history he was a god of air and wind. He became the king of gods in the New Kingdom.
- Anuket - The goddess of the Nile River.
- Ammut - The Crocodile goddess. Also called Ammit, Ahemait, and Ammit.
- Bast - The Cat goddess. Also called Bastet.
- Geb - He was the green god of Earth.
- Hathor - She was a god of joy, love, and motherhood. A very important and popular god throughout ancient Egyptian history
- Isis - One of the most well-known goddess. She was the god of motherhood, magic, and healing.
- Shu - God of the wind and air.
- Ptah - The god of creation.
- Sobek - God of Nile crocodiles (also called Sebek, Sochet, Sobki, and Sobk).
- Sehkmet - She was the protector of the pharaohs and would lead them in war.
- Thoth - The scribe god.
- Bes - The dwarf god of safe journey.