Gods In Ancient Egypt

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In 3000 B.C. the people in ancient Egypt practiced a polytheistic religion. This religion included over two hundred gods and goddesses that each represented a certain element. These deities were often associated with animals. The gods were considered superior, being able to control life, death, fortune, and the weather. The belief in gods influenced the ancient Egyptians’ thoughts on the afterlife, animals, and worship rituals.

The ancient Egyptians’ belief in the afterlife was greatly influenced by their understanding of the gods. The gods were said to have created many ideas involving life after death and how to act in order to be happy in the afterlife. In ancient Egypt, the soul of any living creature was known as the “ka” (“Egyptian
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Since Egyptian deities were often portrayed as part animal, animals were treated with great amounts of respect. Hurting an animal in any way was considered disrespectful to the gods, resulting in severe punishment (“Animals In Ancient Egypt”). The Egyptians also believed that the gods and goddesses could be reincarnated in the form of a cat, ox, or crocodile (“Animals In Ancient Egypt”). The gods were portrayed with the head or body of the animal that represented that element (“Animals In Ancient Egypt”). For example, the goddess Akar had the head of a lion and she represented strength, royalty, and war (“Animals In Ancient Egypt”). Since animals such as cats and oxen were considered holy, they were often mummified in the same way as humans. These animals were mummified as sacred offerings to the gods and also food offerings to those in the afterlife (Pruitt). Egyptian deities would sometimes appear as cats or oxen to seem less threatening when roaming the Earth (Eyck). Cats also played a big role in Egyptian culture. There were many gods that took on the feline form. The goddess Mafdet was a lion who was in control of justice and execution in the afterlife (“Animals In Ancient Egypt”). Cats were often mummified and buried or kept in the home as a sign of respect (Eyck). The cat could also be buried with the owner after he or she died (Eyck). The cat was to act as a spiritual guide in…show more content…
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Pruitt, Sarah. “Scientists Reveal Inside Story Of Ancient Egyptian Animal Mummies.” History.com, A+E Networks, 2015, http://www.history.com/news/scientists-reveal-inside-story-of-ancient-egyptian-animal-mummies. Accessed 28 March 2017

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