ancient egyptian monsters

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
the very worst of the ancient world of the nile.

Submitted: April 06, 2017

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Submitted: April 06, 2017

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Chimaerae and other fantasy creatures

The ancient Egyptians often combined the features of a number of animals, representing their strengths, into new, fantastic creatures. Their gods may have originally been powers of nature embodied in animals, but they often took on human or partial human forms as well, and humans, generally the pharaohs, were at times depicted in animal form, or given animal epithets. 
 
Ammit  

Ammit

Ammit, a monster with the head of a crocodile, the torso of a lion and the hindparts of a hippo, devoured the hearts of the sinners during the judgment of the dead.
griffin

Griffins

Griffins are chimaerae with eagle or hawk heads and feline bodies. Sometimes they were depicted with wings.
Source: W. M. F. Petrie et al: Historical Studies, London 1911, plate XXI 

Hippocampus

The hippocampus is based on the actual seahorse. It consists of the head or the whole forepart of a horse and a snake's body, sometimes sporting a dolphin's tail fin. It originated in Greece.
Source: Excerpt, 'The Glory of Egypt', by M.Audrain 

Serpopards

Chimaerae, with feline bodies and heads and snakelike necks, they appear both on Egyptian (Narmer Palette) and Mesopotamian artefacts.
sphinx avenue, karnak; source: jon bodsworth

Sphinxes

Sphinxes have the body of a lion and the head of a human or, as in the case of the sphinxes in the avenue at Karnak, of a ram.
Taweret

Taweret

Taweret was basically a hippopotamus. But, being a fertility goddess, she was also given pendulous human breasts. Her lion paws may have reflected the fiercely protective nature of this goddess.
Unicorn

Unicorns

In the tomb of Urarna II at Sheik Said the remnants of a Coptic painting of a unicorn were found, with the inscription "MONOKHROC" in Greek letters.
 


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