Ancient Egyptian Religion:
The conceptions of ancient Egyptian religion, is a combination of beliefs, played part in every aspect of ancient societies. In all ancient societies art was deeply influenced by religion, and in Egypt art was almost solely devoted to the service of religion. There was a domestic art connected with the house but little of it has been preserved. This important role played by religion makes it seem useful to preface the sightseeing tour with a summary of the general conceptions of ancient Egyptian religion and beliefs. this will be followed by an expose of the development of Egyptian art during the pharaonic, Coptic, and Moslem periods to acquaint the visitor with its general features, elements, and forms.
A summary of the Egyptian Pantheon is difficult because there never was a uniform clear conception of numerous deities to the ancient Egyptian the world was full of gods and they extended their veneration to living beings – Men’s, animals, and even certain plants, it was common for gods to be represented as animals or as having animals Heads, gods could also take plant form: Heferten was worshiped in the form of a lotus flower. the animal gods included the falcon (Horus), the bull (Apis ), the ram (Khnum )the crocodile(Sobik)the cat (Bast) the ibis (Thoth) the Jackal (Anubis) The Cow (Hathor|)the lioness(Sekhmet)and the hippopotamus(Tawsert) these gods animals or sacred deities were not only spared but were fed during their lifetime and embalmed and Buried after their death, the Apis bull A Memphis and Khnum the ram at Mendes are two Examples of animal worship.
Gods of Ancient Egypt:
The deity in some cases acquired a protective function at the same time, Hathor the cow – goddess was also the goddess of love and desire and guardian of the Cemeteries, Thoth was the moon god and also science, Ptah god of Memphis, was also the god of artists, Khunum the protector of Nubia and min the god of fertility.
Gods were either local or universal, the local deities were considered protectors of a defined city Osiris was worshiped at Buto in The delta, Atun at Heliopolis, Hathor at dander, and Ptah at Memphis on the other hand universal gods were worshiped everywhere those were mainly the cosmic God, (RA) the sun-god of Heliopolis was for long the chief god of the Kingdom,(Amun) god setting-sun was also venerated in Heliopolis while Atun the sun disk was worshipped during Akhenaton’s reign, Among other gods, there were Geb the god of earth, Mut the goddess of heaven, Osiris the god of vegetation.
As there were gods, goddesses also existed: Maat was the Heavenly mistress of justice and truth Isis was also the moon goddess, there were also Hathor, Mut, Sekhmet , like human beings, the gods had wives and sons, Osiris his wife isis, and their son Horus.
Gods also Merged with other Gods: RA Who was for long the chief god of the kingdom combined with Amun who had been the state god since the middle kingdom, and thus Amun Ra be Came the chief god of the new kingdom.
Lastly, one god who was of central importance was the pharaoh himself, the king, he was not only the religious head, the head chosen by god, he was the god himself, the king was both a true god and a true man at the same time.
The gods were venerated in Temples, the statue of the gods to whom the shrine was dedicated stood in the sanctuary, a dark chamber beyond the hypostyle hall. the god was treated like an earthly king, nourished by daily sacrificial gifts, anointed clothed, and borne about in procession. The Egyptians in all their works of art had the desire to honor the gods and also to procure their favors.
As there was No Uniform clear conception about numerous deities so there prevailed different notions about the ancient Egyptian hereafter, However, it was generally accepted that the soul of the deceased continued to live in His abode, which was imagined to be in the west where the sun god descended every evening, hence the care taken to preserve the Body By Mummification, and hence The division of the tomb into two parts a secret one for the body and its soul and another intended for funerary worship, to which the soul had access to enjoy the funerary offerings, they also believed that evil spirits tor tormented the dead who neglected by their descendants and there was also a paradise hereafter, the soul could go to paradise where the god Osiris reigned, hence the dead person was furnished with objects for the journey and with statues, the guarantors who would stand up for him in the realms of the god at the last judgment.