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Like the Greeks, Romans and Vikings, the Egyptians believed in many different gods – not just one.
They believed that the PHARAOH could talk to the gods and get messages from them, but to please the gods the people had to give them lots of prayers and gifts.
They did this by visiting the gods’ temple where there would be a huge statue of the god, or by praying to smaller statues in their own homes. Here are some of their most important gods:
Osiris was often represented as having green skin and was the god of death! But as the Egyptians looked forward to death and their “afterlife,” this was no bad thing!
He was the son of GEB the earth god, and NUT the goddess of the sky.
Isis was the sister and also wife of OSIRIS!
She was the goddess of life and thought of as being the perfect wife and mother. One of the most popular Egyptian myths was about the murder of Osiris. His body was cut up and scattered all down the Nile. Isis gathered these pieces up and brought her husband/brother back to life!
Set was another brother of Isis and Osiris – and he was the one who murdered Osiris!
He was the god of the desert and darkness.
Horus was the god of the sky, and also the child of Isis and Osiris.
He was very important, because he was the protector of the Pharaoh. In the myths he was often in battle with his Uncle Set who had murdered his father.
She was the goddess of cats, and the Egyptians loved cats!
This was because cats eat mice and mice ate the Egyptian crops.
She was therefore very important to the Egyptians.
Ra was the major Egyptian solar deity or god of the Sun. They believed that he was the creator of the world as we know it.
As the dynasties changed and Pharaohs with different beliefs took power Ra was blended, first with Horus and then with Amun, to become Amun Ra, the King of the Gods.
Anubis was the god of the afterlife for ancient Egyptians.
He had the head of a jackal and it was up to him to decide whose soul would live forever in the Kingdom of the West and whose would be stuck forever in Duat.
The "Eye of Horus" was a symbol of protection that was often used on funerary amulets (like in our play, "The Curse of the Mummy"!)
Maybe there should be a god of goblins...?
The idea of the Afterlife was very important to the Ancient Egyptians and so they had many different rites and rituals surrounding burial to ensure that the soul of the dead could find eternal life!
When an Ancient Egyptian died they believed that they would first go to DUAT (the Underworld) where they would have to find their way past various monsters to meet Anubis. He would then judge them to see if they were worthy of going on to the Kingdom of the West or whether they had to remain in Duat for eternity.
To help the soul navigate Duat (and to fight off those pesky monsters) they were buried with the Book of the Dead, a scroll full of chants, prayers and spells!
When the soul found itself before Anubis he would take the heart and weigh it against the Feather of Truth. If it was as light as the feather then the soul could progress to the Kingdom of the West but if it was heavier (due to being weighed down by bad deeds throughout life) then they were doomed to spend eternity in Duat. Their heart would be eaten by the god Ammit, also called the Devourer!
The important part that the heart played in the afterlife was one of the primary reasons for MUMMIFICATION. It was the only organ left inside the body.
Even common folk were buried with items that they might need in the afterlife - food and drink, clothing and even furniture!
If you were a wealthy Egyptian (or a Pharaoh, of course) then you might be buried with Shabti which were magical statues of servants who would perform tasks for you in the afterlife!
Choose an Egyptian god and make a mask of their face.
Is it beautiful? Is it scary? Is it weird?
Alternatively, make your own amulet. What secret powers does it possess?
Make it so fancy and impressive that Professor Pinkerton would want to steal it for his museum!