Ptah

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In Egyptian mythology, Ptah was the deification of the primordial mound in the Ennead cosmogony, which was more literally referred to as Ta-tenen (also spelled Tathenen, Tatjenen, etc), meaning risen land, or as Tanen, meaning submerged land, though Tatenen was a god in his own right, before being assimilated with Ptah. Ptah also is referred to as the noble Djed.

It was said (in the Shabaka Stone) that it was Ptah who called the world into being, having dreamt creation in his heart, and speaking it, his name meaning opener, in the sense of opener of the mouth. Indeed the opening of the mouth ceremony, performed by priests at funerals to release souls from their corpses, was said to have been created by Ptah. Atum was said to have been created by Ptah to rule over the creation, sitting upon the primordial mound.

In art, he is portrayed as a bearded mummified man, often wearing a skull cap, with his hands holding an ankh, was, and djed, the symbols of life, power and stability, respectively. It was also considered that Ptah manifested himself in the Apis bull. He may have originally been a fertility god because of this.

Since Ptah was the primordial mound, and had called creation into being, he was considered the god of craftsmen, and in particular stone-based crafts. Eventually, due to the connection of these things to tombs, and that at Thebes, the craftsmen regarded him so highly as to say that he controlled their destiny. Consequently, first amongst the craftsmen, then the population as a whole, Ptah also became a god of regeneration. Since Seker was also god of craftsmen, and of regeneration of the sun during the night, Seker was later assimilated with Ptah becoming Ptah-Seker.

Consequently, Ptah-Seker became considered an underworld deity, and eventually, by the Middle Kingdom, become assimilated by Osiris, the lord of the underworld, occasionally being known as Ptah-Seker-Osiris.

Literature

References

Amun · Amunet · Anubis · Anuket · Apep · Apis · Aten · Atum · Bastet · Bat · Bes

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