In the Western world the cobra rarely inspires sentiments of benevolence, warmth or good intentions. It is not a cuddly beast. Matters were more ambivalent in ancient Egypt where a range of wild animals were identified with deities imbued with admired values of physical strength, protection and courage, as well as less obviously admirable qualities like aggression, retribution, vengeance and retaliation. Like Sobek, the crocodile deity, and Sekhmet the lioness, the cobra deities comprised a mixture of attributes that centred on their fierce ability to defend themselves and to strike, hissing and spitting poison, to annihilate their aggressors.
A Context for Nehmes-Bastet (KV64): A Birds Eye View of the Early Third Intermediate Period – Part 1
In January 2012, thanks to the discovery of a new tomb in the Valley of the Kings, named KV64, the 22nd Dynasty was catapulted into the spotlight. At the moment, apart from a couple of tantalising photographs and a video released by the University of Basel (Switzerland) all we know is that the mummified woman was called Nehmes-Bastet; she was a chantress; and her father was a priest at the Temple of Karnak
A Context for Nehmes-Bastet (KV64): A Birds Eye View of the Early Third Intermediate Period – Part 2
In Part 1 the political background to and development of the Third Intermediate Period was described, emphasizing the way in which power became divided, both within the Delta and between the Delta and the south, where the Theban high priests became increasingly powerful. Part 2 looks at the blending of Libyan and Egyptian traditions, with new ideas expressed in funerary practices and in the role of religious institutions.
Edition - January, 2012
In Joyce Tyldesley’s Judgment of the Pharaohs, Tyldesley makes several references to an individual at Deir el-Medineh named Paneb, whom she describes evocatively as “the all round bad guy” (2000, p.127). In this short article, I have brought together some of the misdemeanours outlined in a letter known as Papyrus Salt 124 (BM 10055) for a closer look at this colourful character.