Atum was said to
have been created by Ptah to rule over the
creation, sitting upon the primordial mound.
mythology, Ptah (also spelt
Peteh) was the deification of the
primordial mound in the Ennead
cosmogony, which was more literally
referred to as Ta-tenen (also spelt
Tathenen), meaning risen land, or
as Tanen, meaning submerged land.
It was said 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
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
In Memphis, Ptah was worshipped in his own right, and was
seem as Atum's father, or rather, the father of Nefertum,
the younger form of Atum. When the beliefs about the Ennead
and Ogdoad were later merged, and Atum was identified as Ra
(Atum-Ra), himself seen as Horus (Ra-Herakhty), this lead
to Ptah being said to be married to Sekhmet, at the time considered
the earlier form of Hathor, Horus', thus Atum's, mother.
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 reincarnation.
Since Seker was also god of craftsmen, and of re-incarnation,
Seker was later assimilated with Ptah becoming Ptah-Seker.
|Ptah-Seker gradually became seen
as the personification of the sun
during the night, since the sun appears
to be re-incarnated at this time,
and Ptah was the primordial mound,
which lay beneath the earth. 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.
and Goddesses Menu
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