Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Seshat at Deir el-Bahri

Seshat at Deir el-Bahri
Originally uploaded by Gibna Kebira.

This year I have set about finding as many occurrences as I can on temple walls and elsewhere of the lesser-known goddess Seshat. In the past, as a librarian, I had taken on Thoth as my "god"; but when I started to read up on Seshat I decided that I would prefer to have a "goddess" in my corner instead. She is the goddess of writing, and venerated under the epithet "she who is foremost in the house of books".

Manfred Lurker, in his book An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt, writes: "On the founding of a temple either she or her priest established the ground-plan with a measuring cord, hence she was also the 'lady of builders'. Her most important function was that of recording the regnal years and jubilees which were allotted to the king [such as the sed festival]. Her head-dress resembled a seven-pointed star surmounted by a bow, or was perhaps a crescent moon often crowned by two falcon feathers. She usually held a palm leaf in her hand and often wore a panther skin over her dress."

This example is found on the north end of one of the colonnades of Hatshepsut's mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri.

And I've worked with my favorite jeweler here in Luxor to design earrings and pendant using Seshat's head-dress. Way cool!

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Salaam aleikum!