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Gods & Goddesses


<< Detail from a coffin lid (E14344) , showing a deceased person being presented to Osiris by Horus and Thoth. Behind Osiris stand his sisters, Isis and Nepthys. Dynasty 21 or 22 (1075-712 B.C.)

Originally thought of as a fertility god, Osiris soon took on the role of king of the dead. Murdered by his jealous brother Seth, Osiris was mummified and revivified by his sister-wife Isis, who then bore a son, Horus. Horus was thought of as the living, ruling pharaoh and Osiris had continued to be associated with the dead king. In addition to his role as the leading funerary deity, Osiris also had associations with the growth of agricultural crops, which were thought to undergo the same type of rebirth that Osiris experienced.First a seed was buried, then it rested in the ground, then it was "resurrected" and it sprouted from the earth. Osiris is usually shown as a mummified man wearing the white crown with two plumes on either side. He carries the crook and the flail as symbols of his rule.


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