The Online Library of Knowledge

Ancient Egypt

Egyptian gods and goddesses

HorusHorus The ancient Egyptians worshipped hundreds of gods and goddesses. As religious beliefs changed over the centuries, some old gods became less popular, became merged with others, or disappeared altogether. Over time, some new gods appeared. Many gods and goddesses were associated with different animals, and are shown in paintings or sculptures with animal heads. Most gods were gods of specific things (for example, Nut was goddess of the sky) or an activity (Khnum, god of the Nile, its clay and making pots). Some, however, represented ideas or qualities (Ma’at, the goddess of truth and justice).

Ma’atMa’atRe making his journey across the skyRe making his journey across the sky 


One of the most important gods was Re (sometimes called Ra), the god of the sun. In Egyptian myths, he is shown making a journey across the sky each day in his boat. He has a falcon’s head, and carries the sun’s disc, the wadjet, above his head. 

The most important Egyptian godsThe most important Egyptian gods 

A depiction of the story of the creationA depiction of the story of the creation

How the world began

According to ancient Egyptian myths, the world began with dark waters of chaos, called Nun. One day, a mound rose out of these waters. The mound was called ben-ben. On it stood Atum, the first god. Atum coughed and spat out Shu, the god of the air, and Tefnut, the goddess of moisture. 

The ancient Egyptians worshipped more than 2000 gods and goddesses.

© 2020 Q-files Ltd. All rights reserved. Switch to Mobile