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Ancient Egypt /
Religion
1. Introduction
2. Gods
3. Concepts
4. Cult
5. Cult centres
6. Necropolises
7. Structures

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Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt / Religion / Gods /
Nephthys
Other spellings: Nebet-het; Nebt-het



Nephthys

From the sarcophagus of Tuthmosis 4, Valley of the Kings, Luxor.

Nephthys

Statuette from the Late Period.

Nephthys

Pectoral from the Tomb of Psusennes 1, 21st Dynasty, Tanis.

In Ancient Egyptian Religion a funerary goddess, belonging to the Ennead of Heliopolis.
Her name, nebet-hut, means "Lady of the Mansion".

Mythology
Nephthys was a goddess with wide power and capacity, and she was often referred to as "The Useful Goddess."
She could also be dangerous, able to kill the enemies of the king with her fiery breath. In this capacity, she was considered a protector of the king.
She was the child of Geb and Nut. The oldest myths make her the wife of Seth, later myths the mother of Anubis, with Osiris as father. She was also sister of Isis; the two represented each their role with the beginning and end of earthly life, Isis the birth and Nephthys the death.
Nephthys has a central role in the popular myths of Osiris; it is her magical powers that helps to resurrect his body, as well as to protect and nurture Horus while he is a child.
She is in some contexts presented asa protector of the dead, in other as protecting the baboon-headed Hapi, one of the 4 canopic jars.
In the Late Period, she became linked with the goddess, Anuket.

Iconography
When appearing together with Isis, she is often represented as a kite, a falcon or a woman with falcon wings. She can be distinguished by the hieroglyphic symbols that she wears on her head. In New Kingdom burial chambers, Nephthys was depicted on the external northern wall, while Isis was on the southern end.
On some representations, she can be seen on the night-bark of Re's journey.

Worship
She is usually attributed not having her own cult centre, nor any temple dedicated to her. It is not known from where she originates. Newer research has shown that she in fact had cults, like at Sepermeru (south of Fayoum) where she had her own temple and a dedicated priesthood.
Also, by her kinship with Isis, she was represented in her sanctuaries.
In the Late Period, she became worshipped at Kom Mer , south of Esna. Amulets of her also become very popular, and are included with all mummies of this period.





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By Tore Kjeilen