Features: Mut Precinct, History

The Precinct of Mut, Queen of the Gods, Karnak, Egypt

Introduction
In the ancient Egyptian religion, the goddess Mut was the wife of Amun, one of Egypt's most important gods, and the mother of the moon-god, Khonsu. In her human guise she bore and preserved Egypt's kingship and, therefore, the king himself. In the form of the lioness-headed Sakhmet ("The Powerful") Mut was the fierce protector of Egypt, bringing defeat and death to its enemies. She could threaten Egypt, too, if the proper rituals were not performed to turn her into a gentle cat. Mut and Sakhmet, along with Isis, Hathor, Bastet, and several other deities, belonged to a group of goddesses known as the "Eye of Re," who could be both gentle cats and fierce lionesses. Perched on the sun-god's forehead, they could be sent out to do the god's bidding as he willed. The cults of the Eye of Re goddesses became vital to Egyptian life and rule. As Mut was both the consort of Amun and an Eye of Re, her temple precinct in Thebes was an important religious center for almost two thousand years. Yet until the last quarter of the twentieth century, the goddess and her cult were hardly known and her precinct had been little explored.

Next: The Mut Precinct and How It Grew

The goddess Mut

The goddess Mut

Sakhmet

Sakhmet