The Egyptians worshiped numerous gods, with varied functions and aspects. There were gods worshiped throughout Egypt and others worshiped only in certain places. Among the first were the gods linked to death and burial, such as Osiris.
The cult of Isis and Osiris was the most popular in ancient Egypt. Osiris and his sister-wife Isis were believed to have populated Egypt and taught the peasants the techniques of agriculture. Legend has it that the god Set fell in love with Isis and therefore murdered Osiris. He rose from the dead and went beyond, becoming the god of the dead.
The ancient Egyptians believed that the tears of Isis, who mourned the death of her husband, were responsible for the periodic floods of the Nile. Also worshiped was the god Horus, son of Isis and Osiris.
These deities had some characteristics (powers) above human capacity. They could, for example, be present in many places at once, take on various forms, even of animals, and directly interfere with the phenomena of nature. The cities of ancient Egypt had a protective god, who received offerings and requests from the local population.
The Egyptian gods have much in common with men: they can be born, grow old, die: they have a body that must be fed, a name, feelings. However, these very human aspects hide an exceptional nature: his body, made up of precious materials, is endowed with a power of transformation, his tears can give birth to beings or minerals. The powers of the gods are always compared to some properties of the elements of nature or animals, which gives rise to sometimes astonishing hybrid representations.
To represent the gods, all combinations are possible: fully human deities, fully animal gods, with the body of man and animal head, with the whole animal in place of the head (the scarab, for example) or with the human head. The sphinx, the image of the sun god and the king, is a lion with a human head. There are animals common to many deities (the hawk, the vulture, the lioness) and others that are characteristic of only one (Thot ibis, the Khepri scarab).
The Egyptians mummified and buried their domestic animals. Especially at a relatively late date, during the first millennium BC the Egyptians sacrificed animals to mummify them and heap them in their thousands in special cemeteries. These are probably former vows that devotees bought from the priests to offer their god their favorite animal. The cult of sacred bulls is much older: a unique animal becomes an earthly manifestation of the god. He is entitled to a funeral with big pomp.
There were countless Gods, being inevitable to rivalries and contradictions. Below are the main gods:
King of the gods, he is the lord of the temples of Luxor and Carnac. Has by wife Mut and son Khonsu. His personality was formed around 2000 BC and carries some functions of Re: under the name of Amon-Re, he is the sun that gives life to the country. The Time of Ramesses III. Amon became a monarch, same title as Ptah and Re.
Often portrayed as a man dressed in the royal robe and wearing on his head two tall feathers on the right side, he also manifests himself in the form of a ram and, more rarely, a goose.