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West Asia

An Egyptian funerary god in the form of a mummified man with the head of a falcon. Seker's cult centre was the necropolis of Memphis and his domain one of the divisions of the underworld, where the serpent-like Nehebkau lay in wait for the dead. Often Seker was identified with Osiris, who also appears swathed like a mummy, and with the divine artificer Ptah, whose cult was celebrated in the city of Memphis. It has been suggested that Ptah's name may share the same origin as the Semitic root ‘to open’, implying, as with Min, an early connection with fertility.

Another mummiform deity with the head of an ape was Hapy, one of the four sons of Horus. His special duty was to guard the jar containing the embalmed lungs of the deceased. Horus' other sons kept watch over three other funerary jars: human-headed Mesta guarded the liver, jackal-headed Tuamutef the stomach, and falcon-headed Qebsehsenuf the intestines. The ancient Egyptians always stored the entrails of a dead person separately from the linen-wrapped body.

Subjects: Religion.

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