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Geb and Nut

Geb and Nut

 Table of Contents

Geb and Nut Photos

A Sky Full of Gods
Here we are, being kept apart by Dad (Shu), while Ra rides up the sunrise (Nut's legs) in his boat with Ma'at and Pekhty; they're headed up toward Atum, who's reaching up to grab him at sunset. Horus the Elder and Horus the Younger are hanging out in the sky with Shu, too! See those two hawks? [Detail from a papyrus image of Geb and Nut and Ra's divine boat from the Third Intermediate Period (ca. 500 BCE). Line drawing reproduced in The Gods of the Egyptians by E. A. Wallis Budge, 1904.]

Some Private Time
Geb put on a snake's head one night. Shu didn't notice he was there, so we got a chance to embrace before he separated us again… [Drawing of an ancient papyrus image of Nut and Geb, unknown date/provenance. Line drawing reproduced in The Gods of the Egyptians by E. A. Wallis Budge, 1904.]

Shu Gets Some Help
What happens when Shu gets too tired to hold Nut up? He gets help from the Heh (eternity) spirits, so they hold him up! Cooperation in the spirit world. Our friend Nestanebtasheru sent us this drawing. [Photograph of image of Nut, Geb, Shu, and the Heh-spirits from Papyrus Greenfield. 21st Dynasty (ca. 950 BCE). Currently in the British Museum.]

Ani's Final Judgment Party
Nut and I took a break from our usual work to go see our friend the priest Ani, when his heart was weighed in front of Osiris. We're sitting down with the gods at the top of this picture. Nut's fifth from left, wearing a round black pot (the hieroglyph of her name) on her head. I'm in white (sixth from left, just to Nut's right), but I forgot my hat. Who knew they were going to make a painting? [Image of the divine judgment/weighing the heart scene. Papyrus of Ani, Late New Kingdom (ca. 1300BCE). Now in the British Museum.]

A Pretty Nut-Night
Nut's so beautiful at night that all the gods come out to see her! [Modern papyrus painting replica by unnamed artist, after images on the ceiling of Ramses VI's tomb in the Valley of the Kings (KV9, Dynasty 19, ca.1137BCE).]

Keeping the Dead Company
Lots of ancient coffins have images of Nut inside them, either on the bottom or the lid. It's a form of magic—Nut's there so she can give the mummies a comforting hug, and help them on their way to the afterlife. [Wooden coffin fragment showing Nut (bottom inside of the coffin), ca. 1200-1000 BCE (Late Period). Currently in the Smithsonian Institution.]

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