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amenhotep iii, solar barque, primeval waters, river nile

Nun/Pesdjet

Author: Mirjam

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Nun was the god who personified the primeval waters, the chaos which existed before there was shape and form, the dark liquid mass out of which there appeared the creator-god.

Nun is regarded as having no surface, stretching into infinity. Not subject to cosmic order (Maat), Nun’s watery chaos is even so considered beneficial. Amenhotep III constructed a pool at Thebes in which the god delighted.

Nun is without peer in the Egyptian cosmos, as he is regarded as the “father of the gods”.

His consort is Naunet.

Once the creation of the universe had taken place, Nun continued to exist beyond its boundaries, within the waters of the earth and those of the river Nile.

He was written with the hieroglyphic sign for water and represented by the purifying lakes which belonged to every temple. He also played a part in the rituals for laying out the foundation of a new temple structure.

In iconography, Nun is depicted with his arms thrust out at the sun at the twelfth hour, a bearded man waist-high in water, supporting the sacred solar barque Manjet


Nun had no temples or priesthood, and was never worshipped as a personified deity. Instead he was regarded as present in the sacred lakes that were to be found at all temples.

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