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Nekhbet

by Micha F. Lindemans
The Egyptian vulture-goddess of the city of Nekheb in Upper Egypt, the Eileithyaspolis of the Greeks, and the modern Al-Kâb. She was the tutelary goddess of Upper Egypt in very early dynastic times. From city goddess she was elevated to the status of protectress and mother of the king. Together with the snake-goddess Buto she was portrayed on the head of the Egyptian king. Nekhbet is present at the birth of gods and kings. As the protectress of the infant monarch she was referred to as the "Great White Cow of Nekheb".

Since the time of the New Empire she is very popular as the goddess of childbirth. She is also a sun and moon-goddess. Her name means "she of Nekheb". Nekhbet was depicted as a woman, either with the vulture headdress, or with the head of a vulture. Sometimes she was portrayed as a vulture wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt and holding the symbols of eternity in her talons. Nekhbet and Uatchit divided between them the sovereignty of all Egypt.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Nechbet
    Nekhebit

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