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Goddess Ammit

The ancient Egyptian goddess Ammit (also known as Ammut and Ahemait) was the personification of divine retribution. She sat beside the scales of Maat ready to devour the souls of those deemed unworthy. Ammit, as the character is known was depicted having a head of a crocodile. 
 
In some cases she was also shown as having a dog’s head. Her upper torso was that of a leopard that the hindquarters were taken from a hippopotamus. She was generally depicted as a demon with the head of a crocodile, the torso of a wild cat, and the hindquarters of a hippopotamus. However, she also took human form.

 
Goddess Ammit

Goddess Ammit

 
During the Judging of the Heart, if the deeds of the soul being judged are found to be more wicked than good, Anubis feeds the soul to Ammit. This results in the total annihilation of the person, and there is no hope of further existence.

Other scholars believed that Ammit resides near the lake of fire in Duat (the underworld) and protects it. After every judgment, she throws the hearts of the wicked into the fiery lake to be destroyed.

The name Ammit also spelled as Ammut, Amhemit, Ammet, Amam or Amemet. Literally her name means “devourer” and so she also acquired titles like “The Devourer of the Dead”, “Devourer of Millions”, “Demoness of Death”, “Demoness of the Underworld”, “Eater of Hearts”, “Bone Eater”, “Eater of Souls”, “Greatness of Death”, and “Dweller or Devourer in Amenta.

In myth Ammit was not worshipped, and she was never regarded as a goddess. Instead, she embodied all that the Egyptians feared, threatening to bind them to eternal restlessness if they did not follow the principle of Ma'at. Although often referred to as a demon, by destroying evil she acted as a force for good.

This deity having the head of a hippopotamus, the body of a leopard, and the tail and scales of a crocodile. This monstrous combination represents Ammut (amam: in ancient Egyptian language), meaning “Devourer of the corps”. This beast, as seen in the book of the dead, is ready to swallow the heart of the deceased who fails to be justified before the judgment of Osiris against the feather of Maat.

According to legend, Ammut also possessed a positive value: in the form of a sow (female pig) personifying Nut, the sky, who swallows the sun god Ra everyday in the morning and gives birth to him once more at night thus by placing the deceased on this bed, he is granted eternal reincarnation.

Also there is another point of view as regards the connection of the goddess Ammut with the sky, that is, the Egyptian system of constellations connected the hippopotamus with the northern sky that is why Taweret (composed of parts of the same animals) was depicted on the ceiling of the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings.




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