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Tutankhamun Funerary Bed with Goddess Mehet-weret

Goddess Mehet-weret

Her name means “The great flood”, she was one of the most important cow goddesses in ancient Egypt together with “Hathor”. She was associated with “Hathor” (being both COW goddesses).

She was mentioned in the legend of the “Destruction of mankind” carrying the god “Ra” to the sky. After the act of destruction of mankind which was carried out by “Sekhmet”,  “Ra” was still angry with the people so he decided to go back to the sky forever thus Mehet-weret carried him on her back up to the sky.

Tutankhamun Funerary Bed with Goddess Mehet-weret

Goddess “Mht-wrt” came out of the primeval ocean (Nun) and carried god “Ra” to the sky, within her role, she was associated with the celestial heaven (the sky) so that’s why we could find an imitation of spots on her body, some scholars said that these spots represent the stars in the sky, while others believe that these spots are “Green mosses” that rested on her body while coming out of the primeval ocean. Another opinion said that these spots are natural marks of the cow’s body.

Between the heads of goddess “Mht-wrt” we have an inscription enclosed in a cartouche containing the epithets mAa xrw , and mry wsir, thus we could deduce that the king used this bed after his death, so this is a funerary bed. Also it mentions the name of the goddess as “MHt” only not “Mht-wrt”, this has been explained as follows:

(A)   Maybe it was a fault of the scribe that instead of writing “Mht-wrt”, he wrote “Mht” only who is the lioness goddess, and that was supposed to be written on the bed with the head of goddess “Mht” the lioness goddess”.

(B) Others suggested that this might be a fault that happened during assembling the parts of the beds after finishing them (This is the most acceptable opinion).

(C) It has also been suggested that this was not a fault but the scribe wanted to abbreviate the name of “Mht wrt” to “Mht” only, but this is not acceptable, because the lioness bed should have contained the name Mht as the lioness goddess name, on the other hand, it contains the name of “Mht-wrt”, so this is definitely a mistake.

Tutankhamun Funerary Bed with Goddess Mehet-weret

Tutankhamun Funerary Bed with Goddess Mehet-weret

Tutankhamun Funerary Bed with Goddess Mehet-weret

This bed is made out of wood, covered with “gesso” or “stucco” and then gilded. The black colour for the eyes and the spots is made out of black resin and the eyes are made out of calcite with traces of red patches. The pupil of the eyes is made out of obsidian. There is a representation of a teardrop emerging from the eye, this shows the great power of observation of the Egyptian artist because this is a natural features in some animals cows, lions, etc.

The cow is depicted with two horns and the sun disk in-between surmounting her head.The footboard is divided into three panels. The first one is decorated with the Dd pillar sign of stability and resurrection and symbol of god Osiris, the 2nd panel is decorated with “tyt” sign, sign of fertility and protection of goddess Isis, the 3rd panel is decorated again with the Dd pillar.

The ritual purpose of this bed:

We deduce from the book of the “Divine cow”, the version which is inscribed on the interior walls of Tutankhamun’s outermost shrine, that the ritual purpose of this bed is to carry the king from the earth to heaven like when “Mht-wrt” carried “Ra” on her back to heaven.