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Both these statuettes are made of copper alloy and were donated by the University of Aberystwyth. On the left is AB106, and on the right is A1.

The earliest mention of Amun occurs in the 5th Dynasty where he is mentioned with his consort Amaunet. However, the first known temples to Amun date to the Middle Kingdom Theban area. Four Middle Kingdom rulers took the name Amenenhet meaning ‘Amun is pre-eminent’. 

From the New Kingdom he became the supreme state god with monuments erected to him the length and breadth of the country. At this date he was part of the Theban Triad together with his wife Mut, and his son Khonsu. 

From the New Kingdom Amun was often associated with Re, the son god, as such was known as Amun-Re. He is also linked with the fertility god Min and as such was described as Amun Kamutef (‘bull of his mother’). By the Ptolemaic Period Amun was regarded as the Egyptian equivalent of Zeus. 

Amun was usually represented in human form wearing a kilt and double-plumed feather headdress, but he could also be seen with a ram’s head. Less often he can be represented by a goose, a ram-headed lion, a baboon, and even less often as a snake. His name means ‘the hidden one’. His name and appearance, and thus essence were thought to be unknowable.

Amun was a popular god among the common people and he was known as the ‘vizier of the humble’ and ‘he who comes at the voice of the poor’. Amulets of Amun don’t appear until the Third Intermediate Period (1069-747 BCE) and are most often of high quality perhaps suggesting that they were worn by priests in his service. His powers were used in spells for protection against scorpions, crocodiles and other dangerous animals.

Both copper alloy statues of Amun on display downstairs in the Egypt Centre were donated by the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and date to the Ptolemaic Period (332-32 BCE). They were placed in temples as votive offerings to the gods. In the upstairs gallery we have a small display about votive offerings. Both the Amun figures date to the Graeco-Roman Period. 

Related objects in other cases

The situla in the downstairs king’s case has a depiction of Amun-Min. 

The Third Intermediate coffin in the downstairs gallery belonged to a priestess who was ‘Chantress of Amun’. She would have worked in the temple of Amun at Thebes. Several of the shabtis in the shabti’s case, and one of the footboards in the animal’s case also belonged to priestesses who were ‘Chantresses of Amun’. 

As stated above, Amun was associated with several different animals. You can see them in the animal’s case

Other votive offerings can be seen in a case upstairs.

Further Reading

Assmann, J. 1995. Egyptian Solar Religion in the New Kingdom: Ra, Amun and the Crisis of Polytheism. London. 

Wilkinson, R. H., 2003. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. London: Thames and Hudson.