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Cattle in religion

Cattle were associated with a number of national and local gods and goddesses. Hathor and Bat were shown from earliest times with a cow's head or human face with cow ears. The Apis bull - worshipped and buried at Memphis/Saqqara - was the herald of Ptah. This god is already known since the Early Dynastic Period (for example the name Ni-maat-Hap - Apis belongs to the truth). The Mnevis (Egyptian: Menwer) bull was connected with the sun-god Ra in Heliopolis, and bears the title herald of Ra: this is probably the deity mentioned in the pyramid texts as the bull of Iunu (Heliopolis). The Buchis bull was related to the god Montu of Armant. All these three bulls were each identified with a single living bull and buried with great ceremony; after which a new bull was selected to be the next incarnation that 'herald'.

(click on the images for a larger picture: items marked red are linked to more infomation)

Apis bull
'Apis stela'
'Mnevis stela'
Bull on a stela found a Armant
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Hathor is the most popular goddess shown either as cow or with attributes of a cow, such as human being with cow ears, or a human being with a cow head or with a cow horn crown.

Hathor with a human face and ears of a cow
Hathor (or another god) as cow
Hathor with cow horns
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