|Photocredit: The Walters Art Museum|
1550-1069 BC (New Kingdom)
H: 6 1/4 in. (15.8 cm)
Mitrahina, Egypt (Place of Discovery)
(Amoun, Amon, Amen, Ammon) ‘The Hidden’, a Theban God who rose to the pinnacle of national prominence, particularly in fusion with the Heliopolitan solar God Re as the fusion deity ‘Amun-Re’. The main temple of Amun at Karnak remains the largest religious structure ever built. Amun is depicted typically as a man with deep blue or black skin, wearing a crown with two high segmented plumes, and sometimes ithyphallic. His sacred animal is the ram with curved horns (Ovis platyura aegyptiaca, as distinct from the ram associated with Banebdjedet, Arsaphes, and Khnum, Ovis longipes palaeoaegypticus) and he can be depicted as a man with a ram’s head. Amun’s consort, aside from his female complement Amaunet, whose chief importance is in the context of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad, is Mut and their son is Khonsu. Regardless of the political factors which brought Amun to prominence as the city of Thebes became more powerful, and which maintained his prominence for the rest of Egyptian history as a symbol of national unity, Amun’s ability to exercise such broad appeal can be traced to the potency of the concept of a God of hiddenness as such, particularly at a time (the Middle Kingdom and later) when Egyptian society was engaged in speculative thought of increasing sophistication.